by Charles A. Monagan
May 18, 2011
03:18 PMOn Connecticut
The Power of the Pen
In the midst of its 14th year, the Connecticut Young Writers Competition has gained tremendous popularity with 806 entries, marking an all-time high for the annual literary contest. The competition, a project of the Connecticut Young Writers Trust and the Connecticut State University System, encourages young writers, ages 13-18, to submit original entries of prose or poetry. The contest offers teenagers an opportunity to showcase their skills with an added bonus (or perhaps, incentive)— the chance to win a cash prize and have their work published in the literary journal of the Connecticut State University System, Connecticut Review.
Though the submissions deadline has passed, the statewide awards ceremony will be held on June 11th at Central Connecticut State University. In the same manner as preceding years, the ceremony will recognize the thirty finalists and give a special award, determined by an esteemed panel of judges, to the state’s top poet and prose writer. In addition, Charlotte Crowe, Canton resident and 2005 state prose champion, will conduct workshops for the young finalists along with keynote speakers Patricia Smith and Bruce DeSilva.
Honoring young writers’ creative efforts is an important stepping-stone, propelling them to persist in their writing careers and realize they can be recognized for their talents. Being caught in a wave of excitement among distinguished authors and former champions during ceremony night will inspire a long-lasting relationship with writing, one that has to be practiced just like any other goal or passion. Those who did not receive a “finalist” title should also be applauded for their determination to write an original story or poem and enter it into a contest. Even participating in a competition is an exciting step in a writer’s life, and hopefully all 806 writers who entered will continue to write and submit.
Last year’s awards dinner, held at the Hartford Club, presented a cash prize of $1000 to Sheldon Gaskell and Grace Beggins for their outstanding pieces. Previous awards ceremony locations include the Mark Twain House & Museum, a very suitable setting for a competition that hosts so many aspiring writers. The competition has proved to be a true inspiration, with its increased number of entries and a group of more than 7,000 gifted writers as perfect evidence. Young writers, be sure to look out for the 2012 submissions deadline. Everyone else be on the lookout for the next batch of young writers who will be sure to deliver a heavy dose of imagination next year.
Statewide Awards Banquet will be held June 11 at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), 1615 Stanley St., New Britain. Admission is $50; free to young writers. For more information, call Ron Winter at (860) 228-6803 or visit ctyoungwriterstrust.org.