Pegasus Literary Journal

PARAMUS, N.J. – Five Bergen County high school students claimed first-place honors in the 45th annual Bergen County High School Writing Contest sponsored by the Bergen Community College English department. The contest, co-directed by Bergen professors Geoffrey Sadock, Ph.D., and Peter Helff, featured five categories of submissions – scholarly essay, personal essay, poetry, short story, and drama – judged by Bergen faculty. The work of 15 finalists became part of the College’s literary journal, “Pegasus,” published this summer. The first-place winners are:

*Yilin Xie, of Upper Saddle River, Bergen County Academies: “The Reflection of Agency in Oedipus the King” (Scholarly Essay);

*Halle Hau, of Tenafly, Tenafly High School: “no motivation” (Personal Essay);

*Tanisha Shende, of Lodi, Bergen County Academies: “we continue to be engulfed by everything that remains unknowable” (Poetry);

*Zoe Zachko, of Tenafly, Tenafly High School: “Morning Commute” (Short Story);

*Isabel Shi, of Ridgewood, Bergen County Academies: “February 29th” (Drama).

In recognition of their efforts, students received electronic copies of the literary journal and Amazon gift cards.

Open to high school juniors and seniors, the annual countywide literary contest accepted submissions during the spring. Bergen professors Leigh Jonaitis, Ph.D. (personal essay category); Prof. Jim Bumgardner (drama category); Prof. Mary Crosby (poetry category); Prof. Peter Helff (short story category); and Geoffrey Sadock, Ph.D. (scholarly essay category) participated as judges in this year’s writing contest. Submissions were judged based on effective persuasion, clarity, reasoning, concept, style and thematic development.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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