Apocalypse Now: Zombies Wreak Havoc in Vineland

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Dominick Forgen (center) is seen here receiving his prizes for winning first place in the writing/video contest recently sponsored by the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society. Pictured with him are Sister Rosa Maria Ojeda, principal of Bishop Schad Regional School, and Richard Salls, Jr., an account manager with W.B. Mason, the office supply store, which provided a $50 gift card as a prize. Photo Courtesy of Vineland Historical Antiquarian Society.

VINELAND, N.J. - The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society introduced its first annual middle school writing and video contest to overwhelming success.

Eighth-grader at Bishop Schad Regional School, Dominick Forgen, received first prize for his witty submission, “The Zombies on Landis Avenue,” a story of three friends fighting to save Vineland from a zombie invasion. 

Second Prize winner, Victoria Maldonado, an eighth-grader at Wallace Middle School, wove a sinister tale of friends exploring a desolate Newcomb Hospital on Halloween only to face the tormented spirit of Charles K. Landis.

Jonathan Choo, eighth-grader at Veterans Memorial School, scored Third Prize for his story, “The End of Days,” a narrative of one soldier attempting to defend Vineland from a mob of monsters after a virus wipes out the population.

“We were delighted to receive stories from about 100 local middle school students,” said Society curator, Patricia A. Martinelli. “Each one was more imaginative than the next, so it was pretty difficult to narrow it down to just three winners.”

The contest was conceived by the society to encourage middle school students to discover and connect with local history. Using genre conventions of science fiction and fantasy, students were able to learn about history, but also invigorate imagination through creative storytelling.

“We’re grateful to the local middle school principals and teachers who encouraged the students’ participation,” Martinelli added. “We are so pleased by the number of entries that we will probably make this an annual event.”

Forgen was presented with a $50 gift card from Richard Salls Jr., account manager at office supply chain, W.B. Mason. Vouchers were also provided to second and third Prize winners, Maldonado and Choo.

Additionally, the three authors were awarded certificates from the society and will see their stories published in the 2017 edition of the Vineland Historical Magazine.

For more information, contact the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society at 856-691-111 or via E-mail: vinelandhistory@gmail.com.

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