Thursday, June 22, 2006
H.E.B. Writing Contest
I've been honored to be selected as a regional judge for the "Read Write Connect" Short Story Contest sponsored by H.E.B. grocery stores. This is a fiction contest for middle and high school students. The top two finalists will win a four year scholarship to any Texas university and two runners up will receive a $1,000 savings bond. Not bad for a well-written story. So far, it's been a difficult task. Despite my eyesight, I've had extreme joy reading all these stories. It's allowed me to revert to a time of adolescence, where things seem difficult and yet a whole life is still in store for some. There are a lot of stories about the loss of mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, etc. Stories about homosexuality, war, love, love and more love. No drug stories though! A lot of essays however; and I am surprised that most students don't take risks. With the help of some reliable friends, I've finally managed to select my final selections. Now, it's all about reading them and deciding which ones will compete against each other. This next generation of writers are going to unsettle the present literary establishment. There are so many original stories, so many original uses of language, it's amazing and threatening. This task has taken me all week and my deadline is tomorrow at 3pm. Hopefully, I will be able to post the winners and the runner-ups on my blog but if not, their stories will be published in the Texas Monthly. I'll keep everyone updated.