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Pickle Me This

March 17, 2011

And a fourth remarkable thing

This year, I was one of the provincial judges for the Ontario Secondary School Teacher Federation’s Student Achievement Awards, which gives prizes for creative works (this year around the topic “Words into Action: Become the Solution”). It was heartening to read the finalists’ works, particularly after reading Lemon and becoming convinced that the whole world was going to hell. These students’ optimism, determination and spiritedness was uplifting, and I’ve been a bit in love with teenagers ever since.

I also learned a lot: one thing in particular from the story whose character suddenly turns up her music on her headphones, though there has been no indication she’s been listening to music or wearing headphones. Perhaps an slip-up in the story’s construction, though I wonder if the headphones’ presence is just entirely too standard to be mentioned. The same way a writer doesn’t need to explain that a character is wearing a shirt before he tugs on its sleeves, or that the house has a telephone before that telephone rings (or perhaps maybe you do now. Maybe the landline is now remarkable. But anyway…).

But anyway indeed, I loved reading these poems and stories, and I loved meeting the winners at the awards ceremony on Saturday. You can check out a video about the winners and their works here, and I recommend it in particular if you are interested in falling in love with teenagers too.

UPDATE: Booklet of the prize winning works is available here as a PDF.

One thought on “And a fourth remarkable thing”

  1. alexis says:

    I taught a teen writing group for 2 years and it was constantly inspirational to me. My teens were so talented and smart and brave. Truly uplifting.

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