Competitive writing team, Pen OHIO introduced at high school

Rahul Parikh | Staff Writer

The “Power of the Pen” is now possessed by high school and middle school students alike.

English teacher Patricia George is the advisor for the new Pen OHIO team, a high school competitive writing team, stemming from the Power of the Pen program at the middle school.  Other schools around the area, such as Indian Hill and Madeira, have already adopted the PEN OHIO program.

The main goal for this team is to provide students the opportunity to continue writing competitively, beyond the middle school level.

George said she has always wanted to give students a chance to express their voice, something that drew her to the program.

“The reason I did this is so kids get the opportunity to use their voice and express themselves through writing,” George said.“It is something that we do not get enough of in our writing classes these days because they are so heavily focused on literature.”

George was first approached about this club by Power of the Pen’s advisor, Rachel Young, and agreed to the opportunity because writing had always been her passion.

The idea for the team at Mason, if they have enough participants, is to separate the club into varsity and junior varsity, such as any sports team. Tryouts would be required for individuals looking to be on varsity while JV remains open to all students.

As far as the student interest, George has made some major strides in attracting interested students. At the end of last year, she sent out an interest survey to freshman, sophomores, and juniors and got about 140 responses. Since then, multiple emails were sent out with information about scheduling and meetings. The positive response and high interest level pushed George to want to make a team.

About 20 students attended the general information meeting, the optimal amount for a team with varsity and junior varsity both.

Sophomore Lindsay Rogers did not make the Power of the Pen team as a middle schooler but said she is extremely excited for this chance to write competitively.

Rodgers is also working on writing a novel, a fantasy book, that she has been working on for about a year. She feels that writing for the Pen OHIO team will help her with her novel because it will give her more experience writing for a concrete purpose.

¨I am extremely motivated by the fact that I didn’t make the team at the middle school,” Rogers says. “This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. Ever since 8th grade, I’ve been waiting for something to let me write competitively, and this sounds like lots of fun.”