The 17th Annual Young Writers Award Ceremony
On Monday, May 20, the Library hosted the 17th Young Writers Awards ceremony. Nearly 250 children and teens submitted poetry or prose entries. Trustee and Children's Library Committee chair Susan Robbins welcomed everyone and warmly thanked Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner for her continued underwriting of this annual competition. Our returning panel of judges enthusiastically acknowledged all of the participating young writers and shared words of encouragement about continuing their creative efforts. Photos by Karen Smul
The judge of elementary prose, author and illustrator Robert Quackenbush, began the awards portion of the ceremony welcoming the winners and honorable mention recipients to the podium and asking that they share the inspiration behind their submissions. One piece was inspired by a young girl’s love of football and her hopes to overcome gender bias and play on her school’s team. Another was inspired by a memorable incident, a theme which recurred often throughout the night across the age groups. Dave Johnson, the judge of elementary poetry, found similar themes emerging as the children responded to the emotional and social climates around them. Johnson read pieces of each poem out loud, highlighting specific strong points in the variety of award-winning pieces.
The judge for middle school entries, writer and teen advice columnist Carol Weston, encouraged aspiring writers to keep at their craft, and noted the creativity in the works. The middle school writers found inspiration in a range of themes, from modern political events to Osiris, God of the Underworld. Author Edra Ziesk, the judge for high school entries, was deeply impressed by the maturity of the winning work, which was inspired by Robert Frost’s "Birches."
After the awards presentation Head Librarian Carolyn Waters concluded the evening and declared that she hoped one day to find the future works of these young writers in the Library's stacks.
The gathered families and friends enjoyed a reception afterwards with refreshments and conversation in the Members’ Room. We invite you to read the winning entries of 2019.