Monthly Archives: May 2016

2016 Youth Summit Now Public


“Listen to Me” created by Paula Dawn Lietz, artist-in-residence

The last weekend of April, Writing for Peace hosted our first annual Youth Summit to provide a safe place for young writers, artists, and activists (ages 18-30) to discuss aspects of peace, artistic expression, and activism, as well as the chance to engage with keynote speakers and develop their craft through educational opportunities.

During the event, work and conversation is not shared publicly, allowing for uninhibited self-expression. Participants are offered the opportunity to remove work and comments before the summit is shared publicly.

2016 Writing for Peace Inaugural Online Youth Summit

Participants shared and discussed their own work. For those interested, we offered a workshop on Peace Journalism, taught by Dr. Elissa Tivona, and given the opportunity to accept assignments and join the ranks of our Peace Journalists in our developing Writing for Peace Journalism Program. They also watched and discussed Dr. Erica Chenoweth’s TED Talk on Nonviolent Resistance. You’ll find links to these and the key note speeches on the site. We welcome you to peruse the site’s content and discussion. Comments have been disabled there, but can be directed to Writing for Peace on this page, or through our contact page. Comments are moderated.

“What I Would Say If I Knew They Were Listening, Conversations on Peace”

Keynote Speakers include:

Lyla June Johnston, Writing fr Peace Young AdviserLyla June Johnston is a Navajo poet and peace activist from Taos, New Mexico, who has found her home in the service of humanity. After studying Human Ecology at Stanford University, Lyla founded Regeneration Festival, an annual celebration and honoring of children and young adults worldwide.

Natan Blanc, Writing for Peace Young AdviserNathan Blanc is an Israeli who refused to serve in the IDF (Israeli army) “because of its actions against the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.” Nathan held fast to his convictions, despite being sentenced 10 times, to a total of 178 days in jail. Nathan’s struggle was first of all a struggle for the freedom of conscience, but it was also a struggle for peace between the Jews and the Arabs in Israel.

Amal KassirAmal Kassir is a 20 year old Syrian‐American spoken word artist. Born and raised most her life in Denver, CO, she came from a dinner table of tabouleh and meat loaf, Arab father and American mother, best meals of both worlds. She runs a project called More than Metaphors that focuses on the education initiative for displaced Syrian children, but uses the grass roots to bring communities together for all conversations.


D.M. Aderibigbe was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated with a BA in History and Strategic Studies from University of Lagos in 2014. His chapbook, In Praise of Our Absent Father was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. He is the recipient of 2015 and 2016 fellowships and honours from Oristaglio Family Foundation, Entrekin Foundation, Dickinson House, Callaloo and Boston University where he is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing.

Writing for Peace is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating empathy through education and creative writing in order to develop a foundation of compassion on which to build a more peaceful world. Our goal is to inspire and guide young writers (and other artists) to refine their craft and consider the many ways their writing focus can bring us closer to nonviolent conflict resolution, a society that values human rights, as well as environmental and economic sustainability.


Copyright © 2016 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

2016 Young Writers Contest Winners


2016 Contest Judges

We would like to acknowledge all of the young writers who took the time to research a new culture and write a story, essay, or poem for the Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest. Completing this challenge is no small achievement, and we salute your commitment to expanding your knowledge base and developing your craft. We would also like to thank the teachers and mentors who encouraged their students to take our challenge, and then inspired and guided them to prepare their best work.

In Fiction

First Place: “Cherry Blossom Soldier –  Winner” by Vivian Zhao
Naperville, Illinois, USA

Second Place: “My Two Fathers” by Julianna(YoungEun) Lee
Demarest, New Jersey, USA

Third Place: “In A Southwestern Town” by Jake Pritchett
Belvue, Colorado, USA


In Nonfiction

First Place: “North Africa to Iberia” by Jared Anwar
Pacific Palisade, California, USA

Second Place: “The Kurdish Injustice” by Grace Choi
Old Tappan, New Jersey, USA

Third Place: “Destined to be Dalits” by Jaeeun Kim
Tenafly, New Jersey, USA


In Poetry

First Place: “She Serves in Ben Hai” by Lisa Zou
Chandler, Arizona, USA

Second Place: “Dear M” by Lydia Chew
Chandler, Arizona, USA

Third Place: “Mae Jean” by Ritika Bharati
Chandler, Arizona, USA

2016 winning entries will be published in our 2017 DoveTales. Participation Certificates and Awards will be sent out next week. Be sure to watch our blog and Facebook page to learn more about these talented young writers, and what our judges had to say about their work. We would like to thank our prestigious panel of judges: Meg Pokrass; Rebekah Mosby, Nonfiction; E. Ethelbert Miller, poetry.


Notable Finalists

This year, in addition to our winners, Writing for Peace would like to recognize  three exceptional finalists whose submissions will be published in our blog.

“The Night of Shattered Myth” by Swatilekha Roy
Durgapur, West Bengal, India

“Cocktail at Azrael’s” by Gokce Guven
Istanbul, Turkey

“Unity in Peace” by Archika Dogra
Bellevue, Washington, USA


Congratulations to all our contest winners!

Copyright © 2016 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.