This year the judges came to a split decision and have given the ALSCW Stephen J. Meringoff High School Essay Award to two winners: Sylvie Thode of New York City, for her essay “Seeking Out Solace”, and Sophie Starck of New York City, for her essay “Questions of Home”. The $1,500 money prize that goes with the Award will be split between the two winners, and both winning essays will appear in a future issue of Literary Matters.
Sylvie Thode is a senior at The Brearley School in New York City. Her favorite subjects are English and Latin; she is fascinated by and passionate about all topics related to Classics and Literature. Thus, some of her favorite works include Beowulf, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This year, she was chosen to be the Co-Head of her school’s Classics Club. Sylvie also loves reading and analyzing Shakespeare, and is looking forward to taking a class devoted solely to studying his plays in her senior year at Brearley. Sylvie is an accomplished athlete; a tri-sport Varsity Captain, she excels in Field Hockey, Basketball, and Softball, having received a combined 4 MVPs and 5 All-Star awards between all of her sports. Additionally, she plays on a softball travel team, and was excited to attend the National Championships this summer with her team. Most importantly, she is very grateful to all her teachers this year for pushing her to be her very best, and inspiring her daily.
Sophie Starck is a high school senior at The Brearley School in New York City. An avid reader, she enjoys nothing more than combining her lifelong passion for English with passions for seemingly unrelated subjects; in fact, she co-founded the Computer Science Club at her high school. Outside the classroom she competes on the Varsity Soccer, Basketball, and Track & Field teams as well as leading her high school’s A Cappella group. In addition, she serves as an Executive Board member for her synagogue’s youth group and as an intern for Girls Inc. and Collective[i]. Sophie would like to thank her incomparable English teacher Mrs. Smith for her guidance and support, as well as congratulate Sylvie Thode, someone she’s very proud to call a friend.
The ALSCW congratulates both winners, and thanks Mr Stephen J. Meringoff of New York City for his generous funding of the ALSCW Meringoff Writing Awards. The next Awards will be in the fall for the categories of Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction (Deadline Dec. 1).