Teen wins NFPW writing award
Anna Schecterson, a junior at East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C., accepted her writing award at the National Federation of Press Women luncheon Sept. 6 in Greenville, S.C. Anna’s first-place award was for a review she wrote on “Hunger Games” for her school newspaper, The Eagle. Anna answered my questions about the review and her future as a writer.
Question: What was your basic point in writing the review?
Anna: When I wrote my review, the main point I was trying to make was that teens appreciate dystopian teen literature because they can connect with dystopian heroes’ journeys much more easily than those of the characters in paranormal romance novels. For example, navigating the choppy waters of high school often seems to have a lot more in common with rebelling against a dictatorship than finding out your boyfriend is a vampire. Also, I did make a point of mentioning that like all fads in teen literature, dystopians may be the hot topic now, but will eventually fade, just like the paranormal romances before them.
NOTE: I had to look up “dystopian.” Dictionary.com said dystopia is a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease and overcrowding. The British definition was an imaginary place where everything is as bad as it can be.
Question: What was the inspiration for the review?
Anna: I don’t remember who had the idea for this story, so I can’t give credit to anybody for its inception. However, once it was said that we would be writing about teen literature, I snatched the story up! I love teen lit!
Question: What was the hardest part of writing your prize-winning review?
Anna: The hardest part of writing my review was staying unbiased. Most of what I wrote about came from experience; I spend a great deal of time browsing the teen section at Barnes and Noble, and all of the book series I mentioned in the review are personal favorites. It was difficult not to get overenthusiastic about how much I enjoyed each one; I had to work hard to stay objective.
Question: What are your career ambitions?
Anna: To be honest, I don’t know if I want to be a career journalist. Right now, I am working on redesigning The Eagle, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I think I want to experiment with graphic design; I love art and I love writing, so perhaps if I were able to do a bit of both, I would find my perfect niche. Also, I really like editing stories, but I doubt that one can be an editor without first being a reporter for just about any publication. This year is the year that I will start the college search, so we’ll see how it goes!