2022 Sejong Writing Competition
|Adult Division||Senior Division||Junior Division|
Saint Paul, MN
Maple Glen, PA
9th grade, (Jason Fritz)
Upper Dublin High School
El Cajon, CA
8th grade, (Carol Purvis)
Literacy First Charter School Junior Academy
9th grade, (Stephanie Oden)
Centreville High School
San Diego, CA
7th grade, (Moon Jeung Chang)
Pacific Trails Middle School
10th grade, (Abbey Morgan)
8the grade, (Lauren Jackson)
International Community School
Coronado High School
8th Grade, (Lauren Jackson)
International Community School
New York, NY
10th grade, (Connie Lim)
Falls Church. VA
Longfellow Middle School
12th grade (Jo Markette)
Coronado High School
|Hye Jung Shin
Buffalo Grove, IL
8th grade (Renee Weinstein)
Aptakisic Junior High
8th grade, (Lauren Jackson)
International Community School
*Honorable Mention - Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
( ) Teacher's name
I heard about this competition while researching about sijo (I think the Sejong Cultural Society does a fantastic job raising awareness of it!). I'm a philosophy professor, so I was delighted to read a short story that seemed to invite questioning as a form of reading that lets us engage with the work at the deepest level. I think we lose out on literature's richness when we focus solely on "what it tells us."
My work is mostly on philosophy of fiction, and I'm beginning to turn my attention to North Korean philosophy and aesthetics as well.
I respect academics who hold fast to their sense of wonder and humility, and I hope to write and teach in a manner that would inspire those values in others, too.
My name is Matthew Mills, and I am a senior English major at Emmanuel College. Next year, I will be enrolling in graduate school to get my MA in Literary Studies with a concentration in Post-1900 Literature.
I heard about this competition from a professor, Dr. Paul Petrovic, in a World Literature Seminar that focused on Korean Literature from the 20th century to the present contemporary moment. While writing this essay, I learned in greater depth the social and ideological complexities regarding the reunification of North and South Korea, both historically and in the contemporary political moment.
Some of my hobbies include reading and writing, playing tennis, traveling, going to concerts, binging K-dramas, and going to my local independent theatre to watch indie and foreign films.
My personal hero is Oscar Wilde for his exuberant personality, quintessential wit, beautiful literary works, and his refusal to stop challenging societal formalities and human morality within Victorian Britain amidst cultural and legal persecution. In the future, I hope to continue my studies of Literature and Film in an academic setting, wherever that may take me.
My name is Hannah Adams and I am a freshman at Upper Dublin High School.
My hobbies include playing violin, piano, and reading. I heard about the Sejong Writing Competition through my teacher, who had received an email about it.
Writing this essay provided unique challenges that transformed me into a better writer, including how to analyze literature on a deeper level.
My personal hero is my grandfather, who endured many hardships in both Korea and America. My personal goal is to travel to Korea and experience my heritage.
My name is Elena Davis, and I am a 9th grader at Centreville High School. I first heard about the Sejong essay competition from my mother, who suggested that I enter and learn more about Korean culture. When reading the short story by Choyeop Kim, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to share what I had to say about it. The story reminded me of old Korean folk tales I had heard as a child, and inspired me to delve deeper into Korean literature. Through the book’s characters, I learned how to persevere in adversity, as well as how to put my trust in the foundational relationships around me.
In my free time, I like to spend time with my mom. I love to watch movies, play games, and cook yummy foods with her. My mother is my hero, as she consistently encourages me to become a better person. She urges me to jump at any opportunities that I can, and without her strong-willed support, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. In the future, I would love to pursue journalism or literature. I have a love for storytelling, and I hope to utilize it throughout my life.
I heard about Sejong through an upper-classman at my school. While looking into the essay prompt and its stipulations, the idea of embracing my identity and self-discovery through this competition resonated with me. While writing my essay I learned much about myself, namely my interest in analyzing literary themes, and their conjunction with Korean values and ideals.
I like to vary my hobbies and interests and take part in debate, golf, reading, and art.
My personal hero is my mother who was the person who taught me the value of research and advocacy skills as an immigration lawyer.
In the future, I plan to be in public policy as a lawyer, serving as an advocate for Korean-Americans.
My name is Jocelyn Burgess, and I am a graduating senior at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am passionate about lacrosse and enjoy painting occasionally.
My love for sports has translated into my desire to become a physical therapist in the future. I plan to study kinesiology at Northern Arizona University.
My English teacher, Dr. Jo Markette, granted my class the opportunity to participate in this contest, and this experience has taught me the importance of writing and reading beyond the classroom. Choyeop Kim’s writing allowed me to apply the theme of avoiding judgment of others ito the real world.back to top
My name is Brian Pae and I am currently a sophomore at Collegiate School in New York City. My hobbies include fencing, golf, skiing, basketball, debate, listening to music, and reading.
Initially, I was very intrigued after reading Choyeop Kim’s heartwarming sci-fi narrative “Girl in the Cylinder.” Under closer examination, the themes of friendship and loneliness -- ideas especially relevant in the era of the Coronavirus pandemic -- shine through Kim’s compelling storytelling, which in turn raises various moral and ethical dilemmas. In a world where technology is evolving at an exponential rate, this story provides a new perspective on the small group of people marginalized by such technologies.
I am inspired by my grandparents, who have taught me much about what I know about Korean culture.
In the future, I hope to continue to pursue my enjoyments in reading and writing, and widen my perspective through other forms of Korean literature and art.
Finally, I am very grateful to all my past and current English teachers who have helped sharpen my writing skills and foster my enjoyment of reading and writing.back to top
My name is Brodie Sheridan, and I am a graduating senior at Coronado High School where I've participated in marching and jazz bands for the past four years.
Originally, I heard of the competition through my dual enrollment ENG101 teacher, Dr. Jo Markette, so at first I thought of it as if it was just another prompt. After I began writing, I had a sudden burst of inspiration and recognized the portrayal of our society through the short dystopian story, and how it was all just a metaphor for the walls we choose to place between us and those we want to connect with. While writing, I learned how important it is to stop and think about relationships between opposing forces, and how most things in life are connected if you take the time to understand their relation. I gained an appreciation for writing in high school when I was introduced to the pictures it was able to paint on the canvas that is a blank sheet of paper.
I aspire to write music at ASU and pursue the art of being able to tell stories. I want to thank my English teacher for never settling for anything less than my best work and pushing me to become the writer I am today.back to top
My name is Mason Raymond, and I am currently an eighth grade student at Literacy First Charter School Junior Academy in El Cajon, California.
Being half Korean-American myself, I often found interest in learning about my own cultural roots. I found the Sejong Writing Competition by Google search, trying to find opportunities to explore that side of myself. As I worked through the process of crafting my essay, I found that it was quite interesting and eye opening to navigate how the writer conveyed their message through folktale. I also find that by reading through the story I covered, “The Grateful Tiger”, was an amazing chance to delve into my interest of Korean culture and my heritage.
Personally, I have many hobbies and interests. Just recently, I worked on a scientific paper which I am currently trying to get reviewed and published. I also love to listen to music in my free time, drawing much of my literary inspiration from those who I listen to. Although I don’t necessarily have a single ‘personal hero’ per se, I do find other Asian-American artists like Mitski and Yaeji inspiring.
As for my personal goals, I hope to have a bright future. I want to maintain high academics when I enter high school this fall. Next summer (or really any summer in high school) I also hope to study abroad in South Korea. As for my future career, I hope I’m able to pursue something in medicine as it peaks two of my interests: STEM as well as helping others.
My name is Ethan Leem, and I am a seventh-grade student at Pacific Trails Middle School in San Diego, California.
I learned about this competition from my personal English tutor, Ms. Chang. Once I heard about the Sejong writing competition, I immediately recognized how great of an opportunity this event would be to strengthen my writing and literature skills. While writing my essay for this competition, I recognized the distinct ability for cultural aspects to transcend different countries. As I sought to understand the key concepts mixed in Korean folklore, I established links between the subjects covered in Korean folklore to modern-day thought processes.
This competition has allowed me to read between the lines of Korean culture and understand a greater deal about Korea itself.
Some of my hobbies include traditional art, playing tennis, reading, and of course writing. I have an extensive interest in a wide variety of sciences ranging from paleontology to physics and strive to discover new things about subjects I already presume to understand.
My personal hero is my family members, who teach me the powers of resilience and mindfulness.
A future goal I always keep in mind is to uphold my passion for writing. Another topic this competition has taught me is the complex yet elegant art that is writing, and I don't intend to lose my love for writing anytime soon.
The Sejong writing competition has been a wonderful experience and I am very honored to have won second place. I'd like to thank both the Sejong Cultural Society and my English tutor, Ms. Chang, for opening the door to this remarkable journey.
My name is Anusha Bharadvaj, and I am currently an 8th grader at International Community School in Kirkland, Washington.
I learned about this competition from my Humanities teacher, Mrs. Jackson. She is incredibly kind and was always available for my questions and encouraged me during the essay writing process. Researching for my essay taught me more about the vaccine struggle in the world and the inequality in vaccine accessibility.
My hobbies include sports, baking, music, and spending time with friends and family. My favorite sport is softball as I have been playing it for five years and continue to play it at a competitive level.
An important goal I have for the future is to work hard in school and find a balance between studying and extracurriculars. This writing experience was fun for me because I got to interpret the folktale and share my perspective.
My name is Marianna Druzhkova, and I am currently an eighth grade student at International Community School in Kirkland, Washington.
I first heard about this competition from my Humanities teacher, Mrs. Jackson. As someone who enjoys writing and spends most of their free time with a book, I thought that entering this competition would provide an excellent chance to learn and write about traditional Korean folklore. All folklore, from Celtic to Slavic, influences even the current way of life we lead today, so it was such a unique opportunity to learn about Korean culture in the form of creative and fine arts that connect to both the past and present.
My hobbies and skills include crocheting, hiking, spending time with my beloved dog Marble, and traveling. Some of my favorite book genres are folklore and mythology, and I have read about Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, Greek, Roman, Nordic, and Roman myths and legends.
In the future I hope to continue to nourish my love for writing and the arts, and to learn more about other cultures and their unique attributes.
I am very thankful to The Sejong Culture Society, Mrs. Jackson, and all my lovely friends at ICS that discussed together and supported each other as we worked on our essays.
My name is Hye Jung Shin and I am currently an 8th grader at Aptakisic Junior High School.
I heard about this competition by chance, through my sister. As she explained, I was immediately intrigued and was compelled to take part in this competition. As I read the folktale, I realized how important tradition is and was deeply moved by the inspiring morals and themes present in the tale. I’ve always enjoyed reading novels and reading historical fiction.
My hobbies include reading, dancing, and singing.
My personal heroes are my parents. In order to provide a better future for me and my sister, they left everything behind and came to new, strange land. They dealt with hardships just so that we could grow up in the land of opportunities. My parents’ resilience and determination has always been inspiring, and in the future, I wish to be like them. I also wish to pursue a career in the medical field.
I am extremely grateful for being given a chance to participate in the Sejong Writing Competition. Thank you!back to top
My name is Suniti Srinivasan. I am an 8th grader at International Community School in Kirkland, Washington. I heard about the Sejong Writing Competition through my Humanities teacher, Mrs.Jackson. This opportunity caught my eye as I grew up surrounded by folktales. While reading the Korean folktales, I connected them to the Indian folktales I had heard throughout my childhood. This competition allowed me to have a birds-eye view of these stories while also formulating my perception of a deeper meaning inside the story.
Outside of school, my leisure activities include boxing, sketching, reading, and participating in debate conferences through Model United Nations. I also interview authors outside of school. While representing We Need Diverse Books and contributing to their blog, I got the chance to interview my personal hero Laura Gao. She has inspired me by embracing her true identity as a queer Chinese-American. My future goals consist of participating in writing competitions, pushing my writing to its best, and interviewing more authors to learn more diverse perspectives on the world from the people around me. I am so grateful to my humanities teacher Mrs.Jackson for introducing me to this competition.back to top