Holy Trinity student wins $2,000 writing prize

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A Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Catholic High School has received accolades for her fictional writing.

Sierra Miller placed second recently at the Laurier Stedman Prize writing competition for her short fiction piece titled Just Like That, They Were Strangers.

The story is about the end of a five-year relationship, inspired by an activity she did in her writer’s craft course.

“It’s just a really heartbreaking breakup story where the main character doesn’t know what to do and she’s really anxious,” said Miller. “She just can’t seem to get through to her partner.”

The Laurier Stedman Prize is a writing competition funded by a gift from Brantford’s Mary Stedman and administered by the English program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Laurier’s Brantford campus. It is open to high school students within the Grand Erie District School Board and the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board.

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Cash prizes are awarded for the winners one $3,000 first-place award, two $2,000 second-place prizes, and three $1,000 third-place prizes.

First place went to Samiha Sanjida of Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. Grace Ratelband of St. John’s College in Brantford was also a second place winner.

Each school is able to choose a maximum of four stories to enter into the contest.

Originally Miller`s friend was going to enter the contest but was unable to complete a story in time and suggested that Miller should take her place.

The awards ceremony took place in February where participants heard guest speakers and got to meet the other writers.

Before naming each of the winners, the announcers began by reading the first few lines of each piece.

“I was so anxious because I really struggled with finding myself through my writing,” said Miller. “They started calling out my name, I couldn’t feel anything or hear anything.”

Miller said the most memorable part of the awards night was hearing Canadian New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley speak about writing.

“Just hearing her talk about how everyone goes through a rough patch, and even if you don’t win you’re still worth something,” said Miller. “That was one of the best parts of the entire night.”

After completing her Grade 12 year at HT, Miller has plans to head onto Nippissing University to study social work.

She hopes to keep writing in her life both as a hobby and professionally.

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FULL LIST OF STEDMAN PRIZE WINNERS:

First Place – $3,000

The Year I Dreamt by Samiha Sanjida of Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School

Second Place – $2,000 each

Yellow by Grace Ratelband of St. John’s College in Brantford

Just Like That They Were Strangers by Sierra Miller of Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Simcoe

Third Place – $1,000 each

Eddy’s Ballad by Brady Cochrane of St. John’s College

Lianne by Sovai Deveto, of Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School

Just Let Go by Vibha Koottala of Assumption College School

Runners Up

The Frog Whisperer by Sam Earls of Waterford District High School

A Foxtrot with Death by Cassidie Kent of Waterford District High School

The Silver Spoon by Stephanie Pug of Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School

Little Did He Know by Chloe Schaefer of Paris District High School

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