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South Carolina Honors College

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Writing South Carolina Volume 8

The Honors College is proud to showcase selections from the 8th annual South Carolina High School Writing Contest. Featuring submissions from high school juniors and seniors from across the state, the works are edited by Honors students from our SCHC 384 course.

Bright and strong, the tall goldenrod is South Carolina’s state wildflower. We think Solidago altissima also represents our state’s best young writers. Here are 21 of them, each of whom – in the midst of a global pandemic – composed an original response to our annual question, “How can we make South Carolina better?” Read on and take heart. These writers are bright and strong indeed.    


First Place: I Will Always Be a Product of South Carolina Public Schools - Lucia Stevick-Brown

Second Place:  Seven Hundred and Fifty Words -  Amanda Murphy 

Third Place (tie): Making South Carolina Better for All - Shahd Abdeladl

Third Place (tie): Stop me if you've heard this one - Aiden Wood 

Argumentative Essays

Too Late for the Carolina Parakeet - Sophia Cox

Teachers: The Key to Statewide Progress - Emily Gray

Play It Again South Carolina - Aiden Gavin Johnson

The Silent Killer - Angela Levasseur


Dear SC, Consider This ... - Haya Kidwai 

Three Wishes for an Old Friend: A Letter to South Carolina - Sarah Nelson

Let Our Students Succeed - Maggie Nolen

The Day I Felt My Air Taken from Me - Bryanna Warner 

Personal Essays

If These Walls Could Talk - Oliver Abar

Acceptance: The Path to Improvement  - Taylor Cook 

Forests of Brick and Vinyl - Carolyn Christopher 

So What’s the Problem Here, Anyway? - Angel Huang 

Nihao” and “Konichiwa  - Winnie Zheng


An Ode to the New Cut - Cassidy Lewis 

Roots - Maya Pai

What a Country Boy Does - Ned Walpole

My Dearest South Carolina  - Alisa Yvonne Wharton


The annual South Carolina High School Writing Contest wouldn’t be possible without other individuals and organizations. We thank South Carolina Honors College alumnus Thad Westbrook, the Pat Conroy Literary Center (Jonathan Haupt, executive director); the South Carolina State Library (Leesa Aiken, director); South Carolina Academy of Authors (Ray McManus, chair); and the South Carolina Writers Association (Kasie Whitener, director/1st vice president, partnerships). We also thank Jonathan Haupt, grand judge for this year’s contest, and the many high school guidance counselors and teachers who encouraged students to submit. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.