In the junior year of high school, I entered a creative-writing contest that awarded a significant cash stipend. I faced stiff competition from a number of Ivy League-bound classmates, but I submitted my essay with a reasonable expectation of winning.
I am a great writer, a conviction I kept private for fear of sounding obnoxious. When my name was announced at my school's closing ceremony awards, my class president stood up and cried "What?" in outrage and disbelief.
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