Thursday, March 10, 2011

Diversity Of Thought, Free Expression And The Revival Of The CT Young Writers Trust Competition

  • Complete Hartford Courant Story By Jon Lender Notes Endowment Push, Superstar Lineup For Annual Celebration

  • -- Glastonbury businessman Matt Daly talks about the duty of those who are well off -- personally and in business -- to affirm the work of young writers in a democratic republic. Daly noted that the Trust is an entity in which diversity of thought comes together to promote free expression, a bulwark of any democracy. After his presentation Tuesday at Connecticut's Legislative Office Building, Daly met with a group of young writers who have competed in the program. The program faced a shutdown in December before Daly's family foundation saved it.
    -- CT Young Writers Trust Photo By BOB THIESFIELD

    CT Young Writers Official Announcements:
    Deadline Tuesday, March 15 Postmark;
    Superstar Lineup For Annual Celebration
    June 11 At CCSU

    1. - Trust Embarks On Endowment Initiative

    March 8, 2011 -- The Connecticut Young Writers Trust -- facing dissolution -- crawled out of the grave in December to resume operations for its 14th year.

    A rescue donor contributed $10,000 and the Connecticut State University System resumed logistical support. Poets and writers from all four CSUS
    campuses have worked on this program since its inception in 1998.

    Deadline is imminent for our 2011 competition. We will be able to distribute thousands of dollars in prizes this spring.

    Since 1998, The Trust has affirmed the work of more than 6,000 young poets and writers, giving away nearly $200,000 and conducting numerous workshops for teachers and their students.

    "This program produces viable and visible rewards in a very short time," said Ravi Shankar, the poet and professor at Central Connecticut State University. "The CT Young Writers Trust partners with teachers to help them prepare students for the rigors of college-level writing.

    "As the oldest and most successful writing contest in Connecticut, the competition delivers student validation with widespread community support, making it an indispensible program in any economic climate."

    To ensure the long-term viability of the Trust, Executive Director Ron Winter is working on fundraising initiatives leading to the establishment of an endowment. Winter, an author and Marine veteran, facilitated the donation by the family trust of Glastonbury businessman Matthew Daly, allowing the program to continue this year.

    "We envision an endowment similar to the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund," Winter said. "We intend to create a stable principal that will provide sufficient interest, that when combined with annual donations will enable the program to continue regardless of the state and national economy."

    Also Tuesday, the Trust will announce a superstar lineup of poets and writers for our annual celebration in June.

    We also have an eclectic event March 13 to highlight the March 15 entry deadline. Teachers, students, poets, writers and board members of The Trust will also be on hand.

  • Sunday, March 13 Event

  • Our events are like sports banquets, but our music is a lot better.

  • CT-N Coverage Of 2010 Celebration @ The Hartford Club

  • 390 Shore Drive, Branford CT 06405
    501 (c) 3 Federal Tax ID: 31-1635811

    Executive Director,, 860-228-6803
    Administrator,, 203-843-1423
    Legal Counsel,, 860-275-6801
    Chairman,, 860-690-0211

    Charlotte Crowe, Patricia Smith, Bruce DeSilva
    CT Young Writers Trust
    SAT. JUNE 11

    Central Connecticut State University


    CHARLOTTE CROWE, 2005 state prose champ, now at Brown, interned with the poetry editor of New Yorker last summer.

    Charlotte, a graduate of Canton High School and Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, will conduct a workshop for young writers in cooperation with the wife-husband team of poet Patricia Smith [appearing @ Sunken Garden this summer] and novelist Bruce DeSilva, former writing coach for AP National and The Hartford Courant.

    Charlotte is scheduled to graduate in June from Brown University, where she experimented with fiction, poetry, playwriting, and essay writing. She was the literary editor of the College Hill Independent, editor of the Brown Literary Review, and facilitated a weekly writing workshop at the Rhode Island correctional facility. She has worked as an editorial intern at The New Yorker and Whole Living magazines, and is hoping to write and edit her way into the future.

    CHICAGO NATIVE Patricia Smith is the author of five books of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, a book of poems chronicling the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, which was a 2008 National Book Award finalist, winner of the 2009 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement, and one of NPR's and the Library Journal's Top Books of 2008; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection, winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. Teahouse was also voted the Best Poetry Book of 2006 on

    Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House and many other journals, and is upcoming in Best American Poetry 2011.

    Patricia has performed around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam's Poetry International, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival, the Bahia Festival, the Schomburg Center, the Sorbonne in Paris and toured in Germany, Austria and Holland.

    In addition to her poetry, Patricia is also the author of the groundbreaking history Africans in America and the children's book Janna and the Kings, winner of a Lee & Low Books New Voices Award. She is a Pushcart Prize winner, a Cave Canem faculty member and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition's history.

    In 2006, during a ceremony at the Gwendolyn Brooks Center of Chicago State University, she was voted into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. She recently completed her sixth book of poems, tentatively titled Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, and is working on editing three anthologies. Blood Dazzler has recently been resurrected as a dance/theater collaboration with Urban Bush Women choreographer Paloma McGregor.

    Patricia is a professor at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island, and also teaches for Cave Canem and in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

    BRUCE DeSILVA worked as a journalist for 40 years before retiring to write crime novels full time.

    At the Associated Press, he served as the writing coach, responsible for training the wire service's reporters and editors worldwide.

    Previously, he directed an elite AP department devoted to investigative reporting and other special projects.

    Earlier in his career, he worked as an investigative reporter and an editor at The Hartford Courant and The Providence Journal. Stories edited by DeSilva have won virtually every major journalism prize including the Polk Award (twice) and the Livingston (twice.) He also edited two Pulitzer finalists and helped edit a Pulitzer winner.

    He has worked as a consultant on writing and editing at more than 50 newspapers and serves as a masters thesis adviser at The Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. His first novel, "Rogue Island," has been shortlisted for the prestigious Edgar and Barry Awards; and his second, "Cliff Walk," will be published next year. He and his wife Patricia Smith, an award-winning poet, live in New Jersey with their granddaughter Mikaila and an enormous Bernese Mountain Dog named Brady.

    Also at the annual ceremonies, the CT National Youth Poetry Slam Team 2011 will perform a collaborative poem about the muse. The poem, written by the team, will include a tribute to Patricia Smith.

    Thank you, Elizabeth Thomas -- co-coach and organizer for the team. She works in schools and youth organizations throughout the U.S., inviting young people to find inspiration with both written and spoken word.

    Elizabeth conducted a workshop for teachers at the 2009 Twain House event and has been a judge of the competition for many years. Her poem, Lies My Mother Told Me, was read by Garrison Keillor on NPR.

    Watch for an announcement on our musical program for June 11.

  • Rescue Donor Matt Daly With CT Young Writers, State Capitol, As Entry Deadline Countdown Heats Up

  • Dionysiac Deadline Demo News Flash: Renowned Civil Rights Lawyer Norm Pattis Joins Lineup For Sunday, March 13


  • Public Service Announcement: Deadline Nears For CT Young Writers Trust 2011 Competition

  • Young Writers Trust Website

  • Ct Young Writers Trust Facebook Page

  • Twitter@CtYoungWriters

  • twitter@cooljustice

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