Hold on, there is a point to this — Help!

This is the fourth consecutive year I have been honored to be a judge in the FAC annual teen scholastic/literary/poetry event. This year was even more exciting because I am still alive and it was the first reason I have had to shuck my pajamas since last year. Just kidding! But seriously, FAC added a short story contest. Yay!the-pose-533x800.jpg

FAC logoA little aside: Forney Arts Council hosts the annual event but an invitation to participate is extended to several surrounding cities. Just FYI Forney is a booming little town about a stone’s throw east of Dallas Texas.

Just look at the beautiful poets and writers of our future.

Some of them receiving their first check for following their passion.

winners FAC compition

The winners

I am so proud of every single one of them. I know their parents and teachers are too; and the fabulous lady (Tiffany) with a passion for art that keeps this thing going.

Hold on, there is a point to this post —

What was it? ….

Oh yes, Help!

I need your help. It won’t cost you a dime and only a minute of your time.

What? Why? How? You ask?

Well, you see I am scheduled to give a talk/presentation next month on the art of the short story. Actually it is The Art of the Short Story & Micro/Flash Fiction.

The problem (other than the typical butterflies) is I know why I read and write short stories/flash fiction but I would love some input as to why others do.

Is it attention span? Time constraints? Challenge? Amusement? Something else?

If this thing works right I have inserted two polls, one for writers and another for readers. If not…  the comments section is always open.

Thanks Y’all.

Why do you read short stories?
(polls)

Why do you write short stories?

(polls)

The Voices of Our Future

Inside the Inaugural Teen Poetry Awards

This was the first Teen Poetry Contest hosted by Forney Arts Council.  I attended the awards held at Crumbzz European Bistro and I must say it was fabulous darling. So was the crumb cake.

The judges (those present) chatted and then each had a turn at the mic. I read The Essence of a Poet – or at least I think I did. Alan Birkelbach (2005 Texas Poet Laureate) read a random piece from his satchel and Neil Melillo (English Literature AP) gave a light speech to comfort/encourage the contestants.

The awards were presented by Tiffany Wyndham (Event Planner and Emcee extraordinaire) prior to the readings.

Alan Birkelbach
Alan Birkelbach

I listened as each budding poet recited their lines of thought and somewhere between the cracks and bravado it occurred to me once more, these are the voices of our future.