Pakistani students earn honors in editorial writing contest

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Eight students will be awarded Quill and Scroll Gold Keys for their submissions in the first Editorial Writing Contest for Pakistani students, co-sponsored by Eye on Ivy and Quill and Scroll.

The winning entries deftly explained how Pakistani teenagers, much like Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, could help lead the world away from climate catastrophe. Here are the winners, along with a link to the first-place editorials and a short comment from the contest’s judges, professional environmental journalists:

Class A (Grades 9-10)

  • First Place: Lyba Mehmood “This excellent editorial digs deep on the Greta Effect, probing to understand the impact of this Swedish teenager. Deftly written and complexly argued, Mehmood crafts a well-shaped piece, carrying the reader along with a confident momentum.”
  • Second Place: Sameeha Ashfaq “This well-organized and comprehensive editorial hits all the marks of the assignment — and more. Nice touch drawing the connection of Greta to fellow Swede, Svante Arrhenius. The writer’s voice strikes a balance between cool observation and impassioned plea. Outstanding!”
  • Third Place: Maheen Asim “This editorial is particularly effective focusing on Pakistan’s predicament when it comes to climate change and environmental damage — and the potential solutions. Well-written and persuasive, Asim’s article rises to the top tier.”
  • Honorable Mention: Emaan Adeel “This editorial excels most especially in its well-organized and impassioned final section, detailing potential youth action. Overall, Adeel’s writing is confident and persuasive, and demonstrates the effectiveness of Greta’s climate advocacy.”

Class B (Grades 11-13)

  • First Place: Sara Khalid “Filled with well-crafted turns of phrase, Khalid’s editorial stands out for its expertly organized structure and persuasive voice. Brilliantly done by a passionate and skilled writer. Congratulations! This editorial was the best in both classes.”
  • Second Place: Sereen Yusuf “This powerful editorial includes numerous voices from others — great reporting! As Yusuf writes, there is no alternative to our climate predicament. We must take action. Inspiring and expertly written.”
  • Third Place: Anum Azhar “This editorial excels when detailing climate impacts, and thus the need to take action. Well-written and persuasive, Azhar’s article is also noteworthy because it makes the point that youth must take their climate work to the federal level to make a difference.”
  • Honorable Mention: Mohammad Yusuf Moazzam “This editorial excels for its focus on biodiversity, as well as the author’s own personal commitment to activism.”

Pakistani students submitted 72 entries for the contest, and the winners are now eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll scholarships that would allow them to study journalism or take part in student media at a U.S. college or university.

Eye on Ivy is a Pakistan-based student counseling firm that offers counseling services to students wishing to study at a college or university outside Pakistan. Last year, Eye on Ivy earned the first non-school Quill and Scroll charter and inducted its first members into the International Honor Society for High School Journalists.

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