Irvington Middle School Eighth Graders Named Finalists in NYT Personal Narrative Contest

(from left) Irvington Middle School eighth graders Tess Brady and Luke Calabrese. Photo courtesy of the Irvington Union Free School District

Irvington Middle School eighth graders Tess Brady and Luke Calabrese were named round-four finalists in the New York Times’ 2021-2022 Personal Narrative Contest. Brady entered the competition with her “Colors” essay and Calabrese entered with his “My Hit” essay.

Brady and Calabrese are among a group of 154 talented young writers – out of 11,000 applicants – who were named finalists. They completed their work as part of an assignment in teachers Tara Chillemi’s and Olivia Evanko’s English language arts classes.

“The students explored mentor personal narratives and reflected on their life experiences to craft a short, memorable experience in under 600 words,” Chillemi said. “We created lessons, exploring various narrative techniques and how to subtly incorporate reflective voice, and encouraged all students to submit their work to the contest.”

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