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The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Creative writing club the Crow’s Nest wins VHSL Savedge award

After waking up and driving to school before some students are even awake, members of the creative writing club make their way to room 203 to begin collaborating on their main task, producing this year’s issue of The Crow’s Nest literary magazine. The atmosphere is light and inviting, and everyone, including Valerie Egger, the sponsor, is excited to be there.

Their 2023 issue, Patchwork, earned them another trophy class ranking from VHSL. Having earned five trophy class rankings since 2016 meant that the magazine also earned the Col. Charles E. Savedge Award for Sustained Excellence in Scholastic Journalism. The award, given to only four Virginia publications at the VHSL media championships, was named to honor Savedge as a significant figure in the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA) who strove to nurture the growth of journalism.

“It was amazing to win,” graduate Olivia Dewan said. “There’s always so much work put into something like that and it’s awesome to see that reflected.” A former editor of the publication, Dewan was part of the group during the COVID-19 pandemic and wrote for The Crow’s Nest throughout her high school career. 

The Crow’s Nest features creative writing and artwork from students and staff and is organized around a yearly theme. Seniors Kai Arcano and Beck Jewell recount the issue’s theme from last year.

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The staff chose several different patchwork patterns. “Different patterns had different meanings,” Arcano said. “Jacob’s ladder was climbing out of adversity, crazy quilt was crazy and miscellaneous, and another one was folding in on oneself.”

Arcano has been part of the Crow’s Nest since sophomore year and asked Jewell to join last year. 

“I like contributing to it. I like having the artwork and writing together,” Jewell said. “It’s really cool to see the finished product.”

Members of the Crow’s Nest Literary Magazine display last year’s VHSL awards. Left to right: freshman Hope Hathaway, senior Beck Jewell, freshman Scarlett Ashford, senior Kai Arcano, and sophomore Karan Singh. Photo courtesy of Valerie Egger.

Egger, who also serves as the adviser for this newspaper, said that in honor of the school’s 70th anniversary, The Crow’s Nest is currently working on a “Past, Present, and Future” issue.

“I’m excited to work with a larger team this year, and I think this year’s issue has a lot of potential considering the unique theme and all the different people working on it,” Jewell said. 

Many members of the club graduated last year, including Dewan. 

“The club definitely helped to build my confidence,” Dewan said. “She [Egger] encouraged me to work on my weakness and suggested that I enter other writing competitions. I didn’t win all of them, but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that when it comes to writing if you want to get really good, you have to push through barriers like that.”

Having this confidence gave Dewan the aspiration and assertiveness to pursue a double major in communications and professional writing, and “only advanced [her] love of writing”. 

“To any aspiring writer, the most important thing you can do is keep writing no matter what. Even if you doubt yourself, or don’t win competitions, every single word contributes to your progress,” Dewan said.

This year’s issue of The Crow’s Nest is accepting submissions until March.

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About the Contributor
Scarlett Ashford, staff writer
Scarlett Ashford is a freshman at Loudoun County High School, and this is her first year as a staff writer for The County Chronicle. She enjoys playing softball, has been playing piano for the past 7 years, and is 4th chair French horn for the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra. She spends her free time writing, reading, listening to rock music, and watching horror movies.

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