Junior wins Scholastic Gold Key for WWII inspired story

Many people dream of becoming authors, but few take the steps to get to that point. Junior John Fitzgibbons has done just that by submitting an original work to Scholastic.

Fitzgibbons won a Scholastic Gold Key award for his story “The Dollhouse Rebellion.”

The story follows a family of dolls living in a realistic world. As the story progresses, the reader learns that the doll family is part of a minority that is being targeted and follows them as they weigh the costs of fighting for their survival.

“I was really surprised, I was really happy obviously, I had not been expecting to place at all so I was really happy to get that [award],” said Fitzgibbons.

Along with his gold key award, Fitzgibbons received an American Voices nomination. The gold key awards are considered for a national-level recognition.

“I tried to focus on the resilience and the panic of the people who were being oppressed, and how they had to balance the fear and their will for survival,” said Fitzgibbons.

The scholastic art and writing competition received nearly 340,000 submissions this past year. Fitzgibbons was nominated as top 5 in the South Central Pennsylvania region.

“I submitted because I’ve always liked writing, creative writing in particular,” said Fitzgibbons. “When I found this opportunity I thought it would be a good chance for me to see how people would react to my work”.

His piece was inspired by the actions Joseph Stalin made during World War 2 and the oppressive actions that were made toward other European countries.

“Emotionally it just took hard work, since it was the longest thing I’d written at the time,” said Fitzgibbons. “I had to tell myself that I thought it was a story worth telling.”

Before submitting his piece, Fitzgibbons received an approval from English teacher Christin Opreska.

“I knew that he’d be able to do really well and regardless of whether he would win lose or draw, I would support him in this endeavor,” said Opreska. “It was creative and interesting and very different than that type of writing that we are able to do in classes here at Cedar Crest.”

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