Ridgefield Resident Sofia Schaffer is Writing a Name for Herself

Sofia Schaffer, a Ridgefielder who recently completed her sophomore year at Hopkins School in New Haven, earned top honors by being recognized among the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national Gold Medal recipients. The awards program, now in its 98th year, is described as “the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for young artists and writers in grades 7-12.”

In addition to earning a Gold Medal for her short story “A Scholar in the Battlefield” – a recognition awarded to less than 1% of the nearly 230,000 works submitted for consideration nationwide this past year – Sofia was also awarded an American Voices Medal (a “Best in Show” award presented to one writer from each region who most exemplifies originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision), as well as the Ray Bradbury Award for Science Fiction & Fantasy (an award sponsored by the Ray Bradbury Foundation that provides scholarships to six students across the U.S. whose entries emphasize supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, or technological themes as a key element of the narrative).

This year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony was held on June 9 and included remarks from several notable artists, writers, and celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Kelly Clarkson, and First Lady Jill Biden. Past award recipients include Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, John Updike, Stephen King, and, more recently, Lena Dunham and Amanda Gorman.

Sofia has been attending writing workshops at Writopia Lab in Westchester since she was in the third grade. Her amazing teachers at Writopia have encouraged her to pursue her passion and have been instrumental in building her voice and portfolio of work. With the help of their recommendation, Sofia was able to secure a coveted spot at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio summer program – considered among the top-ranked immersive creative writing programs that annually accepts only 144 high school-aged students from around the world.



Submitted by Ridgefield, CT

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