Wachtel Literary Awards for 2018 - winner :

[Gabriel Gelkepicture]

Gabriel Gelke


Gabriel Gelke is currently a rising Senior and President of the Executive Council at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, New York. Gabe has 4.0 GPA and is starting Varsity Football player. He is also editor of the yearbook, a Scholar Athlete, throws shot put on the Varsity Track team and is a Cantor in the Music Ministry. He recently sang in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Gala Holiday Pops Show as a member of the High School Chorus. Gabe is also a member of the St. Joseph of Arimathea Pallbearer Society, an Admissions Ambassador and a retreat leader. Gabe recently received the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award from the University of Rochester. Gabe is also an altar server at his local parish and a certified Lifeguard. Gabe plans to go to college to study International Relations and Business.

Gabriel's essay: Communism in Poland and St. John Paul II is posted here.
(go to essay text)


Polish Heritage Society, Rochester, NY - Literary Competition (see information page)


History: The Literary Awards (formerly Competition) was established in 1995 by Estelle Wachtel-Torres MD (see bio) in memory of her father, Stanley Zenon Wachtel. (read his complete biography) Mr. Wachtel was a pioneer of Chicago's Polish Theatre. In Detroit, he became the long-time producer of the Polish Language Radio Program on WJLB, WEXL and WNBC. Plus, he was a lead writer as well as an announcer on Polish radio. Gertrude Wachtel, his spouse, was also active in the theatre and looked after the finances of the programs.

Purpose: The Literary Awards (Competition) was established to foster the endeavors of Polish American Youth in the fields of journalism and/or literature. In order to be considered for an award, the age criteria is from junior high school until the age of 30 (in case of an individual studying for a doctorate or master's degree). The American Council for Polish Culture will match the first prize awards up to $750.00 per affiliate on an annual basis.

Criteria: For a matching award an affiliate or supporting organization must notify the Literary Awards Chair with the following information.

    1. A notification of the date of the competition.
    2. Rules of its competition.
    3. The size of the award.
    4. The winner's name and any other requested data must be forwarded after the judging.
    5. Forward a copy of the winning entry plus a photo of the 1st place recipient to the Literary Awards Chair via an e-mail attachment to:
      Carolyn L. Meleski clmele@comcast.net