$9,500 won by LaFollette high school students in writing contest


MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Local students at LaFollette High School have won money in the “Schuster Short Prose” writing contest.

The results of the annual Robert M. Schuster Short Prose Contest are in and four winners were chosen, who received scholarships totaling $9,500.

There were a total of over 30 juniors and seniors who sent in their stories and essays, responding to this year’s prompt; “suddenly”.

The winning play, which was submitted by junior Julian Arenas, focused on the consequences of climate change and won him $5,000 which he can use to further his education. “Since we launched the Schuster Prizes in 2018, global warming has been a recurring motif in these children’s writing, no matter what theme is assigned,” said Madison author David Benjamin, who launched the competition in 2018.

The contest is named after Benjamin’s own high school friend who died in 2016 from leukemia, Robert M. Schuster. The competition money comes in part from Schuster’s wife, Kathy, as well as the inheritance of another friend and classmate who also died in 2016, Peggy Benjamin, as well as other former students of La Folette.

Over the five years of the program’s existence, a total of $43,000 in scholarships has been awarded to various LaFollette students.

Benjamin said, “I suspect this is one of the most, if not the most, generous grant programs for young writers in Wisconsin.”

Other winners include Amaia Gaulon (senior), Natalia Murillo-Solis (senior), Cameron Miller (junior). Honorable mentions: Margaret Joyce (senior), Connor Keane (senior) and Carlos “Alex” Villota (junior).

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