Senior creative writer wins Scholastic Key Award

Senior Gianna Somrak believes the hard work she put into writing and editing her creative writing paid off, as she won multiple awards.  Her teacher, Mrs. Kari Beery, admires Somrak’s ability to open herself up to the “possibilities of her work.”  Beery said, “Her pacing, mix of rhyme and free verse, bountiful alliteration, and vivid imagery have you rereading her pieces over and over again and aloud to experience her craft.

Gianna Somrak

Senior Gianna Somrak believes the hard work she put into writing and editing her creative writing paid off, as she won multiple awards. Her teacher, Mrs. Kari Beery, admires Somrak’s ability to open herself up to the “possibilities of her work.” Beery said, “Her pacing, mix of rhyme and free verse, bountiful alliteration, and vivid imagery have you rereading her pieces over and over again and aloud to experience her craft.”

Sampurna Sarkar, Guest Writer

Senior Gianna Somrak recently was awarded a Scholastic Silver Key Award for her writing collection, “The Scale of Humanity Writing Portfolio,” which included five pieces of writing.

Somrak admits her inspiration for these unique pieces came from various locations. She said, “I submitted six pieces to the contest, so each has their own special inspiration. For example, my flash fiction, “Fell”, was inspired by the biblical myth of Satan and Eve.”

She says that out of all of her pieces, which she loves, the final messages of “Fell” and “Little Fires Everywhere” were the most impactful. She said, “I do love all the pieces I submitted with my entire heart. My voice shines at its peak through them, so they are actually a bit more personal in that sense.”

Somrak believes that when she writes she finds herself expressing and making a positive impact on the world. She said, “If I can make one person smile, or likelier with my works, shed a tear with my words, even if that person is myself, I know I’m doing something that has purpose.”

As per inspiration, Somrak believes anything and everything fills that space. “From everything, honestly: Books and movies, music, conversations and interactions, random aesthetics I find on Pinterest. The list goes on,” she said

In her process of writing her submission pieces, Somrak believes that revision was her number one secret, stating that the majority of her process was simply editing. She said, “Aside from ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ and ‘Fell,’ I actually chose pieces I had already written in the past that I wanted to share, so the majority of my process was literally just going through and editing…but even so, it was a good experience.”

Somrak doesn’t think people should allow awards to determine their value, but she’s appreciative for winning the Silver Key Award. She said, “Writing can be such a discouraging craft sometimes, so it was such an amazing feeling to be recognized on behalf of my work.”

According to Somrak, her goals as a writer are wholesome and when her “voice shines,” it can inspire others. She said, “After others read my work, it is my hope that they will view life a bit differently after hearing what I have to say.”

Somrak credits her English teacher, Mrs. Kari Beery, for much of her success with creative writings. “I couldn’t have done it without her! I usually have Mrs. Beery review my pieces,” Somrak said.

Beery admits she’s proud of Somrak, and admires how she uses her voice for positivity and change. Beery said, “It warms my heart. In Creative Writing, we believe art should be everywhere. It is what connects us to one another. When a student of mine wins a contest—it is that moment when they realize their voice is part of this larger conversation.“

The veteran English teacher believes that Somrak is a very “disciplined writer” and is extremely intentional about her writing.

Beery said about Somrak, ”She has a toolbox of so many technical and creative skills that her pieces are chalked full of savory diction, creative combinations of figurative language, and intriguing content. She works so hard on each piece. Like a person constructing a puzzle–she turns and twists her writing to fit each idea and image into its place. Moreover, she captures all of your senses.”

Somrak encourages everyone to take chances and write something that you are passionate about. She said, “Don’t think twice and just do it. Even if you don’t receive an award, you will still be proud of yourself for putting your work and your passion out there. An award is just the cherry on top!”