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The following outstanding student writers were honored May 6 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

Tyler Buller is a senior at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa, where he is the editor in chief of the Black and White, the school's student newspaper. He is also involved in mock trial, club soccer, show choir, concert choir and, obviously, newspaper. He intends to study journalism and political science next year, and was accepted to NYU, though he is unsure of whether he will attend there.

Tyler's winning entries:

The value of a busy life

School board elections and my liberal agenda: revisited

Feature Writing Winner

Danielle Karstens is a high school senior at Francis Howell North High School where she is the co-editor in chief of the school's newsmagazine North Star. Danielle was the 2006 Missouri High School Journalist of the Year and she plans to major in journalism in college. Danielle is also involved in Student Council, NHS, Drama, Volunteer Knights, Freshmen Mentor Program, and Mu Alpha Theta.

Danielle's winning entries:

Father Time prepares for Change: As time ticks away for the final game at Busch, fans experience traditions for the last time.

Cahall's passion for climbing is rock-steady

News Writing Winner

Meegan Brooks is a senior at Granite Bay High School, and is the co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Gazette. She has interned with The Sacramento Bee, founded Muse, an independent news magazine, and is currently a paid contributing writer for two professional community magazines that have a cumulative readership of over 200,000. Brooks is also the vice president of her school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter, and active in the Intramural Sports Club. Next year, she will major in Mass Communications at the University of California, Berkeley.

Meegan's winning entries:

'Epidemic': Prescription drug abuse is on the rise

Running on empty

Sports Writing Winner

Faraaz Siddiqui is a senior at Lakota East High School. He has been a member of the Spark Newsmagazine for the past three years serving as astaff writer, entertainment editor, and a managing editor. He is also a three-year member of the East varsity tennis team and is serving as team captain inthis, his final year. He plans on attending The Ohio State University in the fall and majoring in journalism and graphic design.

Faraaz's winning entries:

Weighing in

A new age A revolution in sports or a controversy waiting to erupt?

2006 Hemingway Award Finalists


  • Kathryn Chinn, senior, Grand Junction High, Grand Junction, CO.
  • Amara Nwannuau, junior, Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, DE.
  • Tyler Buller, senior, Johnston High, Johnston, IA.
  • Andrea Waterfield, senior, Francis Howell North High, Saint Charles, MO.
  • Ariel Arbisser, senior, Central High, Davenport, IA.
Feature Writing
  • Amy Holiday, sophomore, Granite Bay High, Granite Bay, CA.
  • Amanda R. Hoff, senior, Timberland High, Wentzville, MO.
  • Annalise Shumway, senior, Clayton High, Clayton, MO.
  • Danielle Karstens, senior, Francis Howell North High, St. Charles, MO.

    (judge selected only four in this category)
News Writing
  • Andrew DeLong, senior, East Lake High, Tarpon Springs, FL.
  • Stephanie A. Rigione, senior, Sacred Heart High, Kingston, MA.
  • Kristen Dreisig, senior, Lakota East High, Liberty Township, OH.
  • Meegan Brooks, senior, Granite Bay High, Granite Bay, CA.
  • Emily Baltz, senior, Roxbury High, Succasunna, NJ.
Sports Writing
  • Jennifer Binder, senior, Grand Junction High School, Grand Junction, CO.
  • Faraaz Siddiqui, senior, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township, OH.
  • Lauren Martell, junior, Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton, CA.
  • Brad Engel, senior, Lakota East High, Liberty Township, OH.
  • Nick Viglietti, senior, Granite Bay High School, Granite Bay, CA.

The 2006 Hemingway Finalist Judges

  • H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, author of

    Friday Night Lights
  • Malcolm Gibson, reporter, editor and news executive, who is not general manager and news adviser of the University Daily Kansan.
  • Tom Burton, reporter,

    Chicago bureau of the Wall Street Journal .
  • Bill Tammeus, reporter and award-winning faith columnist for The Kansas City Star.
  • Joe Stephens, former investigative reporter at The Kansas City Star and now at the Washington Post. Stephens has won three George Polk Awards, most recently in 2005.
  • Mark Zieman, vice president and editor of

    The Kansas City Star .

Other Program Information

Special Guests

Edwina Hemingway

The Program

Welcoming Remarks

    Mark Zieman

    Editor, The Kansas City Star
Luncheon Speaker
    H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, author, Friday Night Lights

    Buzz Bissinger is a former reporter for the Chicaco Tribune and the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he shared the 1987 Pulitzer for investigative reporting , and he is the author of the best-seller Friday Night Lights and most recently A Prayer for the City. He still lives in Philadelphia, is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and listened to hours of Bon Jovi while writing FNL.

Presentation of Awards
  • News...Steve Shirk, Managing Editor
  • Features...Bill Norton, TeenStar Editor
  • Commentary...Miriam Pepper, Editorial Page Editor
  • Sports...Sam Mellinger, High School Sports Columnist

Kansas City Star Participants

Semi-Finalist Judges:

  • Jeanne Meyer, managing editor
  • Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, opinion-page columnist
  • Steve Shirk, managing editor
  • Wright Thompson, reporter/Sports Daily
Awards Coordinators
  • Mark Zieman, editor/vice president
  • Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator
  • Lisa Lopez, administrative assistant
Awards Sponsor
  • Mac Tully, president and publisher