Paula Friedman Excellence in Writing Awards

The Paula Friedman Excellence in Writing Awards is a yearly writing competition, open to all high school students in Milwaukee. It rewards the finest entries in the genres of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and academic essay writing.

Submissions are judged by the Stritch English Department faculty and students in the Senior Writing Seminar class and on the Clare editorial board. Monetary awards of $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for the third place entry will be granted in the spring semester, along with three Honorable Mention designations.


  1. Each student is allowed one submission in the genres of Fiction, Poetry, Creative Non-fiction Essay, or Academic Essay. The submission must be the student's original work.
  2. Submissions must be formatted in Microsoft Word and emailed to Only electronic submissions will be considered (Name, address, email address, phone number, high school, high school address, title of submission, genre of submission are required).
  3. The submission period is between October and January.
  4. Submissions 15 pages or under will be accepted.
  5. This competition is open to 9th - 12th grade students who attend high school in the city of Milwaukee.
  6. Students who are granted awards understand that Stritch may publish their work in Stritch Magazine or other such publications.

About Paula Friedman

The Excellence in Writing Awards is named for English Professor Paula Friedman, our beloved colleague who retired in May, 2013, after 35 years at Stritch. Revered for her highly engaged teaching style and rigorous standards, Paula impacted generations of students, instilling a lifelong love of learning and aesthetic appreciation of beauty.

Of this competition, Paula says, “All words matter, but some words make us understand our lives, the joys and sorrows, the questions, the challenges. These are the words that we want to read and remember. This contest celebrates the power of your words.”

Special Congratulations to 2016-17 Winners

  • First Place ($500)
    Ja’Neal Brown, Rufus King High School, for “Dear Black Girl”
  • Second Place ($300)
    Kaitlyn Xin Ju Hippe, Rufus King High School, for “Lei Lo Ama (She Loves Him)”
  • Third Place ($200)
    Kaleb Hamilton, Rufus King High School, for “Target”
  • Honorable Mentions: Jordan Dillard, University School of Milwaukee, for "Beneath the Bridge, Above and Beyond"; Miles Mathias, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, for "Spielberg in Love"; Rosa Hernandez, El Puente High School, for “Last Words”; Cameron Strawn, University School of Milwaukee, for “Hide Your Prejudice”

Past Winners

  • First Place
    William Fendt, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, for "Jazz Age Throwbacks"
  • Second Place
    Giovanni M. Cantoral, The Alliance School of Milwaukee, for "Ode to Pandora's Box"
  • Third Place
    Azizah Green, Hope Christian High School, for "Personal Narrative" 

  • Honorable Mentions: Erin Walker, Veritas High School; Brian Lee Huynh, Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School; Raena Roman, University School of Milwaukee; Marcedes Campbell, Hope Christian High School; Devorah Fisher, Torah Academy of Milwaukee High School; Lauren King, Saint Thomas More High School