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March 2017
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ACT Students Win Big in Variety of Writing Contests

Creative Writing students at EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) have won recognition again this spring from several prestigious contests and publications.  

ACT students’ poetry and fiction won 39 awards in the regional 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest, a record-breaking number for the small, public, arts magnet high school in downtown Willimantic.  

ACT students earned 12 Gold Keys, 13 Silver Keys and 14 Honorable Mentions in the annual contest’s regional competition, which includes students from Connecticut and six other northeastern U.S. states. 

Last year, 15 ACT students won a total of 27 regional Scholastic Awards, and only two were Gold Keys. One Gold-Key winner this year went on to earn a national Silver Key.

“To see so many ACT students recognized by such a stellar contest is incredibly exciting,” said ACT’s only Creative Writing teacher, Barbara Greenbaum. 

ACT senior Evan Saunders, who earned four Gold Keys and an Honorable Mention, said, “Barbara has taught me so much, and I am extremely grateful for this honor.” 

“When I received the news from Barbara that I’d received two Golden Keys and a Silver Key, it was like Willy Wonka was handing me the Golden Ticket!” said junior Victor Sun.

Two ACT students will also attend the highly competitive New England Young Writers Conference this May at the “Bread Loaf” campus of Middlebury College in Vermont. The national conference invites 200 talented young writers to hone their writing skills, network with fellow writers and attend workshops with published authors. 

Four ACT students’ creative writing works have also been honored by Connecticut Student Writers magazine, part of UCONN’s Connecticut Writing Project, which honors exceptional writing talent among Connecticut’s K-12 students. 

“To have so many students in one department recognized for their talents says something about their teacher, Barbara Greenbaum,” said ACT Principal Sarah Mallory. “Our students learn and create in an environment where they can reach their artistic potential, and that is something we take pride in at ACT.” 

Contact Principal Sarah Mallory at


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