2014 Sejong Writing Competition
|First Place||Hapshiba Kwon
10th grade, Whitney High School
|Second Place||Alexandra Kindahl
12th grade, Towson High School
|Third Place||Jeanna Qiu
10th grade, Livingston High School
Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
6th grade, Attea Middle School
Falls Church, VA
7th grade, Longfellow Middle School
11th grade, Notre Dame High School
12th grade, Arrowhead Union High School
I learned of this contest through school and thoroughly struggled with creating such a short poem. However, writing the sijo really helped me notice the power and purpose that each word holds in meaningful works of literature.
I enjoy bike riding, writing, reading, drawing, and taking photos of things other than myself. My personal heroes include Jesus Christ, who I strive to be more like, and my parents. My parents have truly played a big role in my life and have supported me in doing all things.
I aspire to become an author. I dream of publishing a book that will be accessible to everyone, everywhere.
My name is Alexandra Kindahl, and I am a senior at Towson High School in Towson, Maryland. I started my writing journey as a seven-year-old, creating bizarre adventure stories with poorly drawn illustrations. In middle school I wrote fan-fiction obsessively, spending most of my waking hours considering foreshadowing and plot development. In high school I returned to original characters, drafting short stories, poetry, and personal essays. While I’ve wanted to have many different careers over the course of my life (mathematician, aerospace engineer, lawyer, criminologist, and Interpol agent, to name a few), my current goal is to become either a novelist or a psychologist (who also writes novels).
I learned about this contest in my creative writing class at my high school. As part of the class, we’re expected to submit writing to several contests over the course of the year, and my teacher was quite excited at the prospect of all of us learning to write sijo poems. I usually write long, free verse poems, so adjusting to the short form and syllable count of the sijo was very difficult for me. (It was also difficult to find information on how prison numbers are determined, for the title.) However, I’m glad that I decided to try.
My name is Zach Andrews and I am a 6th grader at Attea Middle School in Glenview, IL. I enjoy playing all sports, my favorite being soccer. On my team I play goalie. I also enjoy playing tennis, basketball, lacrosse, reading and playing with friends.
I would like to thank my teacher, Mrs. Trsar, for teaching me about Sijo poetry. I was shocked when she announced to the class that I had gotten this award. I would also like to thank all of my classmates that gave me feedback and support on my poem.
All in all I think that this was a very educational and great experience and I think that this is a great competition for kids that enjoy writing poetry.
My name is Serin Bok, and I am a seventh grader at Longfellow Middle School. The Sejong Cultural Society writing competition has allowed me to be inspired by others in my daily life, and to express my feelings and thoughts through writing, in both sijo and essay form.
One of my favorite hobbies is solving the Rubik’s cube. I have been doing so ever since I was in 5th grade, after learning about it from a close friend of mine. At first glance, the cube might look quite ordinary. The only thing that seems to make cube special is its colors- blue, white, green, yellow, red, and orange. But once you start to twist and turn the cube, you will see that it is in fact a very complex and intriguing item. The Rubik’s cube has allowed me to think outside of the box over the years, and by doing so, it has helped me to improve my writing. After all, being able to think up new interesting ideas is an important trait for a writer to have.
I am so thankful to my family, especially my sister, who has encouraged me to write ever since I was little, as well as my friends and teachers, for supporting my writing over the years. I hope to continue my writing career in the future.
Caleb Burton, “Cal”, is a junior at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN. Upon graduation in May 2014, he hopes to attend either Belmont University or the University of Tennessee where he will pursue a law degree. His interests include baseball, playing guitar, and fishing. Cal’s personal hero is his maternal grandfather, 1st Lt. Joseph R. Pahle, who was also his inspiration for his sijo. As a member of the 17th Airborne Division, 513th Parachute Infantry, in WWII, Cal’s grandfather fought in the Battle of the Bulge where he was awarded a Bronze Star; and he jumped over the Rhine River during Operation Varsity. Along with PFC Stuart Stryker, Pahle stormed enemy troops after their plane missed its drop zone and they landed in enemy territory. Styker and Pahle led the charge to overtake the enemy position allowing fellow paratroopers to capture over two hundred Germans and free 3 American bomber pilots. Styker was riddled with gunfire and killed in action while Pahle was shot in the head but after 7 brain surgeries went on to lead a normal life. For their heroics, Pahle was awarded the Silver Star and Styker was honored with the Medal of Honor posthumously. Although Cal’s grandfather died when he was only two years old at the age of 77, Cal has always looked up to his "Papa Joe" and has maintained the highest respect and admiration for our country’s veterans.
I'm an eighteen year old musician and writer from Hartland, Wisconsin. Right now, I'm sitting back enjoying life at Arrowhead High School as a senior. I love to produce hip hop and rap music from scratch. I have been making music for two years now and it is all I focus on at this moment besides school. My teacher, Ms. Jorgensen, showed me this contest in her creative writing class.