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EmmaClippinger1-04_1Emma Clippinger ’04 says that her mom made her do it. “We were standing in line at the supermarket, and my mom saw that Seventeenmagazine was having its writing contest. She knew that a Milton student had won it before, so she told me to send in one of my stories,” Emma says.

From the contest’s more than 2,000 submissions, Emma’s story “Finding Ocean” won one of only five honorable mentions – one of eight total prizes. (Mothers do know best, apparently.)

That Emma had a story at-the-ready was no mistake. In fact, she’s been writing and illustrating her own stories since she was 7, and “published” her first story, “The Perfect Gift,” in a bound volume of stories by third grade students.

Emma says that she always had the creative energy necessary to good-storytelling, but it was Mr. Connolly’s writing workshops in her first year at Milton that honed her grammar and proper usage. “I usually followed the rules, but I didn’t understand exactly what the rules were,” she says. Emma says that Milton teachers Ms. Gerrity, Ms. Baker, Mr. Silbaugh and (former faculty) Ms. Detmar have helped her build upon that new confidence and competence.

An admirer of Ernest Hemingway’s short stories – especially his use of terse dialogue – Emma says she is always reading new work and feeling its influence on her writing.

“I definitely want to write,” she says. “My dream is to write for the New Yorker.”