BV student wins award in national writing contest

Friday, March 30, 2018

Berryville High School junior Jake Hill was named “Powerful Voice Winner” in YES! Magazine’s national writing contest.

Hill said he read and responded to the online Yes! Magazine article “Less Stuff, More Heart: 5 Gifts on a New Dad’s Christmas List” by Christopher Zumski Finke.

“It was a short story contest,” Hill said. “The prompt was ‘If there was one non-materialistic gift you could have, what would it be?’ “

He said he chose to write about the unexpected loss of his friend Kayla Dotson and learning to trust the journey in an essay titled “Kayla.”

“I wrote about how for me the one gift I would want would be to have one more conversation with my friend who died over the summer,” Hill said. “I never got to say goodbye, so that is what I wrote about.”

He said he felt proud to be published in YES! Magazine.

“I was pretty proud of myself because I’m not usually one of the strongest writers,” he said, “but this was something I really tried hard on to give my friend justice.”

Hill said his English teacher Krystle Lindsey encouraged her students to write responses to the magazine’s prompt.

“I’m good at writing, but I’m more focused on business and finances for my future career,” Hill said. “I liked the prompt and thought I had a good idea for it. It helped that my English teacher was like ‘Here. We’re writing for this one. Do it well.’ “

Since he is in Advanced Placement (AP) English, Hill said his essay was submitted at the college level instead of the high school level.

“So I also competed against college students,” he said. “I worked hard to get it done and actually won the national competition, which is pretty awesome.”

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