Chatham High School senior Natalie Charewicz won the Silver Key Award in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her short story titled “Show Me a Hero.” She also received Honorable Mention for her critical essay titled “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and He’s Bringing the Patriarchy with Him.”

Charewicz wrote the short story on her own, drawing inspiration from a favorite quote by the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” Charewicz described her story, saying, “Tragedy is personified as a girl who befriends many ‘heroes’ whose stories she tries to write, only for them all to end badly in one way or another. I tried to take a different look at some of the classic characters and figures that I wrote about, like Benvolio or Scherezade's stories.”

Charewicz wrote her critical essay in her AP Language and Composition class at CHS. Teacher Shannon Falkner asked students to read a cultural object, practice, or development through a critical lens to demonstrate their understanding of literary theory and its application. Natalie chose to examine the ways in which gender expectations play into cultural constructions like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

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Falkner commented, “Natalie’s piece demonstrates not only a solid understanding of literary theory and criticism, but it also demonstrates her impressive skills as an argumentative writer. Most impressive of all, though, is the voice that Natalie crafts in the piece - she brings levity and wit to bear on a serious social issue, which makes her argument all the more effective and compelling.”

Natalie published both of these pieces to her blog. To read her short story, see the following page:

To read Natalie’s essay, see this page: