• Middle School
Writing Awards for Wordsmith Elke Zigmont

Country School 8th Grader Elke Zigmont shines as a writer; she has worked diligently to hone her author’s voice, which comes across loud and clear in her essay “Sticky Notes,” a piece about an estate sale that earned her a Gold Key Award in the 2019 Hudson-to-Housatonic Writing Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Award. Since 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated. Elke’s essay was one of more than 2,100 submissions, making her recognition even more impressive.

Elke first learned that she had received the regional Gold Key Award; now she has her sights set on Nationals. Additionally, Elke was the only writer in her age group and genre to be honored with The Village Bookstore Prize which aims to empower and embolden middle school writers who demonstrate exemplary skill and promise in their writing abilities, and to encourage their interest in and love for the craft.

Kristin Liu has worked with Elke for the past two years as both her English teacher and as the advisor to The Country School’s literary magazine Eureka!, a publication for which Elke serves as editor. Notes Liu, “What I loved is how Elke took an already terrific school assignment and made repeated rounds of revisions, carefully choosing words and striking others for best effect.” 

The following excerpt from “Sticky Notes” highlights Elke’s strengths and sophistication as a creative writer: “However, the book on antiquing was slightly disconcerting. Like the haunting epitaph ‘Stranger, remember as you walk by, so you are now so once was I…’  I found it oddly prophetic. They were antiquers; now we were antiquing them. Our junk would one day be poked through by the retiree crowd. The circle of life. Or of tchotchkes.”