The Ardent Writer Press Presents
Huntsville Literary Association’s
Expressions 2013: Student Voices from North Alabama
Winners of the 2013 High School Short Story Competition
FIRST PLACE and the Winner of the Dorothy Diemer Hendry Award for Literary Achievement
Aubrey Gonzalez for her Short Story “Isolated System”
Homeschooled from birth until graduation, Aubrey Gonzalez has never attended a traditional school. She believes that her unique education fostered her passions, particularly her love of writing, and would like to thank her parents for allowing her to actively pursue her interests–however unconventional they might be.
Encouraging Aubrey to further explore her interest in literature, Aubrey’s mother took her to the library often. It was there she maxed out her card (as well as her mom’s), and met her childhood best friends: Roald Dahl, H.G Wells, Brian Jacques, and Mary Shelley. Aubrey has written a few unpublished novels, and is currently working on another in addition to a series of mystery stories. Her writing has been heavily influenced by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, Cormac McCarthy, and Sylvia Plath.
In addition to her passion for writing, Aubrey has strong scientific interests, and plans to become a mechanical engineer.
The idea for “Isolated System” struck Aubrey during a reading of the thermodynamics chapter of her physics textbook, when she began to wonder if other forces in the universe besides physics obeyed the second law
SECOND PLACE Winner – HLA’S 2013 High School Short Story Competition
Sarah Sizemore for her Short Story “Reflections of the Mind”
Sarah Sizemore is a senior at Huntsville High School, Huntsville, Alabama, who adores writing in most of its forms, (essays and research papers excluded!). She has been writing since shortly after she learned to read. From diaries to poetry, she found joy in the written word. Her dream career would be as a writer, but Sarah would also love to be an editor of fiction novels. This would be quite appropriate, considering her friends sometimes call her the Grammar Fanatic.
The inspiration for Reflections of the Mind came from Sarah’s 8th grade English class. They were studying Edgar Allen Poe, and she was given the assignment of writing a short story imitating his style. Thus, this story was born. Don’t worry, you won’t be reading the scribblings of an 8th grade girl. She recently dusted off this story and found she wanted to do so much more with it. She rewrote the whole thing, keeping the basic storyline but scrapping everything else.
THIRD PLACE Winner – HLA’S 2013 High School Short Story Competition
Mary Butgereit for her short story “Wordsmiths”
Mary Butgereit is a junior at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama. When she’s not scribbling down her thoughts and ideas, she’s likely to be found doodling, riding my bike, practicing videography, acting in our school’s theatre program, or trying to find an adventure of some sort with her friends. She’s also an editor for her school’s literary magazine and a member of Girl Scout Troop 432. Even as a kid, she used to love hearing and telling stories – something that she’s hoping will continue into her adult life. She’s still not sure what career field to pursue but hopes it will involve writing of some sort, preferably creative.
Her inspiration for Wordsmiths came on a late night, right before she went to bed. She was trying to read an article online, but kept getting distracted by the use of one word over and over again. She had read it so many times it had stopped sounding like a word. In her mind, this somehow translated to the word becoming worthless; this led to the idea of words having worth and then becoming worthless, and it clicked. She had a mental image of a world where words were bought and sold. The next morning, she woke up with somewhat-illegible ideas scrawled onto a half-sheet of paper. These ideas (or at least those that could be interpreted) later became Wordsmiths.
FIRST PLACE ART PRIZE – HLA’S 2013 High School Short Story Competition
Throy Bond for his artwork “Restless Time”
Throy Bond is a senior at New Hope High School, New Hope, Alabama. His artwork, Restless Time, is a mixed media piece created about his time while in high school, the responsibilities he had, and how time passed by so quickly. It wasn’t until recently, as a senior, that he began to reflect on his time in high school and that it is almost over. This concept was the inspiration for his art.
Throughout high school, he was consumed with participating in extracurricular activities, playing sports, managing a job, and keeping up with his school work. Because of this, he barely had time to focus on opportunities to do what he wanted, such as take more art classes. Upon the realization that he’ll be graduating this year, he took the time to create work about how he currently felt and what his thoughts were about high school. Indeed, time passed too quickly.
Without the motivation and critiques of his art teacher, Patti Owen, his art work would have never been the same. His family is also supportive of his love of art, and he’s thankful for them as well.