Undercover Poetry Contest Results, An Interview, and Some Guest Blogging

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In Seeing Past Z: Nurturing the Imagination in a Fast-Forward World, my memoir about the years I spent learning from a group of young writers, I made it clear that I do not believe in writing as a competitive sport.

I felt, therefore, as if I'd stepped onto hypocritical grounds these past two days as I tried to sort through the many glorious submissions to the Undercover poetry contest. The bloggers who visit here and the bloggers whom I visit are putting art out into the world. Thoughtful, provocative, introspective, original poems and prose that make me stop, over and again. How could I ever choose a slate of bests?

In the end, I narrowed the list of submissions into two semi-finalist slates—one for authors 21 and under, and one for all the others. Jill Santopolo, senior editor at HarperTeen, then spent part of her Monday morning narrowing the field even more. "This will be hard," she said, after seeing the work, but within a few hours she'd made her choices, saying: "What fun to spend the morning reading poetry! In all that I chose, I felt the universality of the experiences written about—I instantly connected with the poem and the narrator and the emotions evoked."

The winners of the 21 and under series are Cuileann, "My Letter to My Astronaut Sister" and The Curly Q, "Self-Contradiction." Runners up in this series are Erin ("Standing") and Maya ("Napwrimo-25"). Cuileann and Q will both receive signed Undercover paperbacks. Erin and Maya will receive (in two months, when they are available) galleys of my fourth YA novel, The Heart is Not a Size, due out next March. Please leave your email addresses in the comments box of this blog so that we can correspond and I can get your snail mail.

The winner of the second category is Susan for her poem that begins, "Searching for the boy." Susan, I'd love to have your email address as well.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to share with me your best work. There wasn't a poem in the bunch that did not move me. I have promised to write a poem with some of your best lines. Look for that in a coming post.

Finally, the writer Sherrie Petersen kindly interviewed me on her always interesting blog. She asked great questions, and I encourage you to take a look. Also today, on the HarperTeen site, I am guest blogging about beginnings. Finally, on David Tabler's lovely Appalachian History blog, I am writing about Horace Kephart's personal legacy, sharing photographs that I have not previously posted.

15 comments:

Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
septembermom said...

It's always a treat to discover wonderful poets. Congratulations to the winners! I look forward to reading their poems. Beth, I'll also jump over to the other blogs you mentioned. Happy reading for me!

Cuileann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivian said...

Congrats to the winners! You will love UNDERCOVER!

Lilian Nattel said...

Wonderful poems. I'm glad to have had the chance to read them.

Em said...

Congrats to the winners! And I just did a little dance...only two months til I might get my hands on your next book??!! :)

maya ganesan said...

Thank you so muchly! :) :)

poet.1234 [at] gmail [dot] com

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

Wow, what a lovely treat this evening to read these wonderful poems. Many, many congratulations to the winners and runners-up!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Thanks for the interview, Beth. You were a fun subject :^)

And my goodness, you are everywhere today! I'll have to go check out the guest posts...

Q said...

I'm grinning all over right now. :D

Woman in a Window said...

Congratulations to all the winners! And holy crow, Beth, how do you have time to blog?

Erin said...

Oooh my gooseness! THANK YOU! I so can't wait!

mimagirl(at)gmail(dot)com

I'm so honored. And to think I'm friends with all the other winning under-21's...

Tessa said...

Congratulations to all the winners and runners up - really superb poetry. It blew me away. Seriously.
Imagine an anthologoy - brilliant!

Emily Ruth said...

aw YAYYY! :) Everyone I would have picked won.

This makes me so happy XD

Susan said...

Hi Beth!
I am thrilled to find out I won your contest. I am so filled with doubt about my poetry that this came at the perfect time.

I somehow missed this post when you announced the winners.

I don't know how you landed on my son's blog but I'm glad I found the comment from you there.

My blog is http://susanwrites.livejournal.com

My email is
susantaylorbrown AT gmail DOT com

Thank you again!

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