Young Adult writer Rebecca Fjelland Davis, author of Jake Riley: Irreparably Damaged and her new YA novel Chasing AllieCat, gave an inspiring, energizing keynote talk about our need for stories and about how to grow as a writer.
The top 3 winners from grades 3-12 in each category--Fiction, Non-fiction, and Poetry--received a medal and a copy of the Creating Spaces anthology with their published work. The top writers in 11-12th grade received $2,000 scholarships to SMSU. Parents, grandparents, siblings and teachers all applauded the young writers. SMSU creative writing students served as first-tier judges, and SMSU English Department faculty serve as the final judges.
Each year the quantity and quality of the writing grows, and the turnout at the award ceremony increases. In a culture where we often lament that reading by children and teens is declining, this event speaks volumes otherwise. These young writers have much to say, and they're not holding back.