Home Schooler From Redding
Claims Connecticut Prose Crown
As Young Writers Celebrate At Mark Twain House;
Poetry Champion From Westover School Of Middlebury
News From The Connecticut Young Writers Trust
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HARTFORD, Conn. May 31, 2009 - A home-schooler from Redding and a student at Westover School in Middlebury were awarded the top statewide prizes in prose and poetry Sunday night in the 12th annual IMPAC-Connecticut State University System Young Writers competition.
Emma Lowenberg, 16, of the Lowenberg Home School in Redding, won for her story, "Bernard." Felicity Sheehy, 16, of Westover School of Middlebury, for her poem, "Evening Conversation."
At the annual awards celebration Sunday at Mark Twain House & Museum, both students received $1,000 for their efforts. Lowenberg and Sheehy also were awarded $500 in April after being named, respectively, prose and poetry winners in Fairfield and New Haven counties.
Lowenberg is the first home school county and state champion in the program's 12-year history. A number of home school writers have been county finalists over the years.
Lowenberg's and Sheehy's works will be considered for publication in Connecticut Review, the nationally-renowned literary journal published by the Connecticut State University System (CSUS).
The awards celebration featured keynote speakers Melanie Lieberman, the 2007 state prose champion and a Rockville High School senior; and her teacher, Victoria Nordlund, chair of the English department and a long-time nurturer of young poets and writers. Lieberman, who will read at the renowned Sunken Garden Young Voices Program in Farmington this summer, plans to attend Emerson College in the fall.
Co-Masters of Ceremonies at Twain House were Rand Richards Cooper, the novelist and travel writer for Bon Appetit; Diane Smith, CPTV host and author; Colin McEnroe, the Hartford Courant columnist and author; and Ravi Shankar, professor and poet-in-residence at Central Connecticut State University. They all serve as judges for the program.
The 16 county state finalists were treated to tours of the Twain House & Museum, a program on Twain and a workshop by Lieberman and Nordlund. Reception entertainment was by the Jen Allen Big Band; catering by Frank Rosa's La Cupola Ristorante of Litchfield.
Performance poet and slam coach Elizabeth Thomas, the Connecticut Review Poet in Residence for the Naugatuck public schools, led a workshop for teachers on how to teach performance poetry.
The program has given more than $176,000 to teenagers since 1998.
2009 Fairfield & Litchfield County Champions with Western Connecticut State University President James Schmotter and CSU System Chancellor David Carter, from left to right: Kevin Redmond, Clarissa Burch, Emma Lowenberg and Amanda Ball.
-- Photo by J Thompson Pease
Emma Lowenberg's "Bernard"
click on images below -- 4 pages
With Young Writers Supporters@ Southern Event
From left to right: Franz Douskey, founding board member, Connecticut Young Writers Trust; Dr. Cheryl Norton, President, Southern Connecticut State University; young poets and writers Felicity Sheehy, Evelyn Benvie, Dillon Jones and Aliza Gans; Dr. David Carter, the CSU System Chancellor.
-- Photo by Betsy Beacom, Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs, Southern Connecticut State University
Felicity Sheehy's "Evening Conversation"
click on images below -- 2 pages
COMPLETE LIST OF COUNTY CHAMPIONS / STATE FINALISTS
The poetry county champions are:
Jhyde Ryals, 18, of Fitch Senior High School of Groton, for her poem, "To Jhyde: From Daddy;"
Yarelis Rivera, 14, of Windham High School, for her poem, "I Said No."
Amanda Ball, 17, of Greenwich Academy, for her poem, "Snapshots Denied;"
Kevin Redmond, 17, of Torrington High School, for his poem, "The Cold Stare Of Infinity;"
Cara Dorris, 15, of Glastonbury High School, for her poem, "hors de Paris;"
Jamie Phillips, 17, of E.O. Smith High School, for her poem, "Longevity;"
Dillon Jones, 16, of Old Saybrook High School, for his poem, "Ode;"
Felicity Sheehy, 16, of Westover School of Middlebury, for her poem, "Evening Conversation."
The prose county champions are:
Hilary Sunderland, 17, of Griswold High School, for her story, "Beauty in the Breakdown;"
Kianne Gaylor, 18, of Woodstock Adademy, for her story, "Illuminating the Shadows."
Emma Lowenberg, 16, of the Lowenberg Home School in Redding, for her story, "Bernard;"
Clarissa Burch, 15, of New Milford High School, for her story, "Missing You;"
Leah Shafer, 16, of Simsbury High School, for her story, "Snap;"
Jessica Ruman, 17, of Rockville High School, for her story, "Photo;"
Evelyn Benvie, 18, of Valley Regional High School of Deep River, for her story, "Once More;"
Aliza Gans, 16, of Educational Center for the Arts of New Haven, for her story, "The Mile."