Creative writer receives multiple awards


Sarah Carlile

Sarah Carlile celebrates the new year with two Scholastics writing awards. The Scholastics contest is sponsored by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

Kelsey Mize, Guest Writer

Junior Sarah Carlile is an award-winning writer that has received a Scholastics Silver and Gold key for two of her poetry pieces, “The Broken Heart Vaccine” and “Pinnochio.”

Carlile’s emotions hit her “all at once” when she found out that she had won in January. “I remember opening up my congratulatory email and then all of a sudden, after a minute of staring at it, I couldn’t read the words on the screen anymore. My hands were shaking so bad and I had tears welling up in my eyes, which blurred my vision,” Carlile said.

Carlile’s Creative Writing teacher, Kari Beery, has mentored her during this literary growth and helped her find new opportunities in writing.

Beery is overjoyed for Carlile, knowing she has accomplished her goal of influencing others. Beery said, “She knows her writing has reached someone and it made a difference or connected to something larger than herself. That is why we all celebrate Sarah.”

Carlile, at first, was timid to submit these personal poems to Scholastics. “I had actually written ‘Pinocchio’ over this last summer while going through a really dark time in my life. When I was first written, locked away in a secret folder within my phone notes, it was really more of a stream of consciousness…It was very disjointed, discombobulated, and was really more of a rant written to myself than anything else, or rather, as I had referred to it as, ‘word vomit’,” she said.

But, with the help of Beery, Carlile had the courage to submit the pieces through her words of hope. Beery said to Carlile, “Sarah, the one thing Scholastics looks for and appreciates more than anything is creative risks. So listen to me carefully, because this is the only time I’m ever going to tell you this:

“You like to write dark and go off the deep end, so go and write me the darkest piece you can. Drown it in the deepest end you can find. No limitations, let’s see what you can come up with,” she said.

Carlile considers herself “blessed” to have these writing opportunities given to her by her Creative Writing class. “I’ve gotten chances to not only enter into different contests, but also explore the best ways to express myself and really hone my craft…which I’m well aware that way too many kids don’t get that chance,” she said.

Throughout these writing opportunities, Beery helped Sarah with advancing her writing skills and giving those opportunities to her. Beery said, “Sarah began writing and conferencing with me every day. First, we discussed her goals for her writing and then evaluated and fine-tuned the drafts.”

With the help of Beery, Carlile has become a knowledgeable writer through other years of creative writing. “It is important to know that Sarah is one of the most decorated writers at Mayfield. She has won contests with the Cleveland Clinic, Ursuline College, Kent State Traveling Stanzas, and now Scholastics Art & Writing,” Beery said.

All in all, Carlile is happy with Scholastic’s big platform and its impact for fellow readers. She said, “If sharing my personal and vulnerable stories, no matter how dark they got, could help someone else in any way possible, I knew it was something I had to at least try…and well…I’d say that it turned out pretty okay.”