Young Writers Take the Park: celebrating our winners, and an open invitation

Friday, March 23, 2012

As many of you know, we have been hard at work on Young Writers Take the Park—an opportunity for Philadelphia-area teens to submit their work for consideration for publication (and a public reading), to work with authors in an intimate workshop setting, to meet some of the best young adult authors living and working in Pennsylvania today, and to get to know the brand-new independent bookstore, The Spiral Bookcase.

Elizabeth Mosier, who has one of the best pairs of lit eyes on the planet (and a sophisticated critique vocabulary, I might add) helped me judge the many semi-finalist entries that were presented by the teachers (and friends) of Conestoga High School, T/E Middle School, Villa Maria Academy, Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, and Penn Alexander.  To all those who took the time to submit, and to all those who encouraged participation, we thank you.

We were unanimous in our selections.  The winners are:

Celeste Flahaven “Untitled,” Villa Maria Academy

"Breeze rippled the tall grass and the flaxen heads of wheat bent to reveal golden undersides...."

Maria Dulin, “Prodigy,” Villa Maria Academy

"Take away anything, but you take away my music, my hearing, then you may as well take away my life."
Calamity Rose Jung-Allen, Penn Alexander 

"Pudgy cats yowl in alleyways, deserted..."

Olivia McCloskey, “Goodbye,” Villa Maria Academy

"Will remembered sliding down onto the floor, his back against the wall, the phone clutched to his ear by his white-knuckled hand.  That was the phone call that had changed his life forever."

Lauren Harris, “The Confessions of a Not-So-Only Child,” T/E Middle School

"Let the record show that I, Ivy Lee Miller, loved being an only child...."

Davis O’Leary, “Reflection,” T/E Middle School

"Eyes crusted with the dust of restless sleep...."

These winning entries will appear in a forthcoming issue of Philadelphia Stories Jr., thanks to the generosity of Christine Weiser and her team.

Our semi-finalists will be joining us for the workshop that Elizabeth Mosier and I will be teaching near The Spiral Bookcase premises, starting at 1:30 tomorrow. At 3 o'clock, the teen winners will read from their work at Pretzel Park (or inside, if rain tries to thwart us).

Please join us, starting at 3 PM in Pretzel Park to hear from the teens and to meet the truly great writers Susan Campbell Bartoletti, A.S. King, April Linder, and Elizabeth Mosier, who will be there to talk informally about the writing life and to autograph their books for you.


Serena said...

Congrats to the winners. I remember meeting Christine at Writer's Center event in Bethesda, md. one year or perhaps it was a dc writer's conference.

Melissa Sarno said...

Wow, what amazing writers, what a beautiful thing for you all to come together. I know you've worked so hard for this event. The bookstore and these young writers are extremely lucky to have you. Good luck and have fun. And say 'hello' to that marching band for me ;)

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