Chagrin Falls High School Student Wins Power of the Pen Award

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Marie Kanzinger, rising sophomore at Chagrin Falls High School, was the recipient of the Powerful Pen Award from the Power of the Pen program at the end of her freshman year.

The Power of the Pen organization aims to be the leading interscholastic program in written expression. The organization holds interscholastic tournament competitions for students in the seventh and eighth grades throughout Ohio and assists teachers in facilitating better student writing. Teachers are also provided with an educational network to share ideas and instructional materials.

Of the more than 10,000 stories produced during a single Power of the Pen season, fewer than 100 are selected for publication in the annual Book of Winners. The Powerful Pen Award is reserved for the rare writers who have had at least four pieces published in the Book of Winners over a two-year time span. 

Marie wrote ten stories for Power of the Pen tournaments during her eighth-grade year at Chagrin Falls Middle School. Among those, four were recognized as Best of the Best”. Marie won first place in the eighth-grade Power of the Pen state tournament and was the 2019 state champion. Her four Best of the Best stories as well as her Award-Winning Poem from the State  Tournament are in the 2020 Book of Winners. Because Power of the Pen was on hiatus during her sophomore year, all four of her qualifying stories for the Powerful Pen Award were written in a single season.

One of Marie’s stories “Mother and Daughter,” in which a young girl copes with the loss of her Mother by borrowing a book from the library. The book gives the girl insight into what it is like to have a Mother, and when another girl checks out the book, the main character understands that other people need to heal as well. 

In the 2020 Power of the Pen State Awards video, Barb Tschantz, Executive Director of Power of the Pen read Marie’s story and said, “Marie really understands the power of storytelling to change people’s hearts and help them heal.” 

Marie’s story and her biography can be found on the Power of the Pen website at: https://powerofthepen.wildapricot.org/Powerful-Pen-1#MarieKanzinger

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