2014 Contest Winners

Young Writers Contest Winners

In Fiction

 First Place

“The Best of Both Worlds” by Angela Yoon, Age 16

Gangnam-gu, Seoul-si, South Korea

Seoul International School, Grade 10

In a sense “The Best of Both Worlds” is itself the best of two worlds, one the universal coming of age story, a loss of innocence we all recognize, but in another the very specific story of leaving a childhood in the Shanxi Province for a harsh adult reality in Beijing. I admire the compression and the urgency of this story, the poignancy of it, and the circular structure, the end and beginning mirroring one another in this journey of growth and of loss. A beautiful piece.

~Robin Black

Second Place

“Home” by Jiace Cai

Voorhees, New Jersey, United States

Eastern Regional High School, Grade 11

“Home” is a clear, eloquent depiction of the difficulties of living a dual identity, Chinese at home, American at school, lying and covering up in both places. The feelings of shame and of pride that reside inside the narrator are rendered with heartbreaking simplicity. “I changed my name from Xiaofei to Jennifer. . .” The journey to an acceptance of an identity woven of both “homes” is a powerful one.

~Robin Black

Third Place

“Face Me” by Cassidy Cole

Denver, Colorado, United States

Girl’s Athletic Leadership School, Grade 8

“Face Me” is a portrait of a very young woman living under the Taliban regime who feels unseen, faceless, powerless, because she was born female. It is a uncompromising, harrowing depiction of the kind of rage that being treated like offensive “lesser” property engenders, a glimpse at societal abuse, and worse, through the eyes of one hidden girl who has not given up a dream of power, whatever it takes. A painful and deeply moving piece.

~Robin Black

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In Nonfiction

First Place

“Cultural Obstacles” by Ben Gershenfeld

Voorhees, New Jersey, United States

Eastern Regional High School, Grade 11

I admire how the author combines the personal – holiday schedules at his school – with the wider view, such as his father’s workplace, the corporate world beyond, and the US House and Senate, to reveal deeply ingrained inequity in how we treat religions and religious holidays.

~Dinty W. Moore

Second Place

“The Health Care Struggle of the Australian Aborigines” by Evan Kielmeyer

Smithtown, New York, United States

Smithtown High School West, Grade 10

The author’s well-researched and compassionate look at the many obstacles – cultural, economic, geographical – that aboriginal citizens face in obtaining quality healthcare is compelling and important.

~Dinty W. Moore

Third Place

“1000 Years” by Marceline Nguyen  Age 16

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Tran Dai Nghia, Grade 10

 A fascinating historical look at the ancestors of the Vietnamese people, and how the members of the ancient Au Lac culture thwarted attempts at cultural obliteration to preserve their selves and their society.  An important bit of history still, sadly, relevant today.

~Dinty W. Moore

In Poetry

First Place

“A Pashtun Girl in Northern Pakistan” by Dashiell Yeatts-Lonske

Rockville, Maryland, United States

Richard Montgomery High School, Grade 10

This poem is deeply intelligent, with stanzas arranged in order of the daily calls to prayer. The writing is clear and unaffected and subtle in its irony and grief. The work of a real poet.

~David Mason

Second Place

“Milk and Honey” by Matthew Rice, Age 16

Buffalo Grove, Illinois, United States

Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Grade 11

The poem is vivid in its writing, with wonderfully specific touches about life in a divided land. The poet shows real structural intelligence in the movement between two columns of verse, and the verse itself is strong.

~David Mason

Third Place

“Shalom, Salaam” by John Vernaglia, Age 14

Medford, Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge Friends School, Grade 8

With its ironic formal symmetries, this poem simply and beautifully underlines the absurdity of a situation in which people who are culturally tied become enemies because of bigotry and mistrust.

~David Mason

Congratulations to all the winners of our 2014 Young Writers Contest! First, second, and third place winners will receive cash prizes, as well as publication in our 2015 issue of DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts. Author picture and bio pages will be added to our website as available. Contest finalists will be notified individually, and may be considered for future publication. All young writers will receive a certificate of participation.

 

 

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