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EHS student wins gold in national writing competition

Aerial view of Kuhlman stadium with water tower in foreground.
EHS student wins gold in national writing competition

Edina High School (EHS) freshman Dedeepya Guthikonda is going to Carnegie Hall after becoming one of 11 students in Minnesota to win a gold medal in the National Scholastic Writing and Art Competition. The competition, which is open to teens in grades 7-12 (ages 13 and up), received nearly 340,000 submissions this year.

Guthikonda first heard about the competition and was encouraged to apply by a friend who had submitted work last year. “I’ve always loved creative writing from a young age and had entered a few competitions in the past, though none were as big as the Scholastic awards,” said Guthikonda. “I thought it would be fun to submit something and decided to go for it.” Guthikonda chose to submit her writing within the flash fiction category, which is fiction under 1,000 words.

Students’ submissions were blindly judged by jurors who looked for works that showcased originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision. The Scholastic Awards received submissions in 29 different categories of art and writing.

Even though flash fiction was new for Guthikonda, she decided to write about a girl trying to find her place in America. “After finding inspiration, I started to write and see where it would go, so I got to experiment with flash fiction and ended up really liking it,” said Guthikonda.

The National Scholastic Writing and Art Competition accepts work from a number of fields including artists and writers, filmmakers and photographers, video game artists and science fiction writers. There were 2,700 students selected nationwide for a National Medal and all the medalists will be honored at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall. “I’m looking forward to going to New York and it is very exciting to receive the award,” said Guthikonda. “It’s good motivation and inspires me to always continue my passion for writing, regardless of where the future takes me.”