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2020 Creative Writing Scholarship Winners

Updated: Mar 17

For the 2020 Creative Writing Scholarship Competition, more than 90 students from across the state of Arkansas registered to compete. This year's submissions were truly special, and we're so grateful to be able to enjoy the talent of Arkansas students during this trying time all over the world. While the next few months may bring several updates and changes for all students, Thea Foundation would like to send all of our positive energy to the Class of '20 seniors who are certainly concluding their final year of high school in a very unique and unfortunate manner.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2020 Creative Writing Scholarship Competition. This year's scholarship recipients are:


1st Place, $4,000 scholarship: Ingrid Christensen (pictured above)

Poem, "To Mom" (featured below)

Russellville High School

2nd Place, $3,500 scholarship: Emma Smith (pictured above)

Short Story, "Without Katrina"

Homeschool - North Little Rock

3rd Place, $3,000 scholarship: Malaika John (pictured above)

Poem, "A Moment of Derealization"

Bentonville High School

4th Place, $2,500 scholarship: Maitlyn Harrison (pictured above)

Short Story, “Some Do Not Sing In The Choir Room”

Abundant Life Christian Academy - Sherwood

5th Place, $2,000 scholarship: Mary Baledge (pictured above)

Short Story, "Synesthesia"

Har-Ber High School - Bentonville


Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition! Below is the very moving, first-place winning poem:


To Mom

By Ingrid Christensen


I. Six Months Flaxen light filters through the thin curtains,

Casting ornate patterns on her cheek. Like intricate paper snowflakes, Dancing in frigid wind. With rosy hands and balmy lips, Blushing petunia petals, She rocks my cradle with saccharine affection.


II. Four Years I fall into backyard creeks, And bring tadpoles into the tub, Hidden in the folds of my baby fat hands. She scrubs the mud from my skin, And blows iridescent bubbles across the bathwater surface,

Like miniature sailboats, drifting towards a porcelain horizon.


III. Eight Years Wax races away from amber flames,

Dripping onto pristine frosting, Creating daffodil craters in vanilla cake.

She watches in dim corners of rooms,

With a heaviness in her eyes, Weeping for time that can’t be given back.


IV. Thirteen Years I paint with gloss and powder, A saturated version of myself, A colorful tarpaulin pulled over innocence.

She watches with silent lucidity, Out of hand and out of season. Fallen fairy wings and pixie dust Bottled in jars and flasks.


V. Seventeen Years Alabaster legs hang off the edge, Brushing my brass bedframe in teenage infatuation.

When our four legs become two, She waits with subtle alchemy, Gracing me with a summer storm. Like a warm highway rain, Showering me in love.


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