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Wantagh High School student earns Scholastic writing award

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Nora Toscano, a sophomore at Wantagh High School, received an honorable mention from the Region-at-Large program of the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, for her short story “Go to Sleep.”

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative individuals in grades 7-12. The program identifies students with exceptional artistic and literary talents and presents their successes through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Student entries are adjudicated by leaders of the visual and literary arts, who look for works that exemplify the Award’s core values of originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Nora said her younger brother, Emmet, was the motivation for her short story, which depicts a girl who died as a result of a school shooting. In writing the story, she imagined what it would be like if her brother had been in the shooting depicted in the story.

“I had a burst of creative energy when I kissed my brother good night,” Nora said.  

Nora plans on pursuing a writing career but for now is an active reporter for the school newspaper, the Wantagh Warrior. She has her first Wantagh Warrior cover story being published this month about Wantagh High School’s Blue Ribbon status. Along with three classmates, Nora also published an article about a recent school holiday cookbook fundraiser, “Uniting a Community Through Food and Pets: How One High School is Making a Difference,” for The Imagine Society newsletter.

Nora is also talented on the playing field as she is with a pen as she plays defense on both the lacrosse and soccer teams.

—Brian Stieglitz