Return to Headlines

CSA students wins nearly 30 arts and writing awards

At a young age, Erica knew she wanted to be a writer.  She also knew she had the talent. 

“In the fourth grade, that's when I really started feeling like my writing started getting good,” said Erica, a Cleveland School of the Arts sophomore.    

 Over the past few years, Erica has continued to hone her craft and it has paid off. She, along with several other CSA students and a student from Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, recently won a total of 30 Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards.  They accepted their awards earlier this month during a ceremony at The Cleveland Institute of Art.   

Erica won a Gold Key, the highest regional award, for a poem she wrote and titled, “The Children of Venus.” She found inspiration for her poem after viewing the sculpture of Torso of Venus at The Cleveland Museum of Art.   

“I started doing research on Venus. She's a goddess in Roman culture, as she represents woman, desire and lust,” said Erica. “I took that, and I just started writing things.”   

Taking students to the CMA was just one of the ways creative writing and English teacher Cari Thornton used to inspire her students to write submissions for the award.  She said she encouraged them to write something that would make them proud.   

“The students spent the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas really hammering out new work,” said Thornton.  The kids were personally invested in their work, which is also why the pieces are good.  They wrote them because they cared and not because their teacher made them do an assignment.”   

As a Gold Key recipient, Erica’s poem is automatically nominated for national awards and scholarships that will be announced in the spring. In addition to the Gold Key award, Erica also received two honorable mentions for her writing.  

Mrs. Thornton is proud of all her students and happy to be a part of a special moment in their lives.   

“I get to see their growth,” she said.  “They write like an athlete wanting to perfect their skills. They try and try again. I have students who will show me the same poem 15 times.”   

In earning these awards, it demonstrates for the aspiring young writers that hard work and practice can become a percussor to a perfect piece of art.