October 3 AYAW Book Launch[3]

On October 3rd, we partied like it was 2013—The Best Teen Writing of 2013, to be specific! Our book launch party for the newest edition of our annual anthology of Award-winning writing featured guest host, WNYC Radio host Brian Lehrer, who interviewed Loretta López, 2010 Portfolio Gold Medalist and the book’s Editor. Here’s a brief excerpt:

In your introduction you write about the role of technology today and our quick access to information. Can you speak more about that?
A lot of our experiences right now are very passive, about just watching. What I love about this book is that every writer in this book took the time to sit down, face themselves and pay attention; be frustrated in the process of writing and I like that.

Did you find frustration in the writing process? You told me you are writing a novel. What is your approach to writing?
I realized a while ago that if you just wait for inspiration to hit you you’re going to wait a long time. I write every day for at least two hours– I force myself and set my alarm. Then I go out and see people, return and dive back into a fantastical world I’m creating. Read More

Cover Image: Gaetano Icangelo. Desk Writer. Grade 12, Age 17. 2012 Silver Medal with Distinction, Art Portfolio.

Originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice: the clear presence of these three elements qualifies student writing for a national medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. More than 500 works earned this accolade in the 2012 Awards, and it fell to student editor Haris Durrani to choose about 15% of those to include in The Best Teen Writing of 2012. How did Durrani, who only last year earned a Portfolio Gold Award for his own writing, decide which pieces would make it into print? Here, in this excerpt from his introduction, he explains. You can read more—and see what he selected—when the book comes out this fall!

I’ve always stood by the maxim “Writing is more than words.” It’s not words
themselves but their power that relates the human condition to a universe of
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Photo Credit: South Bend Tribune/SANTIAGO FLORES

January’s Writing of the Month comes from Ava Tomasula y Garcia of South Bend, Indiana. Ava won a Gold Medal for Short Story in 2011. She can’t imagine not writing because she is fascinated and inspired by the ways that people communicate. Her winning piece, Terra Obscura, was featured in The Best Teen Writing of 2011, a student-edited anthology of prize-winning pieces from The Scholastic Writing Awards that expresses the thoughts and aspirations of our nation’s youth. Ava recently appeared in South Bend Tribune‘s InTheBend.com, where she talked about her work. Check out her short story after the jump!

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2010 Best Teen Writing, edited by Jared Dummit.

The Best Teen Writing of 2010 is now available!

The Best Teen Writing is an annual anthology published by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers with generous support from Amazon.com. And it’s not called The Best Teen Writing for nothing – the poems, science fiction stories, nonfiction and short stories within have been written, edited and selected by teens. Since 2003, the book has been edited by a Writing Portfolio Gold Medalist and includes a diverse selection of writing from each category of the Awards.

For students struggling with writer’s block, finding inspiration can be as simple as reading the words of their peers. This year’s anthology brings reports from the frontlines of the recession, ghost stories, tales from waffle houses, memoirs from around the world and original poetry. Read More