Golden Arrow shoots and scores at OCJEA competition

Staff members of the Golden Arrow partake in the OCJEA write-offs, garnering individual and group awards.

Golden Arrow staff members had the opportunity to compete in a county-wide competition on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Fullerton College hosted by the Orange County Journalism Education Association (OCJEA). Over 250 students from Orange County High Schools participated in the competition. Golden Arrow won first place in Online Best of Show for the publication’s website and third place in Best of Show for the magazine edition. Twelve student journalists from Woodbridge also won individual awards.

During the competition, writers, photographers, page designers and cartoonists were faced with the challenge to create their work in under two hours, submitting their final work to a panel of judges.

“I thought it was going to be a really hard and challenging process but the writing process was very smooth and not as choppy as I had expected” freshman and staff writer Jewel Al Kurnas said. “My nervousness subsided after I started writing. Thankfully, I was able to do it before the time limit was up.”

Sophomore and sports editor Josh Whalen and junior and arts and entertainment editor Kirra Lunow won first and second place in Critical Review respectively. Senior and in-depth editor Bella An won sixth place in newspaper layout. Junior and staff writer Kylie James, sophomore and news editor Lauren Chong and junior and visual director Connor Schwengel placed second, third, and 10th place in Sports respectively. Senior and co-editor-in-chief Lindsay Chong won second place in Features. Sophomore and staff writer Anisha Samanta won the title of “Excellence” in the Novice News category. Freshman and staff writer Corina Silverstein and Al Kurnas won the title of “Superior” in the Novice News category. Freshman and staff writer Sarra Hassen and junior and staff writer Annie Wu won an “Honorable Mention” in the Novice News Category.

“Writing competitively is not easy, but [it] can be very eye-opening” Whalen said. “ It helps you gain a lot of experience. Experience in writing with a deadline, experience in competing against other writers, experience in following technical rules of writing. [Also], I am a winner winner chicken dinner!”

Qualifying writers from the OCJEA write-offs will prepare to compete at the state level during the Southern California Journalism Education Association write-offs scheduled in March.

“I am so proud of our Golden Arrow staff for trying their hardest and applying all the skills that they have been learning throughout the year. We have been working very hard this year to transition to our news magazine, and this experience allows the staff to see all of their hard work pay off” adviser Brianna Nguyen said.