Persky’s for the Published
by Nicholas O'Toole on Friday, May 22nd, 2015
On Monday, May 18th, the English Department awarded its 36th annual Persky Awards to some of Milton’s best student journalists, artists, and creative writers. The Laurence S. Persky Memorial Awards were officially established in the early 1980s in commemoration of a prominent Milton student writer who passed away shortly before his Class I year. The honors have been awarded on an annual basis to Milton students who create excellent works that are published in the largest publications on campus: The Milton Measure, The Milton Paper, Magus Mabus, The F-word, Helix, The Asian, and the yearbook.
The recipients of the awards are determined by a panel of professional writers. This year’s judges were Jesse Graves, a rising young poet, Bruce Mohl, a journalist, Ian Torney, head of the Visual Arts department, and science journalist Gregory Mone–each judging content from their field.
This year’s speaker was Laura Gottesdiener, a 2006 Milton alumna and freelance journalist who has worked for a number of publications, including Ms. Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, and The Arizona Republic amongst many others. Ms. Gottesdiener spoke on her transition from Milton to professional journalism. Initially working as a publication-based journalist and later developing into a freelance journalist she stated, “a lot of my trajectory was either not getting jobs or getting jobs and immediately wanting to quit them.” Ms. Gottesdiener spoke at length about her journey to success, telling the writers present that while freelance journalism may seem uncertain compared to the stability of a job with a steady income, freelance is ultimately worth the uncertainty because “everything is different when a writer is present.”
This year’s Persky Award winners include Julia Grace (I) for her poem “My Father, Falling Asleep at the Wheel” published in the Magus Mabus Spring 2015 edition as well as for her science essay “Left-Brained, Right Brained Myth: Debunked” in Helix. Hannah Iafrati (I) was given an award for her fiction “A Story for David” also in the Magus Mabus Spring 2015 edition. Constantine Velmahos, Iladro Sauls, Hannah Iafrati, Katie Berry, Minh-Anh Day, and Neekon Vafa (all Class I) won a prize for their editorial “Extramural Extracurriculars” published in The Milton Measure on December 5, 2014. Harry August (I) was awarded for his commentary entitled “The Spring Solution” in The Milton Paper on February 13, 2015, and Katie Berry (I) for her news report “Todd Bland Makes $635,392 Annually” in The Milton Measure on September 19, 2014. Tiara Sharma (II) won for her news feature “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: An Overview of Mental Health Support at Milton” in The Milton Paper on April 10, 2015, Kate Blauer (I) for her sports story “Playing ‘Like A Girl’” in The F-Word’s Winter 2015 Edition, Ellen Askey (I) for her A&E article “I Love I Hate Hamlet: Inside The Preparation For The Winter Play” in the Milton Paper on February 20, 2015, Caroline Wall (I) for her work of art “Specimen #705” on page 81 of Magus Mabus’ Winter 2014 edition, and Juliet Pesner (II) for her untitled work of photography on page 28 of Magus Mabus’ Winter 2014 edition. Jacob Aronoff (II) and Julia Lebovitz (III) were awarded for their contributions to the production of the yearbook, and Caitlin Cheng (I) for her dedication to and oversight of the yearbook production process.
A number of the winners expressed their gratitude. Ellen Askey (I) said, “it feels spectacular to win…I like that writing about what you care about is rewarded.” Mr. Ball was very pleased with this year’s winners, speaking at length about “the outstanding work” the students had done. Ms. Gottesdiener expounded on this year’s winners, exclaiming, “the writing program at Milton is why I’m a writer today.”
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=7065