I'd like to thank everyone who submitted prose, poetry, and art to this year's Maelstrom literary contest. The judges and I were amazed at how creative and thoughtful the submissions were.
Here are the grand prize winners for creative work by DHHS students in 2020:
First Place: Elise Olson, "Collect"
Second Place: Jalen Taggart, "Time"
Third Place: Leah Bruin, "Dusk"
First Place: Laynie Parnell, "Iron in Her Veins"
Second Place: Lilly Eggett, "Shattered"
Third Place: Samantha VanWart, "The Worms that Raised Me"
First Place: Owen Anderson, "Antlers"
Second Place: Cadence Jones, "The Youth We Lost"
Congratulations to the winners! Check out the pages above to read their work alongside everyone else who submitted. Have a great summer!
-- Mr. Lowe
Meet your 2020 Maelstrom Team!
We did it! Thanks for the support!
To the Beautiful, Beautiful Minds of Desert Hills High School:
For one so invested in words, I'm having a difficult time trying to find the right ones to adequately express what an honor it was to review your work. I have been friends with words for years, and as such, I have come to know what power is at their core. History exists through words and is continually made by words. Without them, I can't help but feel that the world would be tripping over itself in an endless round. Words have made laws, words have made countries, words have made wars, and words have made expression free. I know that this sentiment has been run dry, but there is irrefutable truth to it, so here it is again: Every student counts. Sometimes people's minds speak louder than their voices, though, and their thoughts are lost amidst the torrents of those who are loud and outgoing. The Maelstrom gives a rare opportunity for those thoughts to be elevated above the uproar, and it has been a pleasure to take them to where they can be seen. So thank you for your poetry, your stories, and your art. Or rather, thank you for your voice, your ideas, and your individuality. If you choose to take anything from the semi-coherent tyrade from a girl you once kind of knew in high school, please heed the plea to never let those things go.
Also, here's a cool quote from Winston Churchill I just found on the internet: “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
Primary Editor of The Maelstrom, 2019-2020
To the community of Desert Hills High School:
It has been an honor to be a student at this amazing school. But I didn't always think so positively of it. When I moved to Saint George four years ago, the struggle extended beyond making new friends— from trying different clubs and extracurriculars, I struggled to find a community I resonated with. You can imagine a timid, awkward freshman right? Good. Hold that thought. Let's jump ahead real quick.
As a graduating senior, the college admissions process has taught me a lot. As I wonder where I will spend the next four years, I take into consideration who I am and what will be the right fit for me. So, at the many college fairs and tours I attended, I never hesitated to ask, "What is the best thing at your school and why should I come?" But, I always received the same subjective, frustrating answer: the people.
What defines a community beyond its people? Arguably, the answer is nothing. After all, the members of a community help contribute and create new opportunities; in turn, the people are responsible for the success of their community, regardless of whether or not they hold a leadership position.
So back to my freshman self. In retrospect, I hated Desert Hills High with a burning passion, and this is not something I will try to gloss over now. But I bring it up because I know there are students out there who need to hear it. To those students, keep searching out opportunities and others like you who are just as passionate about your interest(s), even if they are few in number. Perhaps you will have to be the one to step up to create new opportunities! Earlier this year, I hesitated before taking on the literary magazine and creating the Literature and Arts Club, but through it, I was able to find others who were interested, and I know that by reviving The Maelstrom the community at Desert Hills has benefitted through yet another creative, student-led outlet.
This is getting long so I would like to wrap up, but I hope that all students and teachers are able to enjoy this, especially during this time during the COVID-19 pandemic. For me, this was the only activity that was not cancelled! Throughout history, the hardest times have been known to spark creativity, so hopefully we can use this extra time to propel us forward as individuals, as a community that can recognize its writers, artists, and musicians. We still do not know many details about the contest, so participants, please hang tight and we will let you know of any updates via email.
It has been a pleasure working with you all. If you or someone you know is an English pro or a fan of The Maelstrom, Charity and I are looking for someone to pass the torch down to! Please reach out! We may be grammar nazis, but we don't bite!
President of the Literature and Arts Club, 2019-2020
"Use the creative process— singing, writing, art, dance, whatever— to get to know yourself better" -Catie Curtis
If you have reached this page, I am happy that you made it here.
Somehow, I made it here too after a long journey and encountering many storms.
I really do not know where to begin.
My name is Margaret Alexander and I am going into
my senior year here at Desert Hills. Crazy right?
I moved to St. George four years ago with a promise
of a clean slate going into my freshman year.
Unfortunately, everything turned out worse than I
Transitioning from a small liberal arts school to a large
public school was one of my most difficult
experiences. Differences in schedule, class size, outfits
(no uniforms!), and overall student culture were just
a few areas I had to adjust to. Fearing judgement
from peers and even teachers, I kept the past to myself.
Until I wrote about it in a poem and was called on
to read it out loud in front of the class.
Up until that point, I had not done much writing on my own besides a personal journal which I hadn't written in for nearly a year. But soon after, something changed. I started writing again. I realized then that writing wasn't meant to be perfect. I could scrawl and cross out as much as I needed to. It was my story, and I was writing for a particular audience: myself. I filled an entire journal that year.
I then went on to submit a few poems to local contests, even winning a few. As a result, I was invited to a poetry workshop in Zion National Park where I met Lucy Draper (the former president of The Maelstrom) during my sophomore year.
After Lucy graduated, the Language Arts department also lost Mr. Jones, and as a result the Creative Writing class changed hands. The Maelstrom was forgotten about for a year, until I happened upon it. After tracking down Lucy and messaging her over the course of the last three weeks, I successfully gained access to both this website and the email (provided below).
The charter has not yet been renewed, but it's currently in the process. Rather than having a "literary magazine club" with a single purpose of publishing one magazine at the end of the year, the goal is that we will promote literature and the arts throughout the year with regular lunch meetings and activities, and perhaps have the magazine as an end result. We also hope to expand the non-writing areas (photography and art) to further highlight the artistic side of Desert Hills High School.
Nothing is official yet and I hesitated posting this, but we need early awareness. Spread the word!
I hope that writing (as well as other art forms) will help each one of you as it did for me.
Can't wait for the year ahead!