Young Writers Writing Well, and Come See Me, May 26th!

I've read and reread the entries to my writing contest at least three times. The prompt was to describe what it's like to be a new kid or to encounter a new kid. I was surprised by the number of students who described themselves as quiet. Many spoke of not raising their hands or avoiding things that would cause them to get noticed. They worried people would think they were weird.

The honesty in some of these essays was heartbreaking. These students were so brave to share their true feelings in print, and I was impressed with their insights and observations. A few of the essays contained humor and melancholy in one fluid narrative--that's quite an achievement for young writers.

I'm proud of all the students who entered. It was hard to select winners with so many well-written essays to choose from. But choose I did. Tomorrow, I start my visits to morning announcement to award prizes.

Look for winning essays to be posted on my website in June! In the meantime, come to the Barnes & Noble Waterford on May 26th, 5:30-7:00 p.m., where I'll be signing copies of The Summer of Moonlight Secrets!


Sandy Nawrot said...

It's almost here! I bet you are excited! My review is coming a week from today.

Rena said...

Good luck with your contest. Those descriptions sounded a lot like me when I was a kid. I hated having to speak out in front of my class. I was SO shy. Now I talk to anyone. What the heck happened?

Danette Haworth said...

Sandy, I AM excited and nervous, too. Can't wait to see how you liked the book.

Rena, YES! I also recognized my younger self in much of their descriptions. Aren't you so glad that these things turn around?

Charles Gramlich said...

That must have been interesting and agonizing at the same time to read all those and make judgements on them. I'll look forward to the winning essay.

Danette Haworth said...

What you said was so true. Some of the essays were SO honest, and it almost made me mad on their behalf for the treatment they received. I say almost because these same writers somehow tempered that element of their essays with humor. I just couldn't believe such young writers could do that so well.

And it did break my heart to see how many people felt shy, even when they were the kid who already lived there, and their essay was about encountering a newcomer.

The grand prize winners (not announced yet!) wrote so well. One writer's take was from a perspective I hadn't even considered. His entry was short but insightful.