Congratulations to SHED Winners

Congratulations to SHED Winners
Posted on 06/01/2021

Congratulations to the SHED Winners of 2021!

News by Lilah Spedding (Student)

Every year, the Shoreline Heads of English Departments, otherwise known as SHED, hold a writing competition for the schools on the shoreline. This competitive contest is for students in grades 9-12, who have the option to write in different categories, including; short story, poetry, journalism, humor, analysis, and personal essay. This year, Old Saybrook stood strong, placing in six of the nineteen finalists spots. 

Old Saybrook High School swept the grades 11/12 analysis category. Senior Emily Stratton took first place with the essay titled, “The Dead”: The Toxic Impact of “Toxic Masculinity”. She took home the gold after exposing the truth about our society. Stratton said, “My entry was originally an assignment for my English class on James Joyce’s short story, “The Dead”. Throughout class we had talked a lot about the protagonist’s need to fulfill the sort of traditional role of a husband, and be what society deemed “masculine”, which I found very interesting given the time period the story was written in, as it was much more common to explore the unrealistic expectations of women.” 

Junior Amanda Balinskas claimed second place for her essay entitled, “From Morally Incorruptible to Ambiguous Morals: Eren Yeager’s Character Arc in Attack on Titan”. Balinskas took on a challenge when writing something new this year instead of submitting something that had been written prior. She said, “I was inspired to do a character analysis on a main character from one of my favorite shows. I really just sat down and wrote it. I wasn't expecting it to be a winner, honestly. But I enjoyed writing it and am proud of the work I did.” 

To lighten the mood, freshman William Maselli won second place for his humor piece, “The Juiciest Story,” about a very “juicy” topic: an apple named Fred becoming comfortable with his own skin. 

Old Saybrook also placed in the journalism category. The second place winner in this category was a team of senior Joseph Bradley and sophomore Catherine Minegar. In their insightful piece, “The Causes and Implications of the Heater Malfunction”, published in the Rambler, Bradley and Minegar investigated one of the dramatic events that happened in our high school over the winter. Bradley said, “I owe a great deal of the journalism process to Catherine, who led much of the interviewing and writing, and we were able to inform the student body of the causes and resolutions of the heater issue. ”

Freshman Shikha Patel placed third in the journalism category. She explained what Old Saybrook High School was like in the middle of the pandemic in her piece called, “School in the Midst of a Pandemic.”