2017 Sejong Writing Competition

Sijo Winners


  Sijo
First Place Clint Gersabeck
Golden, CO
9th grade, Ms. Deb Holland
D'Evelyn High School
sijo
Second Place Aidan Boyle
Littleton, CO
9th grade, Ms. Deb Holland
D'Evelyn High School
sijo
Third Place Emma Senkbeil
Sussex, WI
11th grade, Ms. Elizabeth Jorgensen
Arrowhead Union High School
sijo
Maddie Shipshock
Hartland, WI
11th grade, Ms. Elizabeth Jorgensen
Arrowhead Union High School
sijo
Honorable Mention

Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
Alena Fahndrick
Thousand Oaks, CA
12th grade, Ms. Rebecca Adams
La Reina High School
sijo
Emma Maurer
Sherman Oaks, CA
7th grade, Mr. Caleb Humphreys
Beverly Vista School
sijo
Decker Riggan
Pewaukee, WI
11th grade, Ms. Elizabeth Jorgensen
Arrowhead Union High School
sijo
Sarina Tajuddin
Naperville, IL
10th grade, Ms. Gillian Schneider
Nequa Valley High School
sijo
Samantha Taylor
Harrison, TN
12th grade, Mr. Chuck Newell
Notre Dame High School
sijo
Rose Zhou
Jamesville, NY
11th grade, Mr. Matthew Philips
Jamesville Dewitt High School
sijo

Aidan Boyle

second place

My name is Aidan Boyle and I am a freshman at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. I love to play soccer and basketball. I played for my high school's JV soccer team this year and it was truly a blast. I did not try out for my school’s basketball team but I love playing it with my friends. I hope to one day become a mechanical or chemical engineer because I love science and math.

My Non-Western Civilizations teacher, Mrs. Holland, told the class about this competition and encouraged all of us to write a poem and submit it in the competition. She taught us the basic format but let us use our creativity to create a meaningful poem that was powerful to each individual person.

The poem I wrote was written in my history class. I was sitting in class on a cold January morning, thinking of something to write my poem about. I thought of the things I loved from sports, to food, but finally winter popped into my head and I knew I there had to be something in winter that I could write about. I decided on hot chocolate but had to think of something like it; a volcano! I wrote the poem, turned it in, and won second place. I am honored to receive this reward and I would like to thank Mrs Holland for pushing me to write the poem and the Sejong Cultural society for this great opportunity.

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Emma Senkbeil

third place tie

My name is Emma Senkbeil, but most people call me Vi. I'm 17-years-old, a junior, and I attend Arrowhead High School. In my free time, I can usually be found doing one of three things: making art, playing video games, and, if the weather permits it, spending time in the forests near my home. I plan on finding a job as an artist of some sort, preferably in animation or character design/concept art. Many things inspire me to make art, but people and animals inspire me the most. My teachers, my family, my friends, my partner, and all those I look up to are to thank for my creations.

I found out about this competition in my creative writing class. I should specifically thank my teacher, Ms. Jorgensen, for this honor, as she has been teaching me how to paint pictures with my words, an ability I’ve always admired in others.

My sijo, Ex-Con, is about a topic I personally care for deeply. I’ve grown up around animals of all shapes and sizes, and naturally I love them all. So it pains me when I know there are hundreds of thousands of animals each day left forgotten at pounds and humane societies. All of these animals deserve loving homes and families; however, many of them never get adopted, and either live out their life in a cold metal cage or are put down before their time. To whoever may be reading this: if you are considering finding a pet, I ask you to adopt rather than shop—they’ll love you unconditionally in return.

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Maddie Shipshock

third place tie

My name is Maddie Shipshock. I am 17-years-old and I go to Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. I love to play tennis, draw and paint, and hang out with my family and friends. I have played many sports throughout my childhood, but ever since I started playing tennis a few years ago, it has been my favorite. Tennis is a sport you can play for a lifetime. My favorite subject in school is art. I am a creative person and I have a large imagination. Art allows me to express how I see the world and provides a good way for me to relax from my busy life. Along with my creativity, I enjoy math and science. A combination of these three things would be in the ideal job I hope to find someday.

“Reach for the Stars” is a poem that describes a child with a huge imagination. It’s about a kid who aspires to be an astronaut. At first, it seems as if the poem is about the first person to step on the moon. However, the mother’s voice indicates that this is her child daydreaming outside in the backyard. I think we all remember moments like this when our imagination has pulled us away from reality.

I heard about this competition from my teacher Ms. Jorgensen in Creative Writing. I saw this writing contest as a difficult challenge I could use to become a better writer. Creative Writing taught me how writing can be an art just like drawing and painting. Writing is a way to express myself and to challenge myself to think outside the box. I am thankful for everything Ms. Jorgensen taught me and I am pleased to be a part of this contest.

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Emma Maurer

honorable mention

My name is Emma Maurer and I am a 7th grader at Beverly Vista School in Beverly Hills, California. I am a true academic who especially loves reading and writing. My favorite genres of books are fantasy and realistic fiction. I come from a family of performers and musicians which has influenced my passion for musical theater, playing trumpet, and dance. I have been part of my mom’s theater program, “A Taste of Broadway,” since I was in first grade. I also take part in a summer theater camp where I have done such roles as Tracy in HAIRSPRAY, Simba in THE LION KING, and Lumiere in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I play trumpet in the Advanced Band at my school, as well as the District Honor Band. I study ballet, jazz, and tap and have recently become an assistant to my teacher at my dance studio. I love working with younger children which is why one of my future aspirations is to become a pediatrician. In addition to all of this, I love spending time with my family and friends and just being a kid. I am incredibly honored to have been recognized by the Sejong Cultural Society for my sijo, and would like to thank Mr. Humphreys for all of his guidance and support.

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Decker Riggan

honorable mention

My name is Decker Riggan. I live in Hartland, WI. I am a junior attending Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. When I am older, I want to become a family or relationship therapist. I have always been the go-to person for help with personal or relationship issues. I enjoy being honest and open. I have had family and friendship issues in the past so I would love to help out people with their issues. I love playing basketball, video games, and golfing. I learned about this competition in my creative writing class. When I found out I won, I didn’t believe it. I never expected to win, but I was very proud of myself when I found out I did. I loved writing my sijo because I felt like I created a story that could be seen differently by each reader.

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Sarina Tajuddin

honorable mention

Sarina Tajuddin is a sophomore at Neuqua Valley High School. She is very passionate about science and speech, and is a varsity member of the Neuqua Valley Speech Team. Sarina has been writing poetry for five years. She heard about the Sejong Sijo Writing Competition through her English teacher Ms. Schneider, and was very eager to learn a new, unique poetic style. In the future, she hopes to further explore sijo and continue to write more poems.

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