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Miriam Lawrence ’02 recently won the Seventeen Magazine Fiction Contest with her short story entitled “Houses.”

Miriam wrote the story last winter in her creative writing course taught by English faculty member Jim Connolly. In the spring, Mr. Connolly mentioned the contest, and on a whim, the day before the deadline for the contest, Miriam decided to submit her story.

Just a week ago, on October 15, Miriam opened her mailbox to find a letter from Seventeen. Having forgotten about the contest, Miriam opened the letter expecting to find information regarding her subscription, but instead she found a letter congratulating her on winning first place in the fiction contest.

Seventeen receives more than 400 submissions to its annual contest from writers in various states and countries. Former winners of the annual contest include Sylvia Plath, Lorrie Moore and Joyce Maynard. Winner’s stories are published in a future issue of Seventeen Magazine.

“Houses” is a story about a 14-year-old girl, who after her mother’s death, is moving into a new house with her father and the new woman in his life. Miriam says her inspiration for the piece came partly from a young neighbor’s experiences.

This isn’t the first award Miriam has won an award for her writing. She’s previously won a Scholastic Writing Award and Milton Academy’s Markham and Pierpont Stackpole Prize for unusual talent in creative writing.

An arts & entertainment writer for the Milton Paper and literary editor for the Magus Mabus, Miriam wants to pursue her writing in and after college, and credits Milton for giving her the self-confidence to write creatively.