The Writing Initiative at BCHS celebrated  the art of writing at an honors reception on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. In its fourth year, TWI awarded $60,000 to thirty-three student writers who submitted entries in the Tales of 2020 and Best College Essay contests.
A proud Bristol Central alum, TWI founder Adrian Wojnarowski urged students to “start locally … and bring your spirit to whatever you do.” He cited the many ways TWI has attempted to enhance writing experiences for BCHS students: a special speaker series; writing workshops;  museum visits; theatre trips; and CT Forum programs of social and cultural significance. Stymied by the pandemic, TWI is hopeful for a reset of these activities next school year.
His concluding comment, “Regardless of what you choose to do in life, service to others is all that matters,” resonated with the audience. Clearly, the call to service has become the centerpiece of The Writing Initiative.

2021 Wordsmith Award Winners

The Writing Initiative’s highest honor, the $5000 Wordsmith Award, is given to the writer(s) who amass impressive portfolios over the duration of TWI.
The 2021 prizes were presented to four graduating seniors who have responded to every TWI activity with creative, substantive, provocative pieces of writing in every genre.

Alaina Gouin

University of CT

Jennifer Fomenko

University of CT

Madison Laprise

Yale University

Bowdi Miller

Florida State University

Best College Essay Winners Announced

The 2021 Best College Essay contest sponsored by The Writing Initiative drew sixty-six submissions. Several were selected for recognition.

Damani Hough

Central CT State University

Colton Litwinczyk

Bryant University

JiaXia Lin

Carnegie Mellon University

Honors $1000

Special Recognition

In Memory of Foo Field

Jessica Dangelo

University of Saint Joseph

Caitlin Hildebrand

University of Saint Joseph

Joshua Letourneau

Penn State University

Jenna Lowe

University of CT

Christopher Osuch

University of CT

Ramon Peters

University of CT

Natalia Popielarz

University of Maryland

Emma Quintero

University of CT
Elianys Rosado

Culinary Institute

Douglas Sato

Russell Sage College

Donald Sciascia

University of CT

Bryant Thai

University of CT

Gwen Torreso

University of CT

Lilian Wasta

Boston University

Sean Wininger

Central CT State University

Tales of 2020
Top Entries Recognized

Personal tales from this extraordinary year of the pandemic were as diverse as a letter of apology to BCHS, a thank you note to technology, and private journaling of loneliness and love, disappointment and dreams, failures and friendship.
Matthew Martin shared his “Tribute to Home” just before fiction writer Viet Cao wrestled the mic from the presenter to tell a new tale called “Why I’m Wearing a Hoodie Sweatshirt in 95 degree Weather.” Prizes of $100, $200, and $300 were presented to eleven storytellers.


Colin Cavallari

Leiza Vargas


Anne Antes
Viet Cao

Caitlin Hildebrand
Suzonna Shackford


Damani Hough
Martina Jagielski
Emily Levesque
Matthew Martin

Emma Quintero

Three BCHS faculty members were also recognized with $100 stipends for their personal stories from 2020.

Mrs. Jennifer Plourde
Mrs. Anya Rochester
Mrs. Tamara Stafford-Kirk
Note: Selected essays will appear on the TWI website. In deference to requests of the writers, several pieces will be withheld due to privacy issues.

Photography by Jon Horan.