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Simon Sweeney, '19, Lands Honorable Mention in New York Times Student Review Contest
Posted 02/08/2018 02:39PM

Simon Sweeney, '19, recently earned an Honorable Mention in the annual New York Times Student Review Contest. Students are asked to choose any genre of creative work to review and to submit their reactions and opinions for critique by the editors of The Times. Out of 1,494 total entries throughout the country, Simon scored in the top 20 honorable mentions. 

Simon chose to review Peter Shaffer's Equus, as produced by Pittsburgh Public Theater. You can read his full review here.

Learn more about Simon: 

How did you learn about the New York Times Student Review Contest? 

I learned about the contest by way of an email from Ms. Budacki. I thought it seemed like fun and liked the excuse to have to write something, so I went for it.

What activities are you involved in at Central?  

I’m involved in Quiz Bowl and inline hockey. 

Who is your favorite teacher and why? 

I’d say my favorite teacher is probably Mr. O’Connor because he really nails the balance between reading and writing that makes English so interesting, and he’s definitely pushed me to improve my writing. A lot of my other humanities-based teachers have helped a lot as well, especially Ms. Budacki and Mr. Allen the past couple years.

What advice do you have for other student writers?

Write about things you care about. I don’t think there’s one key to it and I do a really bad job of following the standard advice on writing, so really I’d just say if you don’t care, it won’t be good. Writing about music and theater makes newspaper stuff really fun, and I love writing about books, so English class is generally an enjoyable writing experience as well, but I know a lot of people don’t feel the same, so write about what you want and it’ll be real at the very least, if not good.

What are your future career goals? 

I’m interested in journalism or other avenues of writing, but music has always been a dream and I’ve looked into politics a little, so the answer is: I don’t really know, but not an engineer.

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