Winners Announced in 2012 National Writing Contest

Writers Veronica Zieba and Eric Epstein with Heather Emerson Jeremy, assistant director of Pre-College Outreach at NTID.
Story Highlights: 
  • Dozens of entries were received from across the country.
  • Winners had the option of a $500 prize or a scholarship and trip to Rochester for RIT's Explore Your Future career exploration summer camp.
  • Topics included Freud's theory about Frankenstein, media coverage in an election year and the feeling of freedom when flying in a glider.


A story of traveling back through time, a description of soaring in a glider and a student’s passion for reading and writing were among the winners in RIT’s SpiRIT Writing Contest for deaf or hard-of-hearing high school students, sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Dozens of entries were received from across the country.

The winners had the option of a $500 prize or, if they were in 10th or 11th grade, a scholarship and travel expenses to RIT’s Explore Your Future career exploration camp on the Rochester, N.Y. campus. EYF is a six-day program that offers deaf and hard-of-hearing students opportunities to sample different careers and college life.

The winners are:

  • 12th grade, first place: Kelly Reed, from Whitesboro High School, Marcy, N.Y. Her entry, “Mary Shelly’s Nightmare Revealed: The Hidden Life of a Dreamer,” compared Freud’s theory with Frankenstein. She points out how dreams may be transferred into conscious thoughts and writing.
  • 12th grade, second place: Malinda Jorgensen, from Grandview Park Baptist School, Des Moines, Iowa. Her entry, “Atticus and the Typewriter,” is a creative fiction story set in 2050, when a boy named Atticus finds a typewriter that takes him back in time.
  • 11th grade, first place: Eric Epstein, of Tucson, Ariz., who attended the Model Secondary School in Washington, D.C. His entry, “Reins on Language,” is about his passion for reading and writing as a useful tool to communicate with others. “I view writing not as a door, but as a journey,” he says.
  • 11th grade, second place: Benjamin M. Reiser, from Staples High School, Westport, Conn. His entry, “Politics, Pundits and the Press: Bias in American Media” described the history and progression of media in reporting political coverage.
  • 10th grade, first place: Veronica Zieba, from the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School in Copiague, N.Y. Her entry, “I am who I am,” describes the metamorphosis of growing up from a baby to a teenager, and her process of discovering her hearing loss and the reaction of her parents and surrounding community.
  • 10th grade, second place: Alexander Moore, from Dansville High School, Dansville, N.Y. His entry describes the process of flying in a glider and giving him the much-needed freedom associated with aviation and the return to rules and society with “bumps on the runway.”

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