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Student writers, we want to hear from you

SNN will publish pieces from essayists, journalists, poets

Students, do you have something to say?

While you are practicing social distancing, perhaps thinking about what you miss about school or how this unusual period of history will shape the future, you can hone those writing skills and share them with our readers.

School News Network recently reprinted “I Regret Taking Normal For Granted,” an article from the Forest Hills Central Trend student newspaper. And I believe all of you have unique and important thoughts about the 2020 pandemic and unexpected end of face-to-face instruction.

As high schools across the country switch to a new normal in education, one thing that will likely not change is that composing and writing with clarity is a skill necessary for nearly every potential career.

As a School News Network journalist, I have met many students who love to write, and even those who say they don’t enjoy the exercise generally love to express their thoughts.  

For example, in my three years of covering Kent City High School, I have met many talented writers.

The school hosts a Language Arts team, which competes against writers from other districts. Team members are given a topic and a time limit to produce handwritten essays on both sides of a current issue. 

“The writing team is a great way for students to show their skills and creativity in Language Arts,” said Amy Tavares, teacher and writing team coach. “It also is a good experience in terms of teamwork as they need to work together on ideas, find each writer’s unique strengths, and edit each other’s writing under the pressure of time constraints.This year’s team was phenomenal, not only because they are a really talented group of writers, but they also worked so well together to produce great pieces.” 

Kent City High School Language Arts team gathers for a picture at a meet

Share Something to Say 

I was also privileged to feature some Eagle-eyed reporters in a journalism class known as Media Competency.

Kent City students annually compete for recognition and performance in a regional showcase at Frauenthal Center in Muskegon, producing recent award winners including a talented poet.

Yes, Kent City High School students — as well as students everywhere — have something to say and that something is worth sharing.

Well, budding journalists, poets and story writers, now is the time for sharing your thoughts on our many School News Network platforms. It could be an essay, an opinion piece, a poem or even a short story. It could be related to the pandemic and school closures, or about something else that’s on your mind or in your heart.   

We suggest a guideline of 750 words or less but will review all submissions for possible publication. Students from grade 6 to 12 are invited to submit their works. Please direct your entries to a language arts, creative writing or journalism teacher for initial review. 

After screening for quality and personal content, teachers should send their students’ writings along to us at snn@kentisd.org. Please feel free to include a picture of yourself for publication. A team of SNN writers and editors will then consider the pieces for publication. 

OK students, start writing — we want to hear from you!

Writing a piece together takes practice
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Janice Holst
Janice Holst
Janice Holst is a reporter covering Kent City and Sparta. She has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and enjoys spending some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio or email Janice.


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