This one is for teens who have a camera and wouldn’t mind winning $1,000 and a trip to New York. I got a note from the National Coalition Against Censorship about their annual Youth Free Expression Film Contest. If you’re 19 years old or younger, you have until December 13 to enter a short film about censorship on video games. This year’s theme: “Video Games in the Crosshairs.” Here’s the pdf of info: NCAC Film Contest 2013 The winners get a cash prize ($1000, $500, $250), a scholarship to take classes at the New York Film Academy and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the awards ceremony. All they ask is that you bother to make something with more pizzazz than just a headshot of you talking into your phone. Spread the word and good luck!
I once knew a guy in Florida who made a living diving in alligator-infested canals to retrieve golf balls. His name is forgotten, but I remember his permanently sunburned skin and his eyes, shimmery as bottle glass. I never could decide whether he was an environmental hero (what do you think happens to all those lousy golf shots on the green?) or just one sick puppy. All these years later, though, it’s that barefoot giant I remember when I have to write things that feel scary. Turns out, writing sometimes requires submerging into mucky, monster-infested waters, too. Take this week, for instance. My piece appears in Dear Teen Me, a project by authors E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally. It’s a compilation of today’s YA authors writing letters to themselves as teens. God – where to begin? Some of the entries are hilarious; some painful. All are addictive. But what I like most is that these pieces are a testament to how strong kids can be – and to the role that writing plays in saving even the weariest survivor. What would you write to yourself?