For the 2016 OIEP Young Writers Contest, students were given a difficult task for a writing prompt. They had to select a character from To Kill a Mockingbird and write the story from that character’s perspective.
Pocahontas County High School senior Bradley Armstrong not only took on the task, he won first place in the 11th-12th division of the contest.
After reading the book and watching the film, Armstrong knew exactly whose perspective he wanted to write in the first person.
“I chose Boo Radley,” he said. “I wrote him as a humble caretaker. He watched over those kids as if they needed someone to watch over them.”
Boo Radley was a recluse with a terrible past – a recluse who tried to reach out to the Finch children.
Taking a well-known character from an award winning book and adding more dimension is difficult for a seasoned writer. Armstrong said he took great care in his story and was pleased to win an award for his efforts.
“I really put a lot of time into it and took my time trying to perfect it,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was going to win, but I knew I was up there close to the top.”
Armstrong said he plans to attend college, but hasn’t selected a major as yet.