Young Writers USA

Ephrata High School sophomores Kimberly Earl and Leah Kreider decided to follow through on a creative writing contest made available to them through the EHS Language Arts Department and recently got word their works were selected to be published.

The Young Writers USA contest theme, “Mission Contamination,” encouraged students to write a “Survival Saga” in 100 words about a wave of contamination that almost eliminated the entire human race.

Leah wrote about a character whose father was a scientist and contributed to the demise of the contamination, while Kimberly’s story was about a girl surviving alone after losing her family in the epidemic.  Both students let their creativity drive the story that took them less than two days to write.  “I had most of it drafted in about an hour,” Kimberly said.

Young Writers USA reported over 10,000 entries were submitted.  “Choosing work is, to an extent, subjective and editors’ preferences do come into it. However, to achieve our aim of encouraging young adults to enjoy creative writing, we take a broad view of what makes a good story: perception, imagination, and creativity are important as well as expression, originality, and use of language,” explained Allie Jones, Young Writers USA Editor.

“Our aim at Young Writers has always been to get kids to be passionate and confident writers.  Having work published is a fantastic way to boost confidence and showcases writing skills as well as giving students a real audience and purpose for their writing. Having your students’ work chosen is something to be proud of,” she concluded.

“I was very surprised when I found out my piece was selected,” Leah said.  Unsure if their future careers will provide creative writing opportunities, both students say they will always have a love for reading and writing.

Mission Contamination – Tales From Pennsylvania is scheduled for publication on February 29, 2020.  A copy of the book will be sent to the United States Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Kimberly and Leah received certificates to mark their achievement and will find out in April if they are a grand prize recipient of the Young Writers’ Award of Excellence.  One winner will receive an iPad and a trophy, and three runners-up will receive $50 Amazon gift cards.