Winning Teen Bloggers Announced for International Writing Contests on StageofLife.com

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Teen writing community, StageofLife.com, announces the winner, place finishers, and runner's up to its monthly international writing contests for high school and college students. The site welcomed thousands of teen bloggers from across the world to enter the essay contest.

International Writing Contests

International Writing Contests

I love writing because of the freedom that is associated with it. It is a way to express emotions and thoughts without being judged or feeling scared because those words belong to the writer. Only he/she has the right to choose whether or not to share it.

As part of its monthly international writing contests, teen blogging community, StageofLife.com, asked thousands of junior high, high school, and college students to share a memory about school.

Over 2,600 students visited the essay submission page as teen bloggers submitted a qualifying, personal essay to the writing contest.

From the narratives submitted, four themes emerged regarding how students feel about the first day of school...

1) First Day Fears: Teens admitted to being scared of the changes that came with starting a new grade or school, but once they settled in, they found that change was (usually) for the better.

2) Fun Times With Friends: Many stories retold favorite moments with best friends: inside jokes, awkward class moments, or that special day these teens met their best friend. Friends helped these student bloggers through tough class assignments—and through harder, emotional struggles.

3) Inspiring Teachers: Nothing can affect a school experience like a teacher—good or bad. Thankfully, most teens praised their teachers, who inspired them to follow their talents and dreams. However, some teens were stuck with disrespectful or rude teachers who left a bad taste for education in their mouths.

4) After School Activities: Teenagers loved training and competing with their teammates—also some of their closest friends. They fondly recalled team trips to championship meets, and the shenanigans they pulled after hours in hotel rooms. Social aspect aside, these teens saw their confidence soar when they played a sport; as one teen put it, “Sometimes it sucks, but I love it.”

The winning 1st place student essay, School Daze: Nora was submitted by Katie Tsui, a junior at Darien High School in Darien, CT.

When asked about the writing contest, Tsui said "I love writing because of the freedom that is associated with it. It is a way to express emotions and thoughts without being judged or feeling scared because those words belong to the writer. Only he/she has the right to choose whether or not to share it."

The adult writing contest winner was Sharon Frayne, a retiree from Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario, Canada. Frayne's essay, "Stepping Into a Lifetime", speaks to how much school and learning has positively impacted her life. "I have spent 37 years working in the school system. I have been in a ’school daze’ for a very long time. This is the first writing contest I have ever entered - I just took a chance and ‘jumped in with both feet,'" she said.

When asked about her love of writing, Fayne responded, "Good writing has the power to capture and transfer life experiences into words that can powerfully connect with others. When writers connect with readers, the shared experiences enriches both parties. I write in an effort to preserve and extend the personal experience that has universal meaning. Writing gives me joy, and helps me feel alive."

Stage of Life also selected a winner from its Twitter Writing Contest which tied into the school memory writing prompt. The winning entry came from @lisilahlah who Tweeted,"I could feel myself drowning in an ocean of unfamiliar faces as I heavily crept towards an isolated desk.‏‏"

Writing contest winners from the teen, adult and Twitter contests received gift cards from StageofLife.com educational corporate sponsors Applebee's, IHOP, Papa John's, and SpaWeek.com.

To read all of the essays on this writing prompt and other monthly writing contests and teen trends, visit StageofLife.com.

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StageofLife.com is a privately funded, startup company founded in 2009. The website's mission is to change the world, one story at a time. The site welcomes nearly 1,000,000 teens, teachers and parents each year as it provides an international writing community and educational resources for today's teen, Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer generations.

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Rebecca Thiegs
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