State Prose Champion Kathryn Fitzpatrick with novelist Alice Mattison, a keynote speaker and workshop leader for the event.
--Bob Thiesfield photo
Story By Kate Hartman
@HartmanRegister on Twitter
New Britain -- Kathryn Fitzpatrick, a junior at Thomaston High School, never thought she would be named state champion in prose for her story, “Caught in the Weeds,” a short story she wrote in creative writing class, the first writing instruction she had ever taken.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said the 17-year-old. “I thought I was completely out of my league. There were kids from private schools and from towns I had never heard of. I’m just from Thomaston.”
Fitzpatrick’s story about, “how people grow apart as they get older and the decisions teenagers make,” was the product of writer’s block. Her teacher, Marie Butterly, told her to write about whatever she wanted. Butterly suggested she write about what she did the night before. The story that was born earned Fitzpatrick $500 and the coveted title.
CT Young Writers Trust Announcement:
NEW BRITAIN – Two Connecticut students were awarded $500 each and named state champions in prose and poetry during the CT Young Writers 16th annual celebration Sunday at Torp Theater at Central Connecticut State University.
Kathryn Fitzpatrick, 17, of Thomaston High School, won for her story, “Caught in the Weeds.” Ailsa Slater, 18, of Westover School in Middlebury, won for her poem, “Blackbeard’s Daughter.”
Their teachers, respectively, are Marie Butterly and Bruce Coffin.
Fitzpatrick and Slater were among 20 young poets and writers honored during an afternoon ceremony preceded by workshops in prose and poetry conducted by New York Times Notable Novelist Alice Mattison and Connecticut State Poet Laureate Dick Allen. Ms. Mattison and Mr. Allen later addressed the writers and their families with keynote speeches.
Special awards of appreciation were given to two teachers, Victoria Nordlund of Rockville High School and Bruce Coffin of Westover School, for their efforts to encourage student writing.
The CT Young Writers Trust has awarded nearly $210,000 since 1998, affirming the work of nearly 8,000 young poets and writers. This year’s finalists were chosen from 400 submissions statewide.
“Year after year we are surprised and gratified by the talent, insights and verve these young writers display,” said Rand Richards Cooper, Vice-Chairperson of CT Young Writers Trust and emcee of the event. “We congratulate them all.”
Other award winners in prose and poetry were as follows:
Olive Kuhn, 17, Middletown High School
Alyssa Mulé, 15, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich
Christiane Lee, 17, Rockville High School, Vernon
Allie Geilich, 14, Ellington High School
Molly Glynn, 18, St. Joseph’s High School, Trumbull
Justin Jaeger, 17, Canterbury School, New Milford
Justin Martin, 16, Killingly High School
Ben Schultz, 16, Immaculate High School, Danbury
Candace Wilcox, 17, Torrington High School
Phoebe Jordan-Reilly, 17, The Gilbert School, Winsted
Peter LaBerge, 18, Greens Farms Academy, Westport
Kira Hunter, 16, Westover School
Riley Boeth, 17, Westover School
Hannah Gerhard, 18, Rockville High School
Charlotte Iwasaki, 17, Westover School
Alicia Kiley, 17, Greenwich Academy
Afua Nsiah, 15, Westover School
Conner Sloat, 17, Rockville High School
copies of works available for reporters
For more information, contact:
Rand Cooper, 860-232-4279, firstname.lastname@example.org