Mairead Reilly and The Walls

Few people may know what an extended metaphor is, but for people at the award ceremony for Brain Dance, this wasn’t the case,

Mairead Reilly, a sophomore at Woodland Regional, recently won 3rd place at a Fine Arts poetry competition for The English department. The competition, Brain Dance. is run by the Mental Institute of Health, an institute that focuses on mental well being. Students were asked to pick a very serious mental illness and turn it into media, such as a presentation or experiment.

Her writing was titled “The Walls”, and it was an extended metaphor on PTSD in the form of a short story.

“I was inspired because after learning PTSD in depth for the project itself,” Reilly elaborates, “I learned how many misconceptions there are about the mental illness.”

Reilly was also inspired to write this piece because mental issues become unnoticed, and she believed the writing would be the perfect platform to bring attention to it. She specifically wanted to write about PTSD caused by sexual assault. She did this because most pieces of media or writing portrays a seasoned war veteran or a victim of a mass tragedy, like Sandy Hook. While these stories are important, they only work to show the surface cases of PTSD.

Reilly won 3rd out of the arts category which is an impressive accomplishment since this group had the most submissions. Reilly chose to do an extended metaphor which many of her fellow classmates did as well. They chose to do an extended metaphor because it is one of the best approaches when doing this type of assignment.

“I did it in a short story because I always have been better at anything other than poetry and I chose to do that because it is my forte.”

Reilly found out the news over e-mail, and she was surprised that she won 3rd. There was a breakfast for the winners that was held on April 26th, and it was from 8 a.m to 9:30 a.m.

Each winner was asked to present their winning material. Mairead was awarded a framed certificate, and she won the 3rd place money prize of $100.  

At the ceremony the energy was high amongst the winners. Everyone was excited to share their piece and listen to others. “It truly was a great learning experience for everyone there,” Reilly  stated.