Four Students Win The Georges Perec Challenge

Sabrina S., School News

Jacinda F., Grade 7 winner of the Georges Perec Challenge

Jacinda F., Ryan A., Sophia Z., and Tony L. won the George Perec Challenge on September 16, 2019. It was a difficult competition between the 7th and 8th grade.  Assigned by Mrs. Briscoe, the 7th and 8th grade English teacher, this assignment was inspired by Georges Perec’s wonderful book: “A Void”, a lipogram (story without the use of a certain letter), without the use of the letter “e”.  This would no doubt be one of the hardest things to accomplish, but regardless, on September 4th-5th, 2019, the Georges Perec Challenge was assigned. 

Tony L., Grade 8 winner

So, what was the Georges Perec Challenge? The Georges Perec Challenge is a test to see who can write the longest story that makes sense without the use of the letter “a”. The class with the most words received a No Homework Pass, and the person with the most words in the class received five extra points on their upcoming test. Instantly, students got to work. Every student was given 5 days to work on their essay. The project was due on September 9th , so there was no time to waste. 

Ryan A., Grade 7 winner

The winners of seventh grade were: Jasinda F. (7-1)., who wrote about why the first of the 26 letters went missing and Ryan A. (7-2), who wrote about a family’s house catching fire during the Westward Expansion. The two eighth grade winners stood as Tony L. (8-1) who’s story was about the end of the world, and Sophia Z.(8-2), who wrote about heroes. These four young writers had accomplished writing a story with over 1000 words, and miraculously without the use of a single letter “a”!  

Sophia Z., Grade 8 winner

“The most challenging thing to do in the Georges Perec Challenge was finding synonyms to words that contain “a”, and paraphrasing or organizing my paragraphs. I couldn’t use prepositions, verb tenses, or words you would regularly use every day, such as talk, ask, say, and after,” says Tony L. When asked how she managed her time for the project, Jacinda F. admitted that she tried to write a paragraph or two every day, and began writing her masterpiece the day it was assigned. Every student has worked exceptionally hard on this awesome assignment. Even though everyone had a different approach, every single student had successfully fulfilled their short, yet meaningful roles of being young lipogram writers. 

                  Overall, the Georges Perec Challenge was a difficult, yet a wonderful learning experience. To those four young, gifted winners, congratulations on your accomplishments!