Poly Prep student is the Teen Ink Awards’ editor’s choice

Baijnath Credits Poly Teacher Christy Hutchcraft for Encouraging Her to Submit Her Story, “House”

January 8, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Teen Ink pinned an “Editor’s Choice” award on Poly junior’s Jada Baijnath ’15 short story, “House” and published it last month on Teen Ink’s website. Baijnath, a student in Poly’s Upper School “The Writer’s Life” class, credited her English teacher, Christy Hutchcraft with encouraging her to submit her work.

Since 1989, Teen Ink has been an outlet for teen writing in the forms of a magazine, website and books. According to Teen Ink, “You’ll find the Editor’s Choice badge, next to the best work on TeenInk.com. When you see this next to the title of a work, you know it’s something special. Our team of editors reads and reviews everything that’s submitted to Teen Ink—and when they see something that really stands out, they mark it as Editor’s Choice.”

“’The Writer’s Life’ is a creative writing course in Poly’s Upper School that offers students an opportunity to study and practice fiction and poetry techniques,” Hutchcraft explained. “Students develop creative pieces, workshop their stories and poems in class, and make revisions in response to feedback. At the end of the term, students submit their work to various journals and contests for publication.” (For more information on “The Writer’s Life” course and Poly’s Upper School English curriculum, click here.)

“House” is Baijnath’s powerful story about three young friends—Emma, the narrator, Peter, and Tessa—one of whom is living in an at-risk family situation.

Baijnath told the Pulse, “My Story, ‘House,’ was inspired by my own coming-of-age story of losing friends after middle school [and] after I started to grow up and find myself. I took a dramatic twist on this, of course, with my character, Emma, and her struggles at home, but I ultimately wanted to show that people underestimate what young kids can go through just because of their age. The emotions they feel and the struggles they go through are very real.”

“I was really self-conscious about submitting my story on Teen Ink,” Baijnath continued, “and I wouldn’t have done it if Ms. Hutchcraft didn’t make it a requirement. But I got the editor’s choice award on Teen Ink and I wouldn’t have gotten so much positive feedback if she hadn’t encouraged me to do so.”

To read Baijnath’s story in Teen Ink, click here.

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