Young Writers Contest First Place Winner: Jeffrey Varga

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a piece by local young writer, Jeffrey Varga.  Jeffrey is a 3rd grade student at Academia Celestia Homeschool and the first place winner in the Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine.  The theme of the contest was “Poetry”.  Congratulations to our three young writers and welcome, Jeffrey!

I’ve Known Rivers

by Jeffrey Varga

 

J-I_ve Known Rivers.pdf

 

jeffrey varga A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Young Writers Contest Second Place Winner: Geneva Varga

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a piece by local young writer, Geneva Varga.  Geneva is a 6th grade student at Academia Celestia Homeschool and she tied for second place in the Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine.  The theme of the contest was “Poetry”.  Congratulations to our three young writers and welcome, Geneva!

Above the Clouds (a poem for two voices)

by Geneva Varga

G-Above the Clouds.pdf-1

 

geneva varga

 

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Young Writers Contest Call for Submissions

Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine are pleased to partner together to publish young writers, artists and graphic designers.

Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine announce a Call for Submissions for students in grades k-12. The theme is “Summer Memories”. Students are encouraged to submit an essay or poem and/or one piece of artwork. One essay or poem and one piece of artwork will be featured in the July issue of Enjoy Magazine. The winner and runners-up will be featured on the Writers Forum website/newsletter, and the Enjoy Magazine website. One high school student with an interest in graphic design will be chosen to work with the editor of Enjoy Magazine to design the layout of the page. Winners and runners-up will be notified via email.

Submission Guidelines:

1. The student must submit an application, a photograph of the student and one original essay or poem and/or original piece of artwork (painting, drawing or photograph) that exemplifies the theme “Summer Memories”.

2. Kindergarten-3rd grade students may submit handwritten or typed essays. 4th-12th grade students must submit typed essays.

3. Essay or poetry submissions and applications must be attached to an email and sent to Writers Forum at reddingwritersforum@gmail.com.

4. Art submissions and applications must be attached to an email and sent to Enjoy Magazine at ronda@enjoymagazine.net.

5. High school students interested in designing the featured page must submit an application and a photograph of the student to Enjoy Magazine at ronda@enjoymagazine.net.

6. All applications and submissions must be received by February 15, 2014.

7. Students under the age of 18 must include a parent/guardian signature on the application.

Writers Forum members, please pass this along to educators and children in your life. We simply can’t wait to help children celebrate their love of the written word by publishing their original pieces!

Writers Forum members interested in helping read and select the winning piece should contact Writers Forum Director at Large, Alicia McCauley, at writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com.

Young Writers Contest Second Place: Jessica Ayabe

We’re breaking away from our typical Member Monday to feature a piece by local young writer, Jessica Ayabe.  Jessica is an 8th grade student at Boulder Creek School and she tied for second place in the Young Writers Contest, sponsored by Writers Forum and Enjoy Magazine.  The other second place piece and the first place piece will be featured the next two Mondays.  The theme of the contest was “Poetry”.  Congratulations to our three young writers and welcome, Jessica!

City Music

by Jessica Ayabe

Music is the heart of the city.

You can hear it everywhere

The low sounds from the gravel as the car rides by

The high notes from a horn, each can be different

You hear the beat from a single footstep meeting the smooth, paved walk

Becoming syncopated and harmonized at times

Feeling the summer breeze that rustles the trees

Swish! Swish!

Like the sounds of a maraca

The sad thing is no one is paying attention to this music of life

So focused on music from a radio or an iPod that spills words into their minds, that can change hearts

Not caring how beautiful this unique world can be

Not me

I love and appreciate this beautiful city

To be part of this world and enjoying it

And most of all to hear it unleash its city music.

Jessica Ayabe.pdf

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

Member Monday: A Mile in Their Shoes by Alicia McCauley

Welcome back to Member Monday.  Today Writers Forum member Alicia McCauley shares a piece from her first trip to Uganda.  Alicia will be sharing about her time as a writing teacher and a Vigilante of Kindness in Northern Uganda at the April Writers Forum meeting.  Welcome, Alicia.

Author’s Note: In the summer of 2012 I took my first trip to Northern Uganda as a volunteer writing teacher at a school for former child soldiers, orphans and other students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend school.  As I prepare for my third trip to Uganda, I look back with fondness at my very first blog entries about the people and the land that has since captured my heart.  Here’s an entry from a day I’ll always remember.  I’m still in close contact with these boys and have the distinct joy of watching them grow into young men of honor and integrity.

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A Mile in Their Shoes

by Alicia McCauley

After church on Sunday, I stayed at the school for the afternoon and hung out with the kids.  Sunday is their only full day off from school and it was great to spend a little time getting to know them.

These kids are so funny.  Laughter is like breathing here, bubbling out of the easy smiles of the students.  It’s the white noise of the campus.

It never ceases to amaze me what kids will share if you just spend time with them sans agenda.  After church I sat in the shade of one of the outdoor classrooms shooting the breeze with the kids, talking about things like rap music and soccer.

Then the conversation took a turn and the kids started talking about their experiences as night travelers during the terror-filled years when Kony rampaged through the north.

Each night they’d travel the dark road from their houses and huts and into Gulu.  You can’t imagine the pitch darkness of this road.  No glow of electricity.  No flashlights.  Only stars pin pricking the sky and the white face of the moon to watch over them.

The boys walked for miles with their cousins and siblings, an ant trail of children hurrying along the edges of the roads in search of shelter and the hope of safety in town.  One particular boy was ten years old at the time.

I think about my nieces and nephews who are around that age and I imagine them walking that dark road together and I use the corner of my skirt to wipe the agony from my eyes.

The boys talked about family members who were taken; uncles whisked away, fathers snatched out of the potato garden in the early morning hours.  They talked about family members who are still missing and about others who were mercifully released.

They also told stories of children forced into servitude for the LRA, walking for days with heavy loads balanced on their heads.  A single utterance hinting at hunger or fatigue meant a sure and swift death.

The boys told horrific stories that I can’t even bring myself to type because the malevolent inhumanity of it burns in my stomach and causes hot vomit to sizzle in my throat.

It’s fitting to me that the school is built in what was once one of the most violent and unstable areas in Northern Uganda.  The heart of the school is their dedication to love and justice and I can’t think of a more fitting place to make such a declaration.

On my way back to town that Sunday, I walked part of the road used by the night traveling children.  Two of the boys escorted me and I couldn’t help but sneak peeks at their faces, imagining younger versions of them making this walk in the dead of night.  We walked about a mile before flagging down bodas that took us the remaining miles back into Gulu.

Sunday night my heart was heavy, weighing me down in my sleep as the boys’ stories came to life in my nightmares.

Every good teacher learns from his or her students.  Here in Uganda, I’m eager to learn how these children walked the darkest road and arrived at this destination, to a time and place where laughing is like breathing, where love and justice prevail over land once red with the blood of their loved ones.

A Note from the Webmaster: If you’re a Writers Forum member in good standing and would like to be featured on Member Monday, please send your submission to writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com. Submissions should be 75-750 words, appropriate for all ages and error free. Please include a short bio, a headshot and any related links. The author retains all rights and gives permission to Writers Forum to publish their submission on the website and/or in the newsletter. Thank you!

A Message from the President: April, 2014

Ah, April; when playful thoughts are entertained by even the seemingly most staid. I have never been much for pranks, but I do enjoy a good hoax.

Here are some of the better from Museum of Hoaxes (dot Com).

1957 — The British news Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the “virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil.” The audience heard details of the spaghetti crop as they watched footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. Hundreds of pasta lovers phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree; the BBC diplomatically replied, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

1996 — A full page ad appeared in six major American newspapers announcing that Taco Bell had purchased the Liberty Bell. Subsequent Press Releases explained that the Liberty Bell would divide its time between Philadelphia and the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine.

1977 —  A British newspaper published a seven-page “special report” about San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands. A series of articles described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Most readers didn’t catch on that it was full of typographical twists, since details about the island (such as its name) alluded to printer’s terminology.

1977sanserriffemapA

1998 — Burger King announced the introduction of the Left-Handed Whopper designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. The new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper but had all condiments rotated 180 degrees; many wanted the original right hand version.

1983 — Even the origin was fair game for a hoax. The Associated Press reported that the mystery of April Fool’s Day had finally been solved. A history professor had discovered that the celebration had begun during the Roman Empire when a court jester had boasted that the fools and jesters could rule the kingdom better. So the Emperor set aside one day of the year that a fool would rule the kingdom. News media throughout the country reprinted the Associated Press story. But what the interviewing AP reporter hadn’t realized was that the professor was lying. The university later apologized for the joke, and many papers published corrections.

And some peeps think that Whoopee Cushions are Da Bomb.