(Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.)

March 29, 1999

Tattoo writers win Scholastic Press awards


BRISTOL -- Four student journalists for The Tattoo --
the teen news page published in The Bristol Press --
recently captured writing awards from the Scholastic
Press Association.

They won prizes in the news feature, first-person
essay, review and opinion categories.

The winners were Joe Wilbur, a junior at Bristol
Eastern High School; Shaina Zura, a first year student
at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington,
Mass.;  and two Bristol Central High School seniors,
Amanda Lehmert and Collin Seguin.

The Tattoo, now in its fifth year, has published the
work of dozens of local teens and helped several
secure full or partial college scholarships. A new issue
is published in today's paper on page B-4.

Lehmert, whose review of the re-release of "The
Wizard of Oz" captured the Scholastic Press
Association's reviewing award, said her four years in
The Tattoo opened doors for her.

"It's because of The Tattoo that I found out I want to
be a journalist," said Lehmert, who has won several
journalism prizes for her work with the group. "These
awards are just affirmation that I've chosen the right

Wilbur, who won for an opinion piece on the Clinton
scandal, said he likes writing news stories best.

He said that pounding out news "was sort of
frightening at first" but as he learned the ropes he got
used to it. In the end, Wilbur said, "It was a lot more
fun than writing an editorial."

Seguin, who won a national Gold Key writing award
last year from the Quill and Scroll Society, earned his
prize this year for a witty first-person account of his
travails in securing his driver's license.

"I'm just glad that the result of the story turned out
better than it was the first time trying to get my
license," Seguin said.

He said he was glad to receive recognition for his
work but is most happy at getting the opportunity to
write for the paper.

"It gives me a chance to get a head start on my
journalism career," Seguin said.

Zura nabbed the news feature award for a piece on the
marketing of plastic milk jugs. After leaving St. Paul
Catholic High School before her junior year, Zura is a
first year student at Simon's Rock College of Bard in
Great Barrington, Mass.

The awards were presented during a  high school
journalism conference this month at American
International College in Springfield, Mass. More than
500 students attended the 29th annual event.
The Tattoo is a student-written page published in The
Press on occasional Mondays. Today's issue is the
twelfth since the start of the school year in September.

During weekly Wednesday night sessions at the paper,
The Tattoo's volunteer members learn the ins and outs
of journalism from two veteran Press reporters who
donate their time, Jackie Majerus and Steve Collins.

Students from both Bristol high schools, Terryville
High School, Torrington High School, St. Paul
Catholic High School and two out-of-state schools
currently participate in The Tattoo. But any high school age
student is welcome. For information, contact Majerus or
Collins at 589-5316.

During the past five years, The Tattoo has collected a
slew of reporting and writing awards.

They include a 1998 first place award from the
Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists for arts
and entertainment writing; 1998 National Gold Key
awards in both sports and news; nine 1997 National
Gold Key Awards for In-Depth News Coverage; and a
Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut
Committee for Youth Suicide Prevention.

The winning stories, along with many other Tattoo
pieces, can be seen on the Internet at:

To read Shaina Zura's winning news feature story, click here

To read Joe Wilbur's prize-winning piece, click here

To read Collin Seguin's account of getting his license, click here

To read Amanda Lehmert's award-winning review, click here