Every year since 1957 Newton high schools have given a creative writing prize in honor of M. Roland Heintzelman, a beloved English teacher at Newton High School who died suddenly and tragically in the spring of 1955. (Watch the short video below to hear a bit about the history of the contest and interviews with some of Mr. Heintzelman's former students).
The contest today begins in the English classes of juniors and seniors in both Newton high schools, who each submit to their English teachers a creative work, be they poetry collections, short stories, memoirs, even the occasional screenplay or short novel.
The best of those pieces--usually 100 or so across the city--move on to a semi-final round. A group of four teachers then reads all the entries and selects the 15 or so finalists, and a select group of teachers, students, retired teacher, and other interested people get together for an evening in the spring to discuss the finalists and choose winners. After the winners are announced, we hold a public reading at both high schools to which any teacher is invited to bring his or her class.
This year three students were named winners. Scroll down to read the winning entries from the two NSHS students who were honored, senior Abraham Brownell and junior Kat Quinn.