Sreeja Surisetti from Nichols Elementary School in Frisco ISD is putting her school in the spotlight. The 10-year-old took home first place in Explore Horizon’s 2018 Young Writers’ Award competition. As the winner she will receive a Kindle Fire HD and her elementary school will receive $500 worth of books from Explore Horizons, the award-winning UK-based chain of enrichment and tutoring centers that has DFW locations in Colleyville, Garland, Plano, Fort Worth and Frisco, with a new Mckinney location opening later this summer.

Surisetti’s story competed against hundreds of other entries from students all around DFW ages 14-years-old and younger. Students this year had to create a short story about everyday heroes and Sreeja’s “From Birthday Girl to Hero,” was given top honors. Runners-up in this year’s competition are Anthony Vu from Richardson ISD and Lobna Bougacha from Salam Academy in Richardson.

“Each year we receive more and more story entries from students across DFW. The creativity, the time and effort that these students put into writing these stories does not go unnoticed,” said Belinda Southgate, organizer of the Young Writers Award competition at Explore Horizons. “Sreeja, Anthony and Lobna did a wonderful job giving our judge a personalized glimpse into what an everyday hero means to them.”

Local children’s author, Tani Lamb, served as judge for the competition.

“I had so much fun judging this competition and I’m inspired by the stories produced by these young writers,” said Lamb. “Everyday Heroes is a broad topic and can be taken down many different avenues. The creativity and the thoughtfulness that went into each of these stories was impressive and a great reminder of how writing should and can be fun. I hope parents and teachers will encourage their children to enter this contest next year. 

The Young Writers’ Awards is an annual competition hosted by Explore Horizons and is open to all DFW area students 14-years-old and younger. The program challenges students to create an original story of up to 500 words using a selected theme.

More information on the Explore Horizons Young Writers’ Awards is available at