A Writer’s Passion


Kaylee DeWalt, Staff

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Writing is one of the oldest forms of expression. For thousands of years, writing has been a staple hobby known to many. For senior Emily Lara, writing is a passion that has gained her national and regional recognition and awards. After competing for her last time in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Lara gained her second regional award for her poetry piece. 


“The only reason why I ever participated in the competition [my sophomore year] is because I was taking Creative Writing, and my teacher, Ms. Laird, had assigned to us to create a piece for the competition,” Lara said. “I submitted a poetry piece, and that was my first winning piece, which was honored nationally. So since my sophomore year, I’ve been competing in the same competition.”


The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is hosted yearly, awarding students across the country in categories such as drawing, photography, and poetry. Submissions are recognized on three different levels: district, regional, and national. For those who gain national recognition, their work is displayed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. For Lara, the piece she submitted her sophomore year granted her a national award, while her submissions for her junior and senior years gained recognition and awards within her region. Lara credits a portion of her success to the skills she gained during her time in Creative Writing.


“I had never been in a setting before where on a daily basis I was given prompts and new ideas, and I never really learned how to write things on the spot so being in Creative Writing definitely helped me grow creatively,” Lara said. “From a student standpoint, Ms.Laird was amazing. She always gave me honest feedback about my work. She always gave me tips and advice on how to possibly make it better.”


Lara’s passion for writing started young, with a love for fairy tales and fantasy that has followed her throughout her life, heavily influencing what she writes about and her style. 


“I think I’ve always been really good at reading and writing. The writing I like to do has always been storytelling [and] fiction writing. Creative writing for me has always been something that worked as a hobby. Something that I do in my free time.”


Once again influenced by her love of storytelling, Lara began participating in theatre in middle school and has continued to do so throughout high school. Through her acting, Lara gained a deeper understanding of the creation of characters and the importance of their actions. 


“I think acting has really helped me in the sense of understanding character motivation. In theatre, we say that with every action choice that a character makes in a play there’s a motivation behind it and there’s an objective that they have. So we ask ourselves how did these characters show that through dialogue? How did these characters show their emotions through action, and stuff like that, so I think acting and reading scripts consistently has helped in with character development in my writing.”


Lara wants to continue to write in college; however, her current plans focus more on corporate writing rather than creative writing. 


“Creative writing as a career doesn’t make money, so my current dilemma is figuring out if that’s something I want to pursue. I do know for a fact that I want to work in the writing field. So most likely I’m either going to major in journalism or communications.”