Outstanding Student Writers Awarded the Robert M. Schuster Prose Prize
This is the 3rd year that David Benjamin and Kathy Schuster have together given $9500 to student writers through the Robert M. Schuster Prose Prize. "Benjy" and Bob were students and prolific writers together at La Follette in the 1960s, creating underground newsletters and literary zines. Mr. Schuster died in 2016, and this award is given in his honor.
The prize committee selects a different theme every year. This year's theme was "Persistence" and was open to all La Follette juniors and seniors. Entries needed to be 2500 words or less and needed to address the theme through a speech, a personal memoir, an essay or a work of fiction. All submissions were read with the names removed. There were 41 entries this year. This year's winners are:
1st Prize: "Persist, They Said" by Kiera O'Higgins ($5000)
2nd Prize: "Overcoame" by Rauan Pritchard ($2500)
3rd Prize: "My Grandfather's Journey" by Natalie McDonald ($1500)
Best Line: Aurora Helms ($500) Her winning sentence, from her essay "Life is an Uphill Battle": "I believe the worst of humanity can be observed in two places: governments and middle schools."
Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically):
"The Voice" by Ben Blazel
"The Person I Set Out to Be" by Lexus Browning
"Communal Persistence" by Donald Conway
"Among Us" by Tia Engelberger
"The Landscape That My Eyes Paint" by Julian Morales Grande
Congratulations to these outstanding student writers!