2012 Young Writers’ Fiction Contest
Second Place, Fiction: “Unparalleled Freedom,” by Caroline Nawrocki
10th grade, Germantown Academy, Pennsylvania
I stumbled upon the Writing for Peace contest through some of my friends in the writing community. I immediately knew that I wanted to submit to this contest, because it combined writing, an old love of mine, and global awareness, something that I have become more interested in, especially this year due to my World History course at school. Writing first appealed to me when I was in middle school, since it was then I grasped the idea that the places my imagination took me could be combined with a small obsession of mine, reading. I have been writing short fiction since my preteen years across all genres, and have written poetry since the start of high school. Last summer I was lucky enough to attend the Bard College at Simon’s Rock Young Writers Workshop, a program that really immersed me in a community of incredibly gifted writers. My writing grew so much over those three amazing weeks, and I have really tried to share my writing more this year through school and opportunities like Writing for Peace.
In Caroline’s short story, “Unparalleled Freedom,” we meet Luludja, a young Romani girl living in poverty as an outsider in France. Luludja struggles to cope with familial and cultural expectations, while grieving for the colorful traditions of her past and longing for freedom. With rich sensory detail and evocative images, “Unparalleled Freedom” shows us her day to day life, and how her family relationships and friendships are affected by government and social pressures.
“On days when the Bulgarian sun finds its way to France, I stick my head out the window and close my eyes to the railroad tracks and concrete buildings, and imagine our caravan, a carnival of colors that seem to exist only in open air.”
Says Caroline, “There is something so nomadically beautiful about the Romani people that it seems like a crime for them to be oppressed as much as they are. Awareness needs to be spread about their cause, and through the written word I hope that can be accomplished.”
Read “Unparalleled Freedom” in its entirety on January 1st, 2013 in DoveTales, an online publication of Writing for Peace.
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