YSSW Spotlight: 2016 Winner Dylan Thomas


Young Southern Student Writers (YSSW) is more than just an annual writing competition. It is a chance for emerging creatives in the greater Chattanooga area to get their start. On April 11, hundreds of K-12 students will fill the Tivoli to receive their awards for original prose and poetry!

Dylan Thomas, a new addition to Southern Adventist University’s film program, won last year’s prose and poetry as a 2016 high school senior. For Dylan, YSSW gave him the chance to “leave high school the right way.”

Dylan entered the competition because his English teacher made it a required part of her course. While Dylan entered the competition annually, he did not submit both prose and poetry until his senior year.

“Winning felt like a lot of affirmation all at once,” says Dylan. Not only did it bring a sense of accomplishment, but YSSW helped Dylan become more confident in his skill as a writer. He recalls, “It brought validity to my writing and affirmation to a skill I now have.” Sometimes, it takes an external force to let us know that the work we are doing is worth it. And for Dylan, that force was YSSW. He is now seeking out blogs and journals to publish newer work.

Young creatives need to hear that their work is valued. YSSW helps students to continue writing. Dylan hopes to see YSSW continue and give the same hope and confidence to others students that it gave him. Dylan says, “I wouldn't have started seeking out publications and blogs if it hadn't been for YSSW giving me the push out the door.”

Here at So Lit, we want to keep giving other students this same “push out the door.” And we are thankful for teachers who value their students' creative work! Please consider donating to help students like Dylan get the recognition they deserve! Click here to donate: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/sla/event/780197/

Photo: Josh Mays

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