Lillian Maros, Western Wayne 8th grade student, has been recognized as a Promising Young Writer by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
This past spring Maros researched the program and asked her English teacher to help her enter. She had to submit two samples of her original fiction writing– one that she considered her best piece and another piece that focused on a strong theme.
The Promising Young Writers Program represents NCTE’s commitment to early and continuing work in the development of writing. The school-based writing program was established in 1985 to stimulate and recognize writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students.
This year, schools nominated 90 students. Of that number, 56 received the highest award, Certificates of Recognition, and 34 received Certificates of Participation. Each student submitted two pieces of writing. Two independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.
Maros’ pieces received the highest award of a Certificate of Recognition.
She has always enjoyed writing and was thrilled to have this chance to share her writing with the National Council of Teachers of English.
“I was a writer from a pretty young age. When I was really little I used to carry around a notebook and pen, and I would write down cool things I saw or ideas that I had,” Maros explained. “When I was around 10 I began actually attempting to write books.”
Maros explained the inspiration for the piece called “Emma” that she submitted as her best work.
“My inspiration for “Emma” is a book called Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. It was a book that I had to read for the reading competition [hosted by NEIU 19] and it was centered around a boy with cancer. When the competition said it’s theme for this year was “change” one of my first thoughts was cancer,” Maros discussed. “ But I wanted to do something different than the same old story of the person surviving and forgetting all about the experience because it was so hard. I wanted my story to be a reflection of what actually happens in the real world. I didn’t want to portray death as a horrible thing all the time. In fact, I personally think that we should never have funerals, but instead celebrations of life, and I wanted to show that in my story.”
Maros further discussed her inspiration for the piece she submitted for having a strong theme called Azara and the Seventh Realm.
“I started writing Azara and the Seventh Realm last year. My inspiration came from my dreams. I would dream of scenarios and swordfights and villains and I just became captivated by the ideas, and I had to write them down,” Maros explained. “The book is about a girl named Azara who runs away from home with her best friend, James. Neither of them knew that the universe was bigger than just their realm. They are taken to one of the other realms and their adventure begins.”
When Maros isn’t writing fiction she can be found participating in a variety of activities at the Western Wayne Middle School. She serves as Student Council president and is a member of the Color Guard, Drama Club, and Middle School band. In high school, she hopes to also become a member of the Political Science Club and FBLA along with continuing to work on her writing. Maros feels humbled to have been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English for something that she enjoys doing so much.
“The best part about writing fiction is that I get to create a circumstance better than my own. I can write about how I wish my life would work and adventures I would love to have. I can envelop myself in a world that no one can touch me in,” Maros explained. “I usually base my characters off of some of my friends because I know their tendencies and feelings. However, I do have some characters in my story who are unlike any friend I’ve ever had, which makes them the most difficult characters to write about. You have to step outside of your own body and tendencies and imagine what you would do or say as a completely different person.”
For more information about the Promising Young Writers Program, see http://www.ncte.org/awards/promising-young-writers/. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting more than 25,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum. Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911. www.ncte.org