In March, I was honored to be invited back to recite poems by one of the American Voice nominees, Emily Zhang, at this year’s DC Metro Scholastic Writing Awards. Sponsored by Writopia Lab and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Writing Awards recognize DC Metro Area middle and high school students whose writing has earned Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention Awards, American Voice nominations, the Busboys & Poets Senior Portfolio Scholarship and the Edward P. Jones Young Writer Award.
You could not help but be affected by the positivity and creative energy in the room. Being amongst so many talented young writers was a joy. I saw myself all over again. Seeing and hearing how much literature, language and writing has inspired these young men and women truly touched me. When you are blessed with the gift of writing, it unites you with such a vast community. A community where we feel deeply connected and happily at home.
Writing gives you the freedom to explore worlds. To change minds. To explore feelings–both familiar and unfamiliar. To get inside the lives of characters and their experiences. To dispel myths. To reflect on social, political, cultural and historical events and the impact they’ve had on generations past and present. Writing gives us the opportunity to make the unknown known. To tell our truth. To cast away our fears and simply live. Writing is everything and more.
The approach, style and genres in which we write may vary. But it’s our love of writing, our foresight, insight, perspective, curiosity…and desire for understanding, respect and freedom for all that brings us together.
It’s with great happiness that I announce I’ve been selected to read a few works by this year’s American Voice Nominees at the 2014 DC Metro Scholastic Writing Awards! Performing, giving back, and highlighting some of the Greater Washington Area’s up-and-coming writers—does it get any better than that?
Each year, students in grades 7-12 are encouraged to participate in the The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Almost 200,000 students enter their art and writing “for review by panels of art and writing professionals, and compete for recognition, scholarships, and publication opportunities” (Writopia Lab | Scholastic Writing Awards). 2.5 million students have been awarded over $25 million in cash awards and scholarships since 1923. Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards Alumni include Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, Joyce Carol Oates, and Zac Posen.
The Scholastic Writing Awards will be held: March 11, 2014 | 6:30PM to 8:30PM | Artisphere’s Spectrum Theater | 1611 N. Kent Street Arlington, VA 22209. The event is open to the public. If you’re in the area, please come celebrate the brilliant talents of some of the DC-Area’s most promising teen writers.
Congrats to all of the nominees and winners!
Until next time… Peace, Love, and Many Blessings, BuddahDesmond