2017 Sejong Writing Competition
|Adult Division||Senior Division||Junior Division|
Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto High School
Canyon View Elementary School
Thomas Jefferson High School
Manhattan Beach, CA
West Brook Middle School
Auburn University at Montgomery
The Weber School
Hermosa Beach, CA
Cambria Heights, NY
CUNY Queens College
Northern Valley Regional High School
San Diego, CA
University of Chicago
Durant High School
Manhattan Beach, CA
|Anna Rose Thomas|
*Honorable Mention - Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
My name is Emily Chun and I am a senior studying art history at Wellesley College. I am interested in the intersections of art, systemic issues of history/power, and knowledge-production, and particularly the ways in which a spiritual framework and art are fundamental in envisioning structural changes. I am serving as a fellow in a faith-based activism group after graduation in Boston, and hope to learn more about how we as POC can better excavate our voices, our power, and our sacramental realities.
Writing about Park Wan-Suh's "That Girl's House" in this year's competition pushed me to think more deeply about the politics of memory and time surrounding war. Weaving in literary analyses with these concepts was fun, and I am very grateful to Sejong Cultural Society for continuing these opportunities for us to engage with Korean literature.
My name is Brian Kim, and I am currently a high school English teacher at a public school in Yarmouth, Maine. As the son of two first-generation Korean immigrants and a student of Asian-American literature in college, the Sejong Writing Competition was a wonderful way for me to re-engage in and continue exploring my cultural identity. In pieces like "That Girl's House," I find examining the minute and delicate impacts of history on the individual to be most interesting; as I teach my students, these glimpses into the mindset of an author and a culture demonstrate the power of literature to empathize and educate.
During the summers, I teach Economic Game Theory to gifted and talented students, and I will be returning to the classroom as a student myself this coming fall to pursue my Ph.D. in Education Policy and Master's in Public Policy at the University of Virginia.
My name is Kelsey Hayes, and I work as a student recruiter and advisor for the Honors Program at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) in Montgomery, Alabama. I have an academic background in anthropology and education, and I hope to continue using both fields to help students learn and succeed in and out of the classroom. I love to write and travel, and I am especially interested in East Asian cultures. I heard about the Sejong Writing Competition through an email that I was asked to forward to my students, and while I encouraged them to give the contest a shot, I knew I had to participate too! This competition introduced me to the work of author Park Wan-suh and the wider world of modern Korean fiction. I loved Wan-suh’s writing style and great depth of emotion behind every word. I look forward to reading more of her work and hope to one day travel to South Korea where I can fully experience her writing in person. Many thanks to the Sejong Cultural Society for this amazing opportunity! Kamsahamnida 감사합니다!
My name is Dante Kirkman, and I’m a student at Palo Alto Senior High School in Palo Alto, California. I am also a writer, visual artist, filmmaker and boxer. I got involved with the Sejong Cultural Society by chance because of my interest in folklore and poetry, and now I am very interested in comparative literature. I have found that learning about Korean culture and history is incredibly interesting. It has expanded my horizons and helped me think about universal themes in art and literature, as well as the hardships and struggles of people throughout history. My overarching interest is in storytelling as the common thread that unites humanity. I am grateful to the author, Chon Kwangyong, for the unforgettable character of Yi Inguk, M.D. I am also grateful to Professor Minsoo Kang, for being kind e
My name is Angie Sohn, and I am currently a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. As a Korean-American, I am interested about my heritage and am always looking for new ways to explore the Korean culture - whether it's through avidly watching Korean films, listening to Korean music, or as of late, reading more about the intricate history of the Korean peninsula. After discovering the Sejong Writing Competition through a chance encounter, I was eager to submit an entry and read a work of writing that takes place during mid-20th century Korea, a time when many crucial events occurred which shaped the peninsula into what it is today.
Aside from exploring my Korean roots, I am also interested in learning about other cultures and languages; in particular, I've thoroughly enjoyed all of my three years of learning Spanish thus far. I am also passionate about education and I regularly dedicate time to tutor and interact with younger students in my community, hoping to instill in them a love for learning and goals to work towards.
In the future, I would like to either pursue work in the educational research field - solving the issue of inequity among our nation's youth, or become a psychologist; regardless of what I choose to pursue in the future, I am determined to help others through my work. Lastly, I hope to delve deeper into Korean works of writing, and I believe participating in this competition has served as the first step in this exciting journey to greater understanding and appreciation for Korean literature.
My name is Samuel Weiss-Cowie, and I am a junior at the Weber School in Atlanta, Georgia. For years I have been an avid fan of Korean popular culture, particularly K-pop. Over the past year, I have been writing reviews of current Korean music for K-Ville Entertainment. When I'm not listening to K-pop, I enjoy watching theater, playing video games, and reading a wide variety of books, from classics to contemporary novels, especially the works of Kurt Vonnegut.
I am currently looking at colleges, and hope to pursue a dual degree in neuroscience and East Asian studies, with a focus on Korea. In addition, I am looking to follow a pre-medical track, and am excited to be getting practical experience volunteering at a local hospital this summer.
I would like to thank my former English teacher, Mr. Bradford, for pointing out this competition, and my current English teacher, Ms. Skott, for supporting my efforts. I enjoyed the opportunity this contest gave me to experience Korean literature, a medium that I have only had limited exposure to.
My name is Seungyeop Phee, and I am currently a sophomore at Northern Valley Regional Highschool at Demarest. I enjoy playing soccer, reading books, and drawing. My English teacher encouraged me to participate in this competition. While writing my essay on “Kapitan Ri” by Chon Kwangyong, I was able to learn more about both the past and the contemporary Korean societies and how different groups of people may have varying opinions about a particular action. I would like to thank my family, my friends, and my teachers for all their support and encouragement throughout my life.
My name is Jordan, I'm a senior in high school, and I live in Florida. From a young age, I've loved words. I love to read them, and I especially love to write them. I'm a poet by nature, but I also write fiction and nonfiction as inspiration strikes me. I love "Kapitan Ri" because it speaks to the importance of understanding between people. Literature teaches lessons applicable in real life, and I think that's what makes it so powerful. Currently, I am taking AP English Literature in school. I love the diversity of texts my teacher, Mrs. Estes, has us read. I'd like to give special thanks to her. Throughout my four high school years she has been my mentor and has helped me sharpen my craft. Taking creative writing in school has been such a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
As for my future plans, I will be attending University of South Florida in the fall and I plan to study medicine. I'm thinking of combining my writing skills with scientific pursuits through medical research. I really want to make a difference in the world, and I think I can best do it through writing.
My name is Alyssa Tang and I am a sixth grader at Canyon View Elementary School. I love to read most genres: fantasy, time travel science fiction, and realistic fiction. My favorite type of stories is about kids who overcome obstacles in their lives. In my free time, I like to write fun narratives with my friends and draw cute animals. I also like to work on coding projects and do science experiments. I enjoy watching Brain Games and hope to study how the brain works and combine that with computer science when I’m older.
I learned a lot about Korean folktales by reading the collection for this competition. Like other ethnic folktales, they have reinforced many life lessons for me. Through the essay writing process, I learned to not only analyze the stories but also connect the them to real life experiences.
My name is Annabelle McCulloch, and I am 12 years old and currently in the sixth grade at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, a few miles away from my hometown Manhattan Beach, where I have lived my whole life. Living only a few minutes from the beach, I can be found there quite often. I especially love to snorkel, swim and body surf. Besides going to the beach, my hobbies include reading, traveling, surfing, volleyball, and playing with my dog, Roper.
I first heard about the Sejong Writing Competition from my humanities teacher, and I was thrilled and eager to take part in the competition. I have had a passion for writing ever since kindergarten, and in my free time I love to write my own little books. When I’m older, I hope to become an Author or Movie Director. I wanted to join this competition to challenge myself as a writer, and to improve my essay writing skills. It was also very interesting to learn more about Korean literature,something I hadn’t read before. But now I am happy that I was able to learn more about both my strengths as a writer and Korean creative writing. I am so glad that I had the chance to contribute my writing to the Sejong Writing Competition and take part in such a fun and interesting event.
Hello, my name is Dodie Park, I am thirteen years old and in seventh grade. I enjoy playing the flute and swimming in the summer. I hope to study in the medical field in the future.
The Sejong Cultural Society was a way to revive my Korean identity. Writing my essay helped me develop my knowledge of Korean history and culture. I would like to thank the Sejong Cultural Society for sharing opportunities.
My name is Annie Cushman, I am 12 years old and a sixth grader at Chadwick School. I have lived in Hermosa Beach California for my whole life, and I love it here. Some of my personal hobbies include dance, horseback riding, baking, and playing football with my family at the beach. Someday I would like to be in real estate where I can apply my passion for art and math.
I learned about the Sejong writing competition from my humanities teacher who encouraged our class to give it a try. Through the process of writing my essay I learned the importance of perseverance, patience, and commitment. There were times when I did not want to read my essay one more time to check for errors, or transition issues, but I knew it wouldn’t be my best work until the day I turned it in. This was a great experience for me to learn about Korean culture, and expand my cultural knowledge in a fun and exciting way.
My name is Caroline Halliday. I am 14 years old, and I attend Hutchison School in Memphis, TN. I enjoy reading novels (dystopian in particular). One of my favorite trilogies is the Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi. I also love playing lacrosse for my school’s team, and I cannot wait to play on the Varsity team next year because our school has won the Tennessee state lacrosse championships for the past six years. I am a huge fan of basketball although I do not play it anymore, and I love supporting the Memphis Grizzlies. Tony Allen is probably my favorite player next to Wade Baldwin III because Wade played for Vanderbilt which is another one of my favorite teams. I have a passion for science. I love biology and learning about people and animals and how they work. I aspire to be a zoologist when I grow up and help to study and discover new species of organisms.
I heard about this competition from my English and Global Studies teachers. My Global Studies teacher, Mr. Reynolds, told us about the competition because at the time we were studying Korea. He first had us write the essay in class, excluding the part about the competition. A few weeks later, my English teacher, Ms. Lawrence, told us about the essay contest. I learned so much about the history and rich culture of Korea and how the folktales of the region apply to what actually happened. The tales are relevant not only in Korea, but in our daily lives. I have acquired so much new and valuable knowledge not only from the folktales, but from writing my essay as well.back to top
My name is Avery Roth, and I am in the sixth grade at Chadwick School in Southern California. My interests include traveling, playing the violin, and swimming. I have always hoped to grow as a writer and eventually publish my own novel.
My grandmother is from Korea, which motivated me to further explore my culture and write about a folktale I grew up reading. I discovered a completely different view of the story that I never would have if I hadn’t persisted and not given up during the writing of this essay. I am definitely happy that I took the time to contribute an essay in the Sejong Writing Competition and I learned so much about my strengths and weaknesses as both a writer and a person.back to top
My name is Anna Rose Thomas. I am 14 years old and a student at Hutchison School of Memphis, Tennessee. I play tennis on my school team as well as in many outside groups. My favorite tennis player is Angelique Kerber from Germany. I also love to draw. I don’t take classes, but sometimes I’ll sketch something just for fun. I would like to go into advertising in the future. I love making commercials and slogans and think this career would fit me perfectly.
In my school, Global Studies is our history class. We focus on Asia as a continent and the countries inside of it. We had just finished learning about North and South Korea when it was time for exams. We worked on the folk tale essay in English and Global Studies. In English, we read the folk tales, and in Global Studies, we learned about Korea and connected the two. This essay ended up being my exam.
In English, we edited the papers and prepared them for the competition. I would like to thank my global studies teacher Mr. Reynolds for teaching me about North and South Korea and my English teacher Mrs. Lawrence for giving me the folk tales and informing me about this competition. I also entered a sijo poem. It was a complete surprise to learn that I had won something, and I would like to thank my teachers for helping me write my essay. I also want to thank my parents for always encouraging me. They push me and all my siblings to do our best in everything we do, and I’m so thankful for all of the support they provide.back to top
My name is Elizabeth Wood. I’m fourteen years old and attend Hutchison School in Memphis, Tennessee. My favorite artist is Hieronymus Bosch, my favorite painting is No Quiero Ir al Cielo, and my favorite time is 7:34 on a Saturday night. I run for the track team and play tennis whenever I can find the time, but my interests are of a more artistic strain.
Writing my essay allowed me to explore both the history and culture of the Korean Peninsula. I had to expand my point of view to make comparisons and find correlations between statistics, historical events, and the soul of two countries. I learned a lot about how, while North and South Korea are portrayed as bitter enemies, they are of one culture and one people..back to top