Senior writes her way to second place in feature writing


Emiliano Zapata

Senior Olivia Colburn

Emiliano Zapata, Staff Writer

As senior Olivia Colburn began keying her journalism story in her first UIL competition of the year, she fidgeted with the drawstring of her jacket, hoping she could forget how nervous she was. 

She was competing against students from six other high schools around the state, including Lake Creek in Montgomery, Tuloso-Midway, Calhoun in Port Lavaca, Chisholm Trail in  Fort Worth, Caney Creek in Conroe, and Azle in Fort worth. Earlier in the fall semester, as she wrote practice stories to get ready for each of her journalism events for the December UIL virtual contest, she became scared thinking about all the students around the state who would be participating.

But all of the nervousness melted away when she found out that she placed in every division of the contest. She earned a second place silver medal for her feature story, fifth place in copy editing, sixth in editorial writing and eighth place in both headline and news writing.

“I didn’t think I would do very well since I’ve never placed before,” Colburn said. 

Judges around the state graded each entry, and each journalism test was administered and  timed by journalism coaches at each school.

“Some of competitions were struggles but the others weren’t a problem,” Colburn said.

All of the events required study and practice under the direction of her journalism coach and teacher, Jeanette Krizak. Colburn received her awards in the mail just before Christmas break.

“Olivia is really easy to teach because she worked really hard and really took to heart everything that I taught her, and she’s already made my year by her achievement by getting second place in feature writing in UIL and placing for all the other ones she’s tried out for,” Krizak said. “The official UIL season hasn’t even started so it’s going to be a great year.”