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New Richmond students fare well at writing festival

Several New Richmond High School students placed at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Creative Writing Festival earlier this month. Danni Juhl, a junior, received first place for her multimedia submission about women's self-esteem.

When Danni Juhl traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, she knew she had a chance of taking home an award from the Creative Writing Festival.

"I didn't want to get my hopes up too high," she said.

The festival, held Nov. 14, was attended by 700 students and staff from around the state. Students were able to submit entries in only one category, such as children's literature, essay, multimedia, poetry and song lyrics.

For Juhl, entering in the multimedia category was a no-brainer. The topic was another story.

"I've been doing videos since I was probably 11," she said. "When I started this project, it kind of started as encompassing depression and self-esteem and just pain in general. As I was editing it, I kind of narrowed it down to women's self-esteem."

The three-minute video is told as a fictional story, she said.

"I was inspired by the things I was seeing around me, in school and with my friends," she said. "It's stuff I see in everyone, especially girls."

Juhl said she hopes to show the video to her classmates at New Richmond High School with the hope that some female students will be able to relate to it.

This was Juhl's first time attending the Whitewater Creative Writing Festival, she said.

"It was very inspiring to see all the creative people in one place," she said. "I really liked it."

Students were broken up into groups and attended different workshops based on their submitted entries. Each workshop included discussion about the pieces submitted.

"It was very interesting," she said.

For the multimedia category, Juhl said the judges had a hard time judging because of the variety among the pieces.

"One kid did slam poetry, which is a poem but it doesn't have to rhyme or anything, and some people did paintings with poems... it goes into any medium, multimedia is kind of everything," she said.

Juhl said she hasn't thought too much about her next project, but she does have several ideas "floating around."

Other New Richmond students who placed at the Whitewater Creative Writing Festival include:

• Rachel Greaner - second place in children's literature.

• Raelyn Winton - honorable mention in multimedia (painting and poems).

• Heide Germain and Britney Ellspermann - honorable mention in multimedia (music video).