The Acorn recognizes students for their short stories

OPHS student wins first place for “Fiction in a Nutshell,” two others receive honorable mentions


Photo Courtesy of the Acorn

Three Oak Park High School juniors are recognized in the Acorn for their flash dictionary narratives.

Three Oak Park High School students received recognition on Nov. 19 for their submissions into the Acorn’s “Fiction in a Nutshell” writing contest. Junior Delaney Pryor received first place for her story titled “Mack’s Gloves.” Juniors Abigail Daywalt and Piper Dobson both received honorable mentions for their submissions. 

“I have always loved creative writing and it’s brought a lot of joy to my life. When Mrs. Hankins offered the opportunity for extra credit, I had no idea it existed, so I was immediately very excited,” Daywalt wrote to the Talon. “I felt that by writing to the Acorn, I would be able to express my love for storytelling in a new very brief way.”

Pryor said her story was inspired by the song “Mack the Knife” by American singer-songwriter Bobby Darin and was excited that people liked her story because she wanted to share the song that she loved.

“My favorite part was seeing my grandpa’s reaction, because he was the one who introduced me to the song,” Pryor wrote. “It’s really special to share the award with him, because we both love Bobby Darin.” 

Daywalt was on a road trip with her family when she found out, after receiving a congratulations message from a friend. 

“I was just shocked that I won and had something published under my name. I was so happy to have my work recognized by a newspaper and not just my parents and friends,” Daywalt wrote to the Talon.  “It just made me feel all warm inside.”

Many people use writing as a creative outlet or a way to express themselves, especially during these times, according to Dobson.

“During the pandemic, life can be overwhelming and being creative is a great stress reliever,” Dobson wrote to the Talon. 

Beside story submissions being limited to 100 words, the assignment was not restrictive and allowed students to be as creative as they liked, which Pryor enjoyed. 

“It’s important to put yourself out there because it’s fun to be creative and show others what you like and who you are,” Pryor wrote. “You never know what will come out of it, even if it’s just a smile on your grandpa’s face.”

English teacher Jennifer Hankins encouraged her students to create a submission by offering extra credit. Hankins saw it as a great opportunity for her students and was very proud of the students who received recognition. 

“As an English teacher at OPHS, one of the reasons I consider myself extremely fortunate is because I know we have such incredibly talented writers at the high school. I’m constantly blown away by how eloquently and thoughtfully students express themselves,” Hankins wrote to the Talon. “To see them recognized for their writing is one of the most fulfilling parts of being an English teacher.” 

To read their stories, click here.