Saturday, June 02, 2007

Teens win Dublin trip

June 1, 2007

LITCHFIELD, Conn. -- Students at Rockville High School and Educational Center For The Arts in New Haven were awarded the top statewide prizes in prose and poetry Friday in the 10th annual IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers competition.

Melanie Lieberman, 16, of Vernon, won for her story, "Mashed Potato Boy And My Fifth Grade Romance." Maya Polan, 18, of New Haven, took home the poetry prize for her poem, "Unruly Sonnets Written In A Midwestern Key."

At the annual dinner Friday at the Litchfield Inn, both students were awarded full-expense - paid trips to Dublin for a week of festivities connected with the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Dublin Writers Festival. They were awarded $1,000 in April after being named winners in their respective counties and categories. The Young Writers Trust also is sending a parent of each winner to Dublin.

The awards dinner featured keynote speakers Amy Ma, Wesleyan graduate and 2001 state poetry champion who is earning teacher certification and a masters degree from Central Connecticut State University; and poet Jon Andersen, author of "Stomp And Sing" and a teacher at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs.

The program has given more than $150,000 to teenagers since 1998. About 4,000 students have participated in the program.

Co-Masters of Ceremonies for the annual dinner were author Rand Cooper and Ravi Shankar, poet in residence and professor of English at Central. Cooper and Shankar have served as judges for the competition for more than half a dozen years.

Poets and writers in each of Connecticut's eight counties win $1,000 prizes annually, awarded during ceremonies at the four CSU campuses. About a dozen finalists in
prose and poetry from each county are invited to the regional ceremonies.

In addition, a pilot program for writers of French and Spanish awards up to $1,000 in prizes to competitors from Litchfield and Wamogo High Schools.Discussions are continuing to expand that program, which is co-sponsored by the Litchfield-Morris Rotary.

Reception entertainment was provided by the Jen Allen Jazz Combo with dinner music by the Litchfield High Jazz Combo.

IMPAC, a leading productivity firm, also endows the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which at 100,000 Euros is the world's largest prize for a single work of fiction.

IMPAC Chairman Jim Irwin and retired CSU Chancellor Bill Cibes expanded the Young Writers Program from Litchfield County to cover the entire state in 2000. Chancellor David Carter, formerly president of Eastern Connecticut State University, has been a champion for the program and has undertaken initiatives to expand participation.

The CSU System serves more than 35,000 students, making it the largest public university system in Connecticut. A total of 166 academic programs are offered throughout the system, and more than 5,000 degrees are awarded annually.

Andy Thibault,
Chairman, IMPAC-CSU Young Writers Trust
231 Beach St.
Litchfield, CT 06759
Office: 800-814-6931
Cell: 860-690-0211


French & Spanish Winners 07

Spanish Poetry Winners

$150, 1st Place - Como Música Fluye
Lydia Brown
Litchfield, CT
Litchfield High School
Teacher: Allison Hennessey

$100, 2nd Place - Voz
Daniel D'Amico
Northfield, CT
Litchfield High School
Teacher - Allison Hennessey

French Poetry Winners

$150, 1st Place - Les ombres
Clark Kinkade
Litchfield, CT
Litchfield High School
Teacher: Aline Libassi

$100, 2nd Place - Je ne peux pas manger sans
Bridget Smith
Litchfield, CT
Litchfield High School
Teacher: Aline LiBassi

French Prose Winners

$150, 1st Place - La Petite Coccinelle Inquiète
Danielle Moreau
Litchfield, CT
Litchfield High School
Teacher: Mary Connelly Pereira

$100, 2nd Place - Le rêve de Sophie
Elizabeth Scirica
Litchfield, CT
Litchfield High School
Teacher: Mary Connelly Pereira

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