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Montgomery Area High School student wins national writing award

Montgomery Area High School creative writing student Gabriel McNear was recently awarded a silver medal in the national level of the 2020-21 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for his short story, “Dispatched.”

Each year, Jessica Carpenter’s high school creative writing students enter works of short fiction in the categories of short story, flash fiction and/or science fiction, as a culminating project to their short story unit for the course.

Since the course’s inception in 2018, several Montgomery students have placed at the regional level, winning Honorable Mentions, Silver Keys, and Gold Key awards in the Northeast Region-At-Large. However, only students who win a Gold Key award regionally are eligible for the national level of competition.

McNear’s story received a Gold Key award at the regional level of the competition back in January 2021, and moved on to become one of only 1,918 entries, across the 28 categories of art and writing, to win a national medal.

McNear is the first Montgomery creative writing student to place at the National Level of competition, and the only student from Lycoming County to receive this recognition in this year’s competition.

He will be honored on June 9th in a virtual celebration, which was moved from the traditional live location in New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

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