Each year at my graduate program, a conference is held to honor the work of the graduate students. Students may submit work in each of the following categories: critical papers, creative stories, and original artwork to win one of three awards presented at the conference.
This was the first time I’ve ever entered any sort of writing contest. The past two years I’ve simply attended this conference as an observer, and I did not enter anything in any of the categories.
There were 24 creative submissions this year, all from Hollins University MFA graduate students in Children’s Literature.
Last week, I learned my entry was one of the creative submissions selected to be read at the conference, and that my piece would be one of five pieces to go on to be judged by outside judges for the final honor of Best Creative Submission. The judges for this year’s FBC conference were: Ashley Wolff (children’s book author and illustrator), Bruce Coville (children’s and YA author), and Michele Ebersole (Professor of Children’s Literature at University of Hawaii).
And… as you may have guessed by the title of this post… I won!
I entered the first 12 pages (first 3,000 words) of a short story I wrote in my Fantasy Genre Study course last summer. The current title is “Rebel Angel” and the story is about a rebellious guardian angel who is sent to Earth on her first mission where she must save a boy from being recruited by a gang.
Below are pictures of me reading my selection at the conference. I was nervous to speak in front of a crowd of adults as opposed to 11-14 year olds. But after a lot of practice, all went smoothly. A few funny parts in my story even got some laughs from the audience! 🙂