Senior Alexis Bentz has enjoyed reading since a young age. Her favorite books growing up included J.K. Rowling’s popular series Harry Potter (Bentz remains a proud Hufflepuff and Potterhead to this day).
This avid love for reading from the start inspired her love for the written world today. “My dream is to become an author. I already like writing short stories and essays so my goal is to become the next J.K. Rowling and craft not only a series of books, but a literary world that draws people in and inspires them to read,” Bentz said.
Due to her passion for reading and writing, Bentz was selected by the English Department to be the school’s representative for the MCPS Fitzgerald Scholar’s recognition in the F. Scott’s Fitzgerald Literary Festival. According to fscottfestival.org, “For 23 years, the festival seeks to honor the works of Fitzgerald and other prominent American literary artists to support, encourage, and assist aspiring and emerging writers and students interested in the literary arts.”
The three-day event began on Oct. 12 and included workshops designed for fiction and non-fiction writers, literary discussions, short story contests and more. Bentz will be attending a workshop run by this year’s nominee, writer Amy Tran. “I’m a huge fan of her work so I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to hear her speak, meet her, and even take a writing workshop led by her,” Bentz said.
Many factors come into play to be chosen for the award. These include skills in English, interest in literature, demonstration of the appreciation of literary studies and passion for writing. With the entirety of the student body up for the award, Bentz was chosen for her excellence in English by the English Department. “I never taught Alexis but when I was the sponsor of Lit Mag when she was in it, I remember her being extremely focused and organized. One teacher even called her a Lit Mag superstar and well ahead of the curve in terms of writing and thinking. English teachers were supposed to nominate strong candidates in their classes and Alexis was nominated by multiple English teachers,” English Department head Nick Hitchens said.
Bentz envisions herself writing more and applying herself in future competitions. “I’m definitely open to applying to writing competitions in the future. They encourage me to put my best work forward and truly develop as an aspiring author. But if I am unable to find success as a writer, I am also interested in publishing, psychology, being an English professor at a university or maybe even becoming a film critic,” Bentz said.
The award is very impressive to win and Bentz is proud of herself.