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The following outstanding student writers were honored April 26, 2003 at an awards luncheon at the Kansas City Club. Click here for a list of finalists, a list of our blue-ribbon judges, and other program information.

Commentary Winner

Scott Sode, Scott Sode is a junior at Lakota East High School where he is the co-editor of the opinion section of The Spark, the school's award-winning magazine, for which he also news and feature articles. He also is involved in the mock trial and theater programs at East. He wants to attend Northwestern University. In his sparetime he likes to golf, read and play tennis.

Scott's winning entries:

My Dog Ate My Homework, and I Had a Stroke

Rock Stars Are Totally Uncool

Feature Writing Winner

Saleet Wolf is a senior at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, Calif., where she has worked two years on the school's award-winning news magazine, Verde. This year she is one of three editors-in-chief. Next year she plans to attend New York University to prepare ``to write for the rest of my life.'' Outside school she has participated in The Diller Teen Fellowship that involves community service and cultural exchanges with countries like Isreal.

Saleet's winning entries:

Gender Bender

Right Drug, Wrong Mouth

News Writing Winner

Jennifer Gray, is a senior at Moffat County High School, in Craig, Colo., where she's been on the staff of the school paper, the Post Script, for four years, working as a reporter, editor, advertising manager and co-editor-in-chief. She's also worked three years on the school magazine the Pawstonian, as well as taking part in a simulated archeological dig. This fall she plans to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder to study communications.

Jennifer's winning entries:

MCHS students arrested, school officials precautionary

New Pepsi machines raise concerns for students present, future health

Sports Writing Winner

Mike Mullen, is a junior at Century High in Bismarck, N.D where he skipped the Journalism 1 but still earned a personal column and was named opinion editor of his school newspaper. The local paper also hired him as a sportswriter. He emulates what he reads in Esquire, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, applying the reporting tricks to his own stories. He also also has played varsity tennis for two years, qualifying for state in doubles each year. And, occasionally, he makes a deadline.

Mike's winning entries:

The sad story of King Saul

2003 Hemingway Award Finalists


  • Ashley Lottes, senior, Plantation High, Plantation, Fla.
  • Brett McEachern, senior, Lakota West, West Chester, Ohio.
  • Matt Bunke, senior, Wauwatosa East High, Wauwatosa, Wisc.
  • Nathan Brown, senior, Burnt Hills Rallston, Burnt Hills, NY.
Feature Writing
  • Noah Isserman, senior, University of Illinois Laboratory High, Urbana, Ill.
  • Jesse Leigh Trimble, sophomore, Columbus High, Columbus, Kan.
  • Corie Rast, senior, William Chrisman High, Independence, Mo.
  • Mary Varano, senior, Lakewood High, Lakewood, Ohio.
News Writing
  • Aaron Potter, senior, Oak Park High, Gladstone, Mo.
  • Lauren Sorrows, senior, Lakota East High, Liberty Twp, Ohio.
  • Kate Holloway, senior,Muncie Central High, Muncie, Ind.
  • Laura Stamm, senior, Granite Bay High, Granite Bay, Calif.
Sports Writing
  • Maggie Beckwith, senior, Lakewood High, Lakewood, Ohio
  • Tim Bardet, junior, Granite Bay High, Granite Bay, Calif.
  • Eric Ransom, senior, A&M Consolidated High, College Station, Texas.
  • Lindsay Heger, junior, Lakota East High, Liberty Twp., Ohio

The 2003 Hemingway Jury

  • Michael Quintanilla, features writer, Los Angeles Times
  • John Cherwa, the
  • Orlando Sentinel and president of the Associated Press Sports Editors.
  • Barbara Allen, editor of Satellite, the teen section of the Tulsa World.
  • Mark Zieman, vice president and editor of The Kansas City Star
  • Keith Woods, reporting, writing and editing group leader -- the Poynter Institute.
  • Dean Mills, dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Other Program Information

Special Guests

Patrick and Carol Hemingway, Bozeman, Montana

The Program

Welcoming Remarks

    Mark Zieman

    Editor, The Kansas City Star
Luncheon Speaker
    Thomas French, St. Petersburg Times

    Thomas French, 45, is a project reporter for the St. Petersburg Times who specializes in serial narratives, book-length stories that are published in the paper one chapter at a time. In 1998, French received the Pulitzer prize for feature writing for ``Angels & Demons,'' a project that followed a mother and her two daughters who were murdered when they came to Tampa Bay on vacation from their dairy farm in northwestern Ohio. Other projects included ``South of Heaven,'' which detailed a year in the life of students at Florida's Largo High School. It later was published as a book. In his spare time, French teaches writing to schoolchildren. This year, he has been working with his son's fifth-grade class in St. Petersburg.
Presentation of Awards
  • News...Steve Shirk, Managing Editor/Local and National News
  • Features...Mary Lou Nolan, Features Editor
  • Commentary...Miriam Pepper, Editorial Page Editor
  • Sports...Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator

Kansas City Star Participants

Semi-Finalist Judges:

  • Jeanne Meyer, managing editor/business and features
  • Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, opinion-page editor and columnist
  • Steve Shirk, managing editor for local/national news
  • Joe Posnanski, sports columnist
Awards Coordinators
  • Mark Zieman, vice president/editor
  • Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator
  • Lisa Lopez, administrative assistant
Awards Sponsor
  • Arthur Brisbane, president and publisher