Italy Writes 2016 Announces Winners

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On June 16, JCU’s Italy Writes, a nation-wide English language creative writing competition for high school students whose primary language of instruction is not English celebrated young talent. Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Merva welcomed participants. She congratulated the finalists, their teachers and their parents for the support they give to these young writers.

JCU Writer in Residence, award-winning Susan Minot, in presenting the awards, addressed the winners, their parents and teachers. Minot offered words of encouragement and inspiration. In her talk, she described how profoundly influenced she was at a young age by a reading of American novelist William Faulkner’s novel ‘The Sound and the Fury’. It was then that she appreciated the power of words felt that creative flame that drives a writer. She wanted to do that with words, too.

Ms. Minot said she was happy to participate in this ceremony to celebrate and support the creative writing efforts of these students. All artists, she pointed out, need encouragement and support regardless of their degree of accomplishment.

Italy Writes 2016 received 63 submissions from students attending 20 different high schools in 7 Italian cities. Works of Fiction or Non-Fiction from Anzio, Ivrea, Latina, Milan, Naples, Pomezia and Rome.

The panel of judges included JCU professors and a professor from  the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.

As part of the Italy Writes Award, each student schedules a meeting with Professor Tara Keenan-Thomson, director of JCU’s Writing Center. Professor Keenan met with all eight finalists individually to help them revise their winning piece and select the excerpt for reading at the ceremony. Professor Keenan-Thomson announced the winners:

Fiction Category:
1 st Place (€300 gift certificate) – Lea Pietrosante, Liceo Scientifico Statale ‘Plinio Seniore’, Rome for ‘The Sun Beats Down Hard’,
2nd Place (€200 gift certificate) – Leonardo Monterubbiano, Liceo Scientifico ‘E. Majorana’, Latina, for ‘About the Vacuity of Words and the Necessity to Preserve’ ,
3rd Place (€100 gift certificate) – Angelica Tajani, Liceo Linguistico Immanuel Kant, Rome, for ‘The Ride’,
Honorable MentionMuriel Vittori, Liceo Musicale Scientifico Farnesina, Rome, for ‘Eat Me’,

Non-Fiction Category:
1st Place (€300 gift certificate) – Elena Placanica, Liceo Classico ‘Dante Alighieri’, Rome, for ‘The Female Outcast in Theatre’ (Elena was awarded 1st Prize in this category at Italy Writes 2014),
2nd Place (€200 gift certificate) – Vittoria Castiglione, Liceo Classico ‘Dante Alighieri’, Rome, for ‘Refugees: When your Homeland isn’t Home Anymore’,
3rd Place (€100 gift certificate) – Marco Guarnieri, Liceo Scientifico ‘Keplero’, for ‘Can War be Avoided?’
Honorable Mention – Annalisa Feliziani, Liceo Classico ‘Dante Alighieri’, Rome, for ‘Dead Men Walking. Mafia Kills, Silence Too’.

Read the excerpts of the Italy Writes 2016 finalists here.