At this exact time last year we had received 4,004 submissions to Best of SNO. Fast forward to now, and we’ve almost hit 8,200. In other words, you all are killing it.

There have been countless great stories among those. These are some of the best from the last few weeks, written and submitted by students just like yours.

Mr. Kuhn bites down on biggest fear with new Instagram account, by Jacob Casella, Downers Grove South High School

Oddity. It’s one of the traditional elements of news, and almost a surefire way to draw readers into your story. And this piece has it. I mean, a 40-year-old picky eater trending on Instagram; who wouldn’t want to read about that?

‘Walking dynamite’ lights up community, by Cheyenne Miller, Seward County Community College

Best of SNO passes on a lot of profiles because they’re not that interesting to people outside the writer’s school or town. However, by profiling a Ugandan refugee in their local community, especially at a time of various refugee crises taking place around the world, the writer provides both education and insight into an experience that many readers will never know.

San Ramon housing crisis prices teachers out, by Sraavya Sambara, Vivian Kuang, Sanjana Ranganathan, Michael Han, and Sneha Cheenath, Dougherty Valley High School

Like we said in our last report, we like stories where the topic has an inherent interest that extends beyond the walls of your school. While this piece focuses specifically on San Ramon and the Bay Area, affordable housing and gentrification are topics that many readers can likely relate to, making this an ideal piece to cater to Best of SNO’s national and international readership.

No Labels Attached: Breaking Gender Stereotypes in Sports, by Morgan Fischer, Alison Pataky, and Karen Ramos, Dominion High School

We’re not only looking for written pieces here at Best of SNO. We also want to see what your staff can do within the realms of photo, audio, and video. This video about gender stereotypes in sports has it all. By combining a compelling story line with multiple interviews, reporter voice-over, a combination of shots, b-roll, and natural sound, the piece checks all the boxes we’re looking for.

How’s The Weather Up There?, by Zara Tola, Marquette High School

For every new movie that hits theaters, we at Best of SNO probably receive at least five different reviews, all usually saying more or less the same thing. The movie “Tall Girl,” released earlier this fall by Netflix, was no exception. That being said, by using the movie plot as a base to work from, this piece comes up with a fresh angle. By talking to girls that the protagonist is supposed to represent, they point out the film’s flaws through firsthand experience, replacing the need to write a standard review.

Read more great stories like these on Best of SNO.