College Board and The Atlantic Name Winner of Writing Prize Contest
College Board and The Atlantic Name Winner of Writing Prize ContestMichael Preston, Associate Director of Communications
As part of the inaugural Atlantic Education Summit on June 15 in Washington DC, high school student Nicolas Yan was announced as the winner of The Atlantic and College Board Writing Prize Contest. He was recognized for his reflection on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech in an essay entitled, “The King’s Speech: Martin and His Dream.”
Launched last fall as a partnership between The Atlantic and the College Board, the Writing Prize was created to recognize today’s best high school essay writers and help develop the analytical writing skills that are critical to college and career success. As part of this year’s contest, students were asked to accurately and insightfully analyze an important document from American history. 40 college professors of history, political science, and composition served as judges and read over 3,000 submitted essays from more than 30 countries. A panel of Atlantic and College Board staff selected Mr. Yan’s essay as the contest-winning submission. The essay will be published in full in the September 2015 issue of The Atlantic.
“Nicolas’ essay offers an insightful and unique interpretation of one of the most important speeches in American history. He engages beautifully with the text, while maintaining a sharp critical eye and infusing his personal voice,” said David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board. “We are excited that so many students from around the world collaborated with their educators to critically examine these seminal texts. We hope this process gave students the opportunity to learn more about our nation’s Founding Documents and about the power of their voices in writing. We are looking forward to continuing the contest in the years ahead by challenging students to write analytically about new topics.”
Yan is a year 13 student at King’s College, an independent secondary school in Auckland, New Zealand. He attended elementary school in California and writes poetry for his school publication and has previously been published in NZ Rugby World. He intends to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Classics or Comparative Literature after graduating from high school.
For next year’s The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize, students will be invited to submit essays analyzing an influential work of art. Submission details will be available on the College Board’s website by mid-August.