Fulton County's North Springs High School graduate named as State Playwriting Award winner

Amy Cheribelle


FULTON COUNTY, GA – A North Springs High School student who graduated in 2021, Nina Schwelm, was selected as one of three recipients of Georgia Film Academy’s (GFA) statewide Dramatic Writing 10-Minute Play Competition. Industry professionals became the judges of the competition which was founded in 2020.

Previously, her drama teacher at North Springs, Joel King, gave a challenge for his students to answer a question with a play as their dramatic writing class exam. Having experience in media and writing from her participation in the school’s literary magazine and news broadcast, Schwelm used her question "Are letters across the sea enough to keep the spark of a relationship aflame?" as the idea of her play.

Her play describes the story of a marine who was assigned to a U.S. military base in Afghanistan while his lover resided stateside in an urban metropolis.

Her inspiration for her writing came from her grandfather, actor Adam Driver and his wife, actress Joanne Tucker, and two former marines she idolizes. Through her writing, Schelm said she wanted to honor them.

Regarding Schelm's play, GFA Director of Academics, Dr. Aaron Levy, commented, “It was really theatrical. She chose an idea that was well-suited for the competition. The characters were three-dimensional and fleshed out.” In a nod to King, he affirmed, “She was clearly taught well.”

The prize for the winners in the competition is not in the form of money or trophy, but instead, a staged reading which will be done by professional actors through Zoom in the autumn of 2021.

North Springs High School has become one of the schools in Fulton County and across Georgia that provides the course for their students to learn from teachers like King who has finished GFA’s training.

The course has fulfilled state standards for English Language Arts after being developed in collaboration between the school and the Georgia Department of Education and Fayette County Schools.

For more detailed information regarding the award and the course, please visit here

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