Winners of Write-On Contests

The 2019 TBAWP Youth Writers Conference yesterday was a huge and resounding success! Just look at some of our authors and attendees gushing on twitter!

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There were more, but you get the idea! The day was also a success for those of our young writers who participated in our “Write-On” Contests. These contests are conducted the day of the conference and only open to conference attendees. Youth get the contest prompt at registration and their entries are due by lunch.

For Poetry, writers were asked to write about the feeling of being nervous but they weren’t allowed to use the word “nervous.” As Dr. Pat Daniels pointed out – with a wink – when she was giving the awards, “It’s almost like they had to show instead of tell, huh?”

And the winners are…

Elementary Runner-Up: Sarah Henderson of I.C.E. Writers Corbett

Elementary Winner: Avery Maxwell of I.C.E. Writers South Tampa

Middle School Winner: Inaaya firoz of F.I.R.E. Writers and E.A.R.T.H.

For Fiction, writers were told to set their story in a doctor’s office and that their entry must include the word “fly” (though they could use any of fly’s many meanings or put it in any tense).

And the winners are…

Elementary Runner-Up: Jory Haulton of Trinity Oaks Elementary School

Elementary Winner: Katy Warren of I.C.E. Writers Corbett

Middle School Runner-Up: Ashley Zhang of I.C.E. Writers Corbett

Middle School Winner: Cameron Brown of I.C.E. Writers Corbett

Congrats to all who submitted!

Be following us here on word press or on twitter as we announce the winners of our Write-Ahead Contests in the next few days – as well as publish their winning entries!

Day 9 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Selling Stories

Today Mr. Eric visited camp and asked the kids an important question: What do you do if you are an author and you want to get published? There were some great responses, such as paying to publish it yourself and only hiring an editor for grammar and punctuation. If only that were the case!
In reality, writers collaborate with editors, usually more than one, and find a literary agent to represent them to the publisher before becoming a published author. Well, today, the campers went through that process, too!
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While all of us were writers, we also had another role: Some of us were agents, some were editors (who got to wear cool hats), and then the facilitators were the publishers. After the writers worked with two editors, agents had to sell a writer’s work to the publishers, and publishers had to decide if they wanted to accept it (we did ;)). The whole process created lots of deep, real and authentic revision!
After going through the process, everyone sent their favorite written pieces to the anthology to actually be published! Campers were given an official document stating that their writing had been accepted for publication. Campers loved this so much that some didn’t even want to go to lunch because they wanted to finish the process. Professional anthologies, which will include pieces from each camper, will be given to all campers at the fall conference at USF on November 2.
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We will share more about that at our ceremony tomorrow from 1 pm to 3 pm in the Charger Commons dining room.
Camp has been more than a blast this year with this awesome group. We are excited to show off what we’ve written but will be a little teary-eyed to see our time together come to an end this year.
Lesson Learned: “Publishing can be hard work, but you cannot give up.”
Quotes of the Day: 1. “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted.”
2. “I’ve already sold five stories!”

Day 8 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Music and Lyrics

“All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray” is not just the famous first lines of the song California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas. The lyrics launched many a poem and narrative today, and all of them were quite unique.
Today’s lesson focused on music lyrics, but not just what the words meant to the songwriters or listeners. We were introduced to the meaning of subtext in songs and were moved to discover what was going on before the song and after it was over.
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So many meaningful pieces were developed through the inspiration of the songs and the meanings behind them.
We weaved quotes throughout the original stories during our revision time to add even more depth and, of course, we focused on enhancing word choice. It was a blast!
Lesson Learned: “I learned that generating a backstory before or after the song really makes the song have more depth.”
Quote of the Day: “Nate’s jaw dropped to Antarctica.”

Day 7 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Asking Why Leads to How

“When your why is big enough, you will find your how,” according to motivational speaker Les Brown. Well, kids have known that for ages because that is often their favorite word to repeat in the car, on vacation, in the grocery store — you name it. Today we explored the folk tales called Pourquoi tales, which ask why something was created that way and then answer the how through the fictional story.
We wandered through the beautiful faculty garden to gain inspiration for our tales, which are traditionally written about animals and nature. We encountered a blue heron, cardinals, butterflies, and finches, which inspired our minds and set our pens to paper. We learned that in Pourquoi tales, the characters usually don’t have a specific name because they represent how the entire species became spotted (the leopard) or gained a hump (the camel), etc.
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Cuteness flourished throughout the fun and quirky stories. While revising, we focused on figurative language, such as metaphors, similes, and imagery to create vivid and memorable tales.
Lesson Learned: “Pourquoi stories will help you be creative and explain things to your kids.”
Quote of the Day: “I’ve been reading this book on reverse psychology. Do NOT read it.” 😉

Day 6 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Brainstorming Blast

Characters really let their true colors fly when they are writing a review about a horrible product.
Our quick write this morning launched our characters from last week’s monologues into a whole new mode — expressing their thoughts about terrible products purchased from online retailers.
New stories and even new characters emerged, which were pretty hilarious.
We learned how to make our stories more in depth by creating layers and adding multiple conflicts, settings, themes, and character traits. Our groups tackled this job together by making graffiti walls of the four writing elements. We came up with so many ideas that we ran out of room on the chart paper.
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Next was the fun part, making new stories, adding more traits to our characters, additional settings, and making sure there was a  central belief or theme.
Groups worked together to revise and hone the final products to add action verbs and colorful word choice.
We also voted for the cover art for our section of the anthology! Congrats to Leah M.!
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Lesson Learned: “You can have multiple themes, settings, and conflicts in your story and multiple character traits in each character.”
Quote of the Day: “Sure, you can name your character Mistress Hotdog.”

Day 5 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Kicking it with Poetry, Dashes, and Parentheses

“Close your eyes, and just listen to my voice. There is a door in front of you. Open it. What do you see when you walk through to the other side?”
Today we began by visualizing spaces through a mindfulness exercise. We realized that by closing our eyes, we were able to see more details in our scenes.
Those details became the basis for the poems that we would write later. We were introduced to poetry’s stanzas and line breaks and all of the ways that poets emphasize words and emotions.
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After examining poems, we took our scenery prose and formed poignant, funny, and beautiful poems, but we took the lesson even further.
We learned how the dash and the parenthesis are used to add emphasis and to downplay or whisper information (the latter is the role of the parenthesis). Ms. Joy literally kicked her way around the room as each dash was read to help campers visualize the true meaning of the dash — to spotlight important information.
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What an inspirational way to end our first week!
Lesson Learned: “Punctuation in poetry is important to communicate with your reader.”
Quote of the Day: “I feel so deep! I want to be a poet now!”

Day 4 at St. Pete I.C.E. Writers: Packing Punch

Scenery, setting, and Sci-fi/fantasy were the focus today. From the get go, students were immersed with natural scenery to evoke ideas for settings. We played freeze dance while waking up a bit with beautiful scenery in the background.
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Next, campers viewed various prompts, scenery, and quotes from Sci-fi and fantasy novels to help them develop characters who would burst into action with an immediate conflict.
We were then asked to delve deep and to focus our stories through the genre of Flash Fiction — short stories (500 words or less) that get into the action right away and pack a punch with selective word choice and environments that create strong emotions.
Almost every camper climbed into the author’s chair today, eager to share their creations.
The afternoon was spent honing our word choice and cutting out words that slowed down our prose to make our stories more poetic and succinct. Revision partners helped each other find those perfect, strong verbs and other word choice to keep the stories lively and the readers attentive.
Lesson Learned: “Use descriptive words in your writing; your writing does not have to be long to be powerful.”
Quote of the Day: “You really packed the page!”