Wooster Writers Earn Chance in State Tournament

(March 16, 2021) – Five writers from the Wooster High School Creative Writing Club have qualified for the all-Ohio JustWrite State Competition in May. JustWrite is an organization dedicated to helping high school students develop their creative voice as well as providing support for teachers and creative writing mentors. The organization sponsors several tournaments throughout the year with each competition consisting of writing prompts for several narrative genres given to students who write their responses within a given time frame. 

Wooster English teacher Chelsey Porter coaches the Creative Writing Club, which consists of approximately 40 students from Grades 8-12. Porter said she’s excited by the success her team has had this year. “We try to send two students every year,” she said. “So, qualifying five is a huge accomplishment.”

The JustWrite team draws 12 students from the Writing Club – the maximum allowed – and they are now competing in tournaments that have gone entirely virtual since the COVID-19 pandemic. Porter said the format change has brought challenges, including the lack of socialization that so many students thrive on during regular competitions. She added the change had some positive outcomes including the students being able to adapt to writing with computers. “It has been interesting because they usually hand write their stories, so typing them was an adjustment,” Porter said. “Some students noted they were able to be more successful typing because of the speed and ability to edit mistakes more easily than on paper.”

“Ms. Porter has done a wonderful job in mentoring these talented students,” Wooster Principal Tyler Keener said. “We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our writers and wish them the best of luck at the JustWrite State Competition in May.”

Wooster students heading to the State Tournament on May 22 are senior Paige Flickinger and 9th graders Leslie Drager, Soren Veney, Chloe Bennett and Isabelle Castellucci. Porter said the tournament won’t necessarily be the end of these students’ creative work. “Many students pursue publication in literary magazines with pieces they've written during club practices,” she said. “There is also a poetry category that all of our writers have opted to compete in, in addition to the narrative writing.”