Students explore creative opportunities and make cards during Writer’s Week


Elizabeth Anderson

English teachers Mary Troxel and Natalie Rebetsky make cards for the elderly.

by Elizabeth Anderson, Editor-in-Chief

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The second annual Writer’s Week, held November 11-14, brought students from all classes together to participate in a variety of writing and English-related activities.

Organized by Linganore’s chapter of the National English Honor Society in cooperation with the English Department, Writer’s Week included academic, enrichment, and service opportunities during PREP and after school. Any student could participate if they signed up.

On Monday during PREP, students could sign up to work on entries for the Young Author’s Contest with Mrs. Randi Kirkland, Mr. Damon Norko, or Ms. Tracey Cassidy. The Young Author’s Contest is an annual writing contest held by the State of Maryland Literacy Association. Students who submit poems or short stories have an opportunity to win awards at school, county, and state levels. Over 20 students attended this PREP activity.

Tuesday’s PREP brought students to Mrs. Susan Peterson, Mr. Damon Norko, or Ms. Tracey Cassidy to receive guidance on class essays. Students were allowed to bring in rough drafts from any of their classes and look over their writing with teachers in order to receive advice and feedback.

The PREP event on Wednesday was similar to that on Tuesday, with students encouraged to bring essays to Mrs. Patti Kolias or Ms. Mary Troxel for review. This time, however, the essays could be for college applications or scholarships in order to benefit upperclassmen as they consider higher education.

The last day of Writer’s Week was Thursday. During PREP on this day, students could work on submissions for The Watermark, Linganore’s digital creative magazine in Mrs. Angela Smith’s or Mr. Matthew Kronk’s room. The Watermark accepts photography, art, and written work, though the focus during Writer’s Week was on the latter.

“I liked that every English teacher had something different, so that [students could have] completely different experiences and learn not to depend on one specific format or structure,” said Ms. Mary Troxel.

Perhaps the most unique part of Writer’s Week was the after school activity, which carried through the whole week. Students and teachers used a variety of craft supplies to make cards for hospitalized children, troops, and housebound seniors.

“I enjoyed making cards because I got to hang out and laugh with other nice students, some of whom I hadn’t met before,” said Isabella Anderson, Class of 2023.

Most cards were holiday-themed, but there were also a number of cards made with more general messages of well wishes for the recipients. Some students and teachers signed their names, while others merely wrote, “From, A Friend.”

“Making the cards encouraged people to…think outside of themselves,” said Troxel. “I was able to see students outside of the classroom doing something creative.”

The cards were mailed to Cards for Hospitalized Kids in Chicago, IL, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles, CA, and United Soldiers and Sailors of America in Washington, D.C. They should arrive in time for the holidays.

Because so many students were involved in extracurricular activities like the fall play, not everyone who wanted to attend Writer’s Week activities was able to. The NEHS and Troxel hope to have another Writer’s Week in the spring.