IJEA names write-off winners

November 1, 2021

Students from St. Charles North, Prospect and Stevenson high schools were first-place winners in IJEA’s first virtual write-offs on Oct. 26.

Taking first place for the Editorial Writing category was Kam Kelly from St. Charles North High School, advised by Alice Froemling.

First place for Feature Writing went to Ella Mitchell of Prospect High School, advised by Jason Block.

First place for News Writing was won by Victoria Feng of Stevenson High School, advised by Dean Bradshaw.

Other winners were:

• Editorial Writing: second, Krystal Nava, St. Viator High School, advised by Chris Paolelli. No third.

• Feature Writing: second, Emma Fishback, Marist High School, advised by John Gonczy; third, Kelly Liu, Stevenson High School, advised by Dean Bradshaw.

• News Writing: second, Julia Benkendorf, St. Viator High School, advised by Chris Paolelli; third, Neha Doppalapudi, Barrington High School, advised by Laura Minerva.

The virtual contest was held after IJEA canceled its 2021 Fall Conference due to COVID-related concerns. The conference, which would have included the popular in-person version of the write-off contest, was originally scheduled for Sept. 17 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“We’re delighted at the turnout and the terrific entries in our first virtual write-offs,” said Linda Jones, IJEA’s executive director. “We also owe our thanks to Austin Keating and our judges — all of whom signed on originally for the in-person contest we had to cancel.”

Keating, editor-in-chief of SNIPS magazine, oversaw the contest and secured judges Janelle O’Dea, data specialist and reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Kayleigh Rahn, editorial specialist at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; and Thomas E. Winski, retired journalism professor.

Congratulations to all!


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