Wednesday, August 19, 2020

NEIL SHEN

The Concord Review has helped turn history writing
from a means to an end to an end in itself…


Phillips Academy, Andover
17 August 2020

Dear Mr. Fitzhugh:

Thank you so much for the email! It’s an honour to be published in The Concord Review, and this was completely unexpected, which makes it all the more welcome. Although there are a lot of STEM competitions for high school students, there really aren’t that many prestigious awards to be had for those who wish to study the humanities in college. Thanks for providing high school students around the world with such a highly selective and reputable platform to be published on.

I started writing the Estonia paper at the beginning of the Summer last year, thinking I would try to see what I could do with a topic I was wholly unfamiliar with. My first attempt at a “history essay” ended up just being a 15-page summary of what had happened during Estonia’s independence, something I ended up having to scrap entirely. I have learned so much about how to write papers—especially historical papers—through this process, and what I have gained along the way is just as rewarding as the end result. In fact, I’ve already been working on a new paper about the Enclosure Acts in Industrial Revolution-era England, which I’m hoping to finish sometime this fall. I started out thinking I would write something to submit to this journal in hopes of getting published, but instead I think I’ve found something I’m truly passionate about.

The Concord Review has helped turn history writing from a means to an end to an end in itself, and from it I have learned how personally fulfilling it is to learn about historical niches that would otherwise have been overlooked. Thank you again and have a wonderful day! I’ll be sure to buy a few copies of the issue as soon as it comes out.

Have a great rest of the summer,

Neil Shen
Andover Class of 2022
Estonian Reform, Fall 2020

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