04 February 2017

Morning Wins Not One, But Two, Silver Keys in Writing


HI, FRIENDS! For the past several hours, I have been screaming, flailing, and crying mixed emotions because something happened in the writing world after months of waiting and waiting, and it has something to do with this little writing competition called the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Okay, perhaps it is not as small of a deal as it appears to be, and yes, this is the same competition which I entered in last year and received a small award in, and once again, I won something. I worked increasingly hard on these pieces to the point of being stressed with gray hairs appearing on the ends! It’s been such an insane journey.

This morning. I was greeted by my AP Language teacher, who I discussed all the setbacks and waiting I encountered. “I’m stressing out. See, the forms I had to mail out had the wrong address—well, right address, just the wrong department—and I don’t know if they received them or not. Plus, waiting all month in January is excruciating. My brain is internally screaming.”

“I don’t think your brain internally stresses, Morning,” he remarked back.

I nodded. “Yeah. It’s probably actually just me stressing out over little details that really shouldn’t be a big deal that I stress over anyway.” Who wouldn’t be shaking with nervousness if the envelope was sent to the wrong address and kept refreshing their email every ten minutes to see if results were released anyway?

Today, third and fourth hour passing was nerve-wracking. The blue lunch bag perched on my right wrist struck my stomach several times, and in my right hand was my phone. A list of one-hundred sixty-nine pages of names and columns overwhelmed my brain. Thoughts scattered my mind. The jolting feeling of a dropped stomach from first hour’s email notification rang my body once again. I typed in the first three letters of my last name—over one hundred results popped up. Fingers scrolled down through the page, and as I entered the choir room, I realized that my name appeared on that list, plastered with the Silver Key Regional Award.



A Silver Key.

I screamed in the classroom, hands flailing in the air, heartbeat pulsating through. A Silver Key wasn’t enough to enter nationals, but it was a set higher than an Honorable Mention, which was what I received last year. People gazed upon the scene oddly (as I hardly EVER scream in that class). I perched in my chair, glanced at the list twice, and saw that not one, but TWO of my three entered contest pieces received Silver Keys in the competition.

Fast forward running into a classroom and screaming congratulations to a friend from the book competition team who also entered the competition but was unaware of the results coming out. We spent roughly ten minutes screaming and hugging and crying and jumping around the classroom, congratulating one another. It was like we invented the cure for cancer and miraculously saved a litter of puppies. Fangirling screams that appear when new book releases come out did not match up with this—this was ten times greater than whatever Green, Rowling, Stiefvater, and Han book hybrid that ever came out which also included free chocolate in its purchase, because unlike waiting for a book by another author coming out, the work being celebrated was written by our own hands.

Yes, this is celebratory cheesecake.

What were the two pieces that received recognition? A personal essay / memoir piece and a flash fiction piece entitled “Parents, Listen to Your Children,” and “The (Starving) Artist’s Dilemma,” respectively. I took a ton of risks this year, for two main reasons. One, both pieces were written in second person. Second person is hard to use because its riskier. It’s imperative that if second person is being used, the author can convincingly allow the reader to portray their feelings due to the direct usage of “you.” Secondly, the subject matter was risky.

“Parents, Listen to Your Children” does not necessarily denote the relationship down to its two titular subjects, although it does heavily focus on that. The moral of the story was incredibly important to me and was something that I desperately wanted to share: relationships, specifically those revolving around friends and family, involve two people, and for the relationship to work, both sides need to be open to listen to one another, even if their ideas may clash at first glance and one side wants to shut the other right away. Because it was a personal essay / memoir, it was a very honest and emotional journey that just hits the feels constantly.

“The (Starving) Artist’s Dilemma,” unlike its sister entry, was fueled with a more frustrated look on art and social validation, and was an idea I’ve had for some time now after thinking about indie artists with some of the most amazing songwriting not having a larger audience. It almost seemed paradoxical to be sending something admonishing to the art community about social validation through a contest, but with the use of strong language, it was also meant to point out the imperfect, cracked edges of the community, which was the main point I wanted to get across.

What am I going to do now? Because I want to edit my pieces and give them more time to shine either in my senior portfolio and other writing contests, I will not be sharing them publicly online. Also, because Gold and Silver Key recipients are eligible for a summer scholarship in several writing programs in the country, I’m going to see if I’m able to apply.

Now, excuse me, I’m going to retreat into my room and perhaps scream and be happy some more.

27 comments:

  1. Congrats Morning :) This is awesome!!

    Ellie
    www.uniquelyyou1.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ellie! I'm really happy about how this year's results turned out, despite not advancing to finals.

      xoxo Morning

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  2. *scream of happiness*
    CONGRATULATIONS, MORNING DEAR. also the way you celebrated cracked me up. keep on laughing and loving and moving forward. be fierce, and be honest.
    good job. x

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    Replies
    1. *screams of happiness back*

      CALLY YOU'RE THE BEST. I forgot to write this in the post, but the classroom we were in-- the teacher just watched us screaming and (because I'm not in class at all) after watching us fangirl for ten mintes, stapled her stack of papers slowly and said, "Um, you're scaring me." XD

      xoxo Morning

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  3. Replies
    1. RACHEL THANKS CHICA <3 <3 <3

      xoxo Morning

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  4. OH MY GOODNESS, CONGRATS , MORNING! I'm so happy for you! :D *hugs and highfives*

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Savannah! This is one (of many) writing competitions that you could possibly enter-- I remembered you asked for an extensive list, which I still need to compose and send to you. Definitely enter it because there are so many opportunities that will pop up. *hugs and high fives back*

      xoxo Morning

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  5. Wow, that is so awesome, Morning! You definitely deserved the award. Keep up the fantastic work!!

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    1. Thanks, Abi! If you ever want to enter in your writing (or photography, as they do have a photography category) enter it when the competition opens up again in September!

      xoxo Morning

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  6. WOW! THAT'S AWESOME!!!!! :D Congratulations!!!!!

    audrey caylin

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    Replies
    1. AUDREY, thank you so much! *gives doughnuts and cake*

      xoxo Morning

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  7. I AM SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU, MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You totally deserved that. Your pieces were absolutely incredible. I am so proud of you. :') <3 *tackle hugs you*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *falls down stairs from tackle hug* *recovers*

      THANK YOU SO MUCHGRACE ANNE! I really need to credit you, Mackenzie, and Anna for critiquing those pieces-- I swear little errors would have counted against me, and I'm terrible at catching them. *awards pizza*

      xoxo Morning

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  8. OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH THIS IS SO AMAZING. I'm receiving second hand excitement from all the squeals in this post and it's just so amazing to see you win this!! GO YOU. *sprinkles confetti* <3

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    Replies
    1. OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH yes!!! *accidentally chokes on confetti* Sadly the squealing stopped as I had to go and prep for a test \O.O/ BUT EEP I'M SO HAPPY!!! You can do this next year if you want, Katie-- I think they also allow for homeschoolers to compete as well.

      xoxo Morning

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  9. That is so so so awesome Morning!! Congrats! You are an amazing writer (blog wise at least) and you definitely deserve an award for that. *gives a bunch of chocolate as celebratory present*

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

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    Replies
    1. *hoarks down the chocolate* There aren't any blogging awards around, but it would be so cool if there was. I'm still pretty happy about how things turned out though, competing against so many other individuals from around the globe! Happy times.

      xoxo Morning

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  10. Whoo!! Congratulations, Morning!

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    Replies
    1. Whoo!!! *twirls* Thank you, Jessica!

      xoxo Morning

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  11. CONGRATULATIONS! Man, it's so great to have effort pay off - especially in the art & writing field, which is ridiculously broad. Well done!! :)

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    Replies
    1. The art and writing field is so broad, I agree! It's interesting to see how those two categories get judged because there is so much criteria which needs to be fulfilled and because you don't really know the entire breakdown of how something is to be judged (which is funny because "The (Starving) Artist's Dilemma" talked about that process, haha) so you have to cover the basics but also make sure that what you are creating is an accurate representation of the message you had originally in your mind.

      xoxo Morning

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  12. THIS IS SOO AMAZING! HUIAPHGAGUAWUGBA'G, I'M SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU YOU, MORNING!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

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    Replies
    1. I think that "Huaiphaguawugba'g" is now my new favorite thing ever!!! <3 <3 <3 This has been such a crazy ride, and I'm so happy that it finally was able to get paid off after that amount of stressing and worrying.

      xoxo Morning

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  13. OH HELLO I'M A LITTLE LATE HERE BUT CONGRATULATIONS!! So many congrats and hugs. I know how much your writing and future books mean to you so fantastic job, friend. Now eat some cheesecake for me.

    anna | annaish

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    Replies
    1. OH HI ANNA IT'S OKAY WE LEFT SOME FOOD FOR YOU!!! *offers cookies* *huggles back* I really am striving to win in the portfolio category next year for this same competition-- I really hope that this will pay off (and I really hope my writing journey explodes into a bunch of amazingness confetti because YES WRITING IS SO IMPORTANT).

      I ate the last piece of cheesecake two days ago, which I was supposed to eat after I finished my math homework, but ALAS! It was not meant to be. I ate it before finishing and that made me sad. It was still a good piece of cheesecake though (because cheesecake and doughnuts are the greatest foods ever, also pitas and Italian sodas).

      xoxo Morning

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  14. i'm super late, but congratulations!!! i wish i had entered, but unfortunately, i was super busy at the time. i'm sooo proud of you!! you totally deserved to win. :)

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Hi there, reader! Thank you so, so much for having time to read my posts and comment; I really appreciate it, and I promise I will try to reply back! I'd also love it if you would follow my blog too and spread the word; that would make my day. :D Have a great day!

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Abigail Lennah