Congratulations to the Winners of the Fitzgerald Museum’s Literary Contest: “Unclassified Masterpieces”

Congratulations to this year’s winners and honorable mentions in the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum’s fifth annual Literary Contest and to our third winner of the Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Young Writers Award!

Grades 9 – 10:
Nala Ma, “Confessions to my Mother”

Grades 9 – 10 Honorable Mention:
Shailey Bellamkonda, “Rendezvous with Death”

Grades 11 – 12:
Daniel Yim, “Boarding Pass Annotated”

Grades 11 – 12 Honorable Mention:
Tess Harris, “Is Bliss”

Charlotte Yeung, “Reflections on Hiroshima”

Undergraduate Honorable Mention:
Sarah Xin, “Litany”

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Young Writers Award
Skye Anderson, Lee High School in Huntsville

The theme for 2022 – 2023 was “Unclassified Masterpieces” to honor the centennial of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story collection Tales from the Jazz Age. The Fitzgeralds’ literary and artistic works from the 1920s and 1930s are still regarded as groundbreaking, and The Fitzgerald Museum is pleased to honor these young writers as daring and revolutionary writers of their generation. Thank you to Janelle (Jae) Green for judging the high school entries and to Barbara Wiedemann for judging the undergraduate category.

About the two high school winners, judge Jae Green had these remarks:

The idea of an email written as a type of prose poem not only aesthetically pleases the eye, (being ekphrastic in nature if one sees an email as art), but also adds pathos to the work as a whole. How personal are emails for us? How much emotion, (whether we mean to or not,) is placed within an email?—brilliant in my opinion. The ending of the piece only furthers this idea even more by relishing in the time, the age, the headspace of the narrator; which for most is spot on no matter the age, but especially for someone in a younger category—where things are said and then immediately taken back for fear of consequences. All in all, a thought-provoking, genre-bending piece for all involved.
Moving on to the boarding pass…An absolutely refreshing read. I had never thought of taking something so normal, so mundane and turning it into a work of art in both aspects. This poem was ekphrastic in nature as well—this idea that boarding passes, receipts, even emails can contain or actually are works of art themselves. It changes things, no doubt. The emotion expressed in this poem was heightened due to its layout. Forcing the reader to follow the footnotes made this read that much more personal, with each footnote diving deeper than the next. A wonderful use of the page, this work did everything I believe the writer wanted it to. Absolutely wonderful.

About the undergraduate winner Charlotte Yeung, judge Barbara Wiedemann had these remarks:

In “Hiroshima,” Yeung focuses on the devastation caused by Little Boy, the atomic bomb that destroyed the city in WW II. Combining poems, memoir, and photographs, Yeung argues that it is important to know not just the historical facts but also“the humanitarian cost.” Yeung’s creative work brings life to the past and establishes a direct connection to the present. Through these innovative poems, Yeung argues that the ramification of historical events needs to be taught even if it causes discomfort.

In its five years, the contest, which is open to high school students and college undergraduates, has received submissions from around the United States and from Europe and Asia. This year’s honorees attend schools and colleges in Michigan, California, Indiana, Georgia, and India. The three grade-level winners will receive a monetary prize, and all honorees will have their works published on the Fitzgerald Museum’s website.

This year was the third year for the Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald Young Writers Award. Montgomery, Alabama native Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was daring and revolutionary in her life, art, and writing, and award that bears her name seeks to identify and honor Alabama’s high school students who share her talent and spirit.

About winner Skye Anderson’s portfolio, judge Jonathon Peterson said:

I feel that this was a complete body of work. I appreciate the writer’s use of descriptive writing and rhyme scheme throughout their work.  I enjoyed not only the poetry but the other submitted writings. I found myself captivated by the writer’s poetry and wanted to read more of their work past the submitted pieces. I feel that this writer is very talented, and I look forward to future work they may release.

For more information about the contest, visit the contest webpage on the Fitzgerald Museum website. Guidelines for next year’s contest will be posted in August 2023.

For information on the winners of past year’s contests, click the year:
2019  •  2020  •  2021 •  2022


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