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Frances Dowell has been writing since she learned how to put words on paper — poems, short stories, essays, novels, nonfiction. The little girl who grew up to become an award-winning author remembers writing “500 brillant beginnings that were never finished.” That’s one of the reasons why she is so passionate about helping young writers “get through that first draft all the way to the end."

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With classmates, family members and friends watching from computer and phone screens near and far, four Durham Academy seniors formally committed to compete in college athletics on Wednesday. Quinn Shanahan will run cross-country and track at Butler University; both Jay Shanahan and Anna Catherine Wilson will run cross-country and track at Davidson College; and Jackson Brimfield will play golf at the University of Louisville.

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The Durham Academy speech and debate program has had an active fall, with Upper Schoolers participating in six competitions in the month of October alone; five students being named Academic All-Americans by the National Speech & Debate Association; and the DA program being named one of the nation’s top 100 programs of the NSDA’s 3,000 member schools. In addition, the DA Middle School speech and debate program launched with 49 participants.

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