Teen writers find fun at uno with scholastic writing awards
Teen writers find a special place at the University of New Orleans this month as the University hosts a series of events sponsored by Scholastic Writing Awards.
The nonprofit Scholastic Writing Awards of Southeast Louisiana invites teen writers and their friends to a launch party celebrating the start of the 2014 Scholastic Awards submission—and a subsequent gala and fundraiser to support New Orleans' teen writers. The fun should all last evening.
The Scholastic Writing Awards Launch will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 15 at the Homer L. Hitt Alumni and Visitors' Center on UNO's Lakefront Campus. Admission is free. The event is aimed at students grade 7-12, who will have their first opportunity to register for a series of free writing workshops led by professional writers. 2013 regional winners will read their work and two-year National Poetry Slam champions Team SNO will perform.
The Scholastic Writing Awards Gala will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 15, also at the Homer L. Hitt Alumni and Visitors' Center on UNO's Lakefront Campus. The gala will feature music from the Lusher Jazz Ensemble, as well as appearances by John Biguenet, Susan Larson and other notable members of the New Orleans literary scene.
"We're thrilled to launch the 2014 Scholastic Writing Awards season," says Sarah DeBacher, a UNO creative writing professor who serves as director of the Greater New Orleans Writing Project. "The awards change young writers' lives." The Scholastic Writing Awards, now in its 91st year, offer teen writers a chance to have their work read by published writers. Plus, there's $1 million in prize money and publication in The Best Teen Writing of 2014 at stake."
Participating teen writers from New Orleans have won national honors since the awards' Southeast Affiliate began in 2011, DeBacher said in a release. Past national Scholastic Writing Awards winners include writers Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath.
The fundraiser is designed to support the 2014 Scholastic Writing Awards, which honor teen writers in categories ranging from poetry and fiction to humor writing and include a "prestigious portfolio prize," DeBacher said. "National winners will be invited to Carnegie Hall to be celebrated as emerging writers of exceptional talent."
Regional winners will be honored at a celebration on UNO's campus in the spring, she said.
Participating teens will have their work read by professional writers and be eligible for prizes and scholarships worth $1 million. Award recipients' work will also be featured in The Best Teen Writing of 2014.
"The Scholastic Writing Awards change young writers' lives," says DeBacher. "The Gala is both a celebration of the 2014 awards season and an opportunity for the community to support creative teens. We hope all who value writing and New Orleans youth will attend."