3/22/18 - Zane Austill receives national recognition for creative writing and academic achievements

The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities congratulates creative writing student Zane Austill, from Spartanburg, on recent honors from the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. He was also named a 2018 National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
The annual YoungArts competition recognizes the nation's most promising young artists, ages 15-18, in the literary, visual, design and performing arts. Over 7,500 students applied and only 171 were named finalists among all art areas. Austill was one of 21 writing finalists, selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists.
As a part of this honor, Austill was invited to participate in the 37th Annual National YoungArts Week in Miami January 7-14, 2018, where he attended workshops and master classes with other finalists.
"YoungArts was, simply put, transformative," said Austill. "Similar to the environment here at the Governor's School, we were surrounded by people of supreme passion. It was inspiring and reinvigorating to be around people like that and to see them perform every night. It helped me gain confidence, and it was, more than anything, just a blast. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity. I can't thank my instructors and peers enough."
Austill also received recognition in the Southeast Region-At-Large Scholastic Writing Awards competition where he won a Gold Key, Silver Key, and an Honorable Mention for three different works in the Personal Essay & Memoir category, and two Honorable Mentions for Poetry.

Academically, Austill is also a high achiever. Based on his PSAT scores, he was included in a nationwide pool of National Merit Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. His outstanding academic record throughout high school and his SAT scores earned Austill the Finalist status, which increases his eligibility for scholarships.

Austill is from Spartanburg County and went to Spartanburg High School before attending the Governor's School where he is a senior creative writing student.

The Creative Writing Department at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities had three YoungArts finalists, including Austill, and received 11 Gold Medals and 8 Silver Medals, including one for Best in Grade and five writing portfolio recognitions, in the 2018 National Scholastics Writing Awards competition.