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Archived Story

Alabama Writers’ Forum recognizes Bob Jones authors

Published 1:14pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MADISON – Several young authors at Bob Jones High School received 2013 High School Literary Arts Awards from the Alabama Writers’ Forum.

Forum officials presented awards in the Alabama State Capitol in March.

“Personally, I’m glad someone recognizes extraordinary student writing and rewards students with scholarships and cash,” mentor/teacher Brandy Panagos said.

Sarah Hartung won the Lindsey Stricklin Senior Portfolio Scholarship. Hartung’s portfolio combined poetry, creative nonfiction, historical fiction and 25 pages of a novel. “This $500 scholarship will (help) toward my college expenses,” Hartung said. She plans a career in the sciences and literature.

“I write for fun. So far, that’s been reason enough to keep writing,” Hartung said.

Other award winners were Leah Plume, second place, fiction; Alyssa Kennedy, third, poetry; and honorable mentions to Madelyn Wong, creative nonfiction and poetry, and Mary Butgereit and Storm Taylor, poetry.

Butgereit wrote “Bystanding” when a friend was “in a bad place in her life. I felt completely helpless.” No characters are named, and the speaker watches the subject’s world go out of orbit. “I felt I could stretch the laws of physics in the name of symbolism,” Butgereit said.

“My world is near enough / To feel the change in gravity / As you begin to fall away,” Butgereit wrote.

“Writing is how I try to make sense of things,” Butgereit said. “Some people break the world down to equations and theorems; I break it down into words.”

Wong’s memoir, “That Old Red Dress,” describes her first day in first grade in Madison. “I was basically plucked from private school-esque isolation and thrown into the melting pot that is Madison City Schools. … My thought-vomit was, ‘Oh, my goodness, so many people. How does this school work like this?’”

Taylor believes “some of the most challenging struggles happen when we are the lone witnesses for ourselves.” In “Poised,” Taylor wrote:

Keep calm

Look straight ahead

Perform

For nobody

This show

Is all for you

“The Eclectic” magazine was commended for exceptional literary content.

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