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Short Stories Garner SHS Students Accolades

By HEATHER POHLABEL
Daily Globe Staff Reporter

SHELBY - Two Shelby High School seniors have had their short stories selected to be presented in onstage adaptations by The Renaissance Education Department at its second annual MindSprouts Creative Writing Showcase on Thursday, April 24th at 7 pm.

Rachel Brumenschenkel's, "The Paradox of Fantasy" and Veronica Dannemiller's "The Race: Fast Paced" were selected by a team of local educators and passed on for final judging to Renaissance Artistic Director Michael Thomas, a playwright and actor, a former member of Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe, and a former writer for major motion pictures and television, including Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, and Moonrise Kingdom.

All submissions to the MindSprouts contest were required to correspond to the 2014 theme: "Over the Hills, Under the Water, Through My Imagination!" Students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade were invited to submit one composition in one or more of the following categories: short story, play, or poem.

Dannemiller said "it was really challenging with the topic they gave us..over the hill, under the water, and through the imagination. It was very challenging because I had no idea what I was going to write that was related to that. For the work that they are going to use, I did a short story about this race where (the character) has to swim, and she goes under water and then through the imagination the whole time. The way she wins is that she doesn't focus on the energy it takes; she focuses on what she imagines, like when she's under the water, she imagines she's a mermaid, but it just keeps her focused on other things and helps her get through (the race) and she wins every time because she knows what to do."

Brumenschenkel remarked, "the contest theme is geared more for younger kids. Mine is also a short story. It's kind of a metaphor. It's about this girl who is jogging or hiking in the woods and it's cold outside and she wishes that she was at a beach in the summer because she just hates the colder weather. So she hallucinates that it happens but then she realizes that she doesn't really want her fantasy because bad things happened and so it's a metaphor of you might want something but it's not the best for you."

Brumenschenkel participated in the contest last year, and Dannemiller's younger sister participated as well. Each were chosen to be showcased. This inspired the pair to enter this year.

Dannemiller and Brumenschenkel are the founders of Whippet Tales 2.0, Shelby High School's online, newspaper/literary magazine and have high aspirations after graduating from Shelby Senior High this year.

Dannemiller wants to be a counselor, "but my dream job is writing; I'd like to do that on the side. I have finished a book. I'm working on editing it. I'm hoping to get it published some time, but it's a hard world to get published in," she said.

Brumenschenkel is planning to major in communications and marketing and hopes to work for a business doing publishing or non-profit work. "I'd like to incorporate writing in my job but I don't want to have that be the sole focus, but I might like to do something on the side and hope to get published because I've also written a couple of novels," she explained.

The MindSprouts showcase event is free and open to the public on April 24th at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the door to support Renaissance education programs. A variety of student writing will be presented in onstage adaptations of short stories, poems, and plays that were submitted to the MindSprouts Creative Writing Contest, including the work by Dannemiller and Brumenschenkel.

More of the duos work can be found at http://www.shelby-city.k12.oh.us/WhippetTales.aspx.

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