Barbara B. Kahn Award for Excellence in Writing Goes to Zachary Reddig

January 27, 2017


Staff photo by Len Lathrop  Zachary Reddig this year Kahn award winner with Kylie Hancock who received an honorable mention.

Staff photo by Len Lathrop Zachary Reddig this year Kahn award winner with Kylie Hancock who received an honorable mention.

by Len Lathrop with support from Matt Causson, Alvirne English Department

In 2014, Alvirne High School alum Chas Carner (class of 1970) worked with the AHS English Department to establish the Barbara B. Kahn Award for Excellence in Writing.  Carner spearheaded the creation of the award because he wanted to “honor the spirit and memory” of Mrs. Kahn, a former AHS English teacher who instilled in him a love of writing.

Carner is now a successful writer and editor based out of New York City.  He also travels extensively, lecturing and guest speaking about the craft of writing.  Over the past three years, he has given generously of his time, travelling to AHS to lead workshops for students interested in writing.

The Kahn Award provides an annual $500 cash prize to a student who writes a poem, short story, or other type of creative piece that is relevant to the theme of growing up in New Hampshire.

Zachary Reddig is this year’s winner.  His “Colors of Fall” was cited by Carner as the kind of short story that could become a powerful novel.  When asked, Zachary defined his short story as “how an abusive relationship takes a toll on a preteen boy” but did not elaborate beyond that sentence

Zac, the goalie on the varsity soccer team this fall, is the first junior to win this award.  He is just starting to look at colleges and formulate his career goals.  He mentioned areas of interest as politics, writing or investment banking with an eye toward attending a large university such as Ohio State or Michigan.  When asked about Alvirne, he spoke highly of the English department.

This year’s runner-up is senior Kylie Hancock.  According to Carner, her memoir, “The Ones,” represents a new approach to storytelling due to her detail-riddled, staccato style.  Kylie has her map of the future somewhat set as she will be attending Fisher College in the fall with a focus on social work.  Her hope is to find an adult calling of working with people, mentioning Child Protection Services with the court system or some other agency that assists children.

In all, 36 different pieces of work were submitted, which were narrowed to six and sent to Carner for his decision.

Both students will officially be recognized at Alvirne Awards Night in the spring.  They will also have an opportunity to meet with Mr. Carner at that time to discuss their stories.

While neither submission is currently available for the public to read, parents of AHS students can read Zac’s story if they go to the AHS Portal: and look under “News.”  His story, “Colors of Fall,” is linked as a .pdf.