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Winners of Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s annual creative writing scholarship contest, Nastassja Van Leuven, Elisabeth E. Niman and Amanda Rahaman, will use their scholarships to study creative writing at the college with accomplished author and CGCC Creative Writing Program coordinator Patrick Finn. Scholarships were awarded in three categories: essay, fi ction and poetry.


Van Leuven, who plans on majoring in journalism and science when she enters college, was chosen for her essay “Peace: A Destination.”


“I’m looking forward to CGCC’s


writing class because I want to be able to improve my writing skills and learn about different types of writing styles,” says Van Leuven.


Fiction category winner Niman was chosen for her short story “2002.” “I want to be a writer someday. I’m not sure whether I want to write short stories or novels, so this creative writing course will be a good place for me to start,” she says. Rahaman was selected for her poem, “Be No One for a Moment.” A future literature major, Rahaman is interested in writing fi ction and fantasy and has already written her fi rst book.


“I’m looking for a literary agent right now to help get my book published,” Rahaman adds. “I’m hoping this writing class will help me to refi ne my writing skills and use them more effectively.”


Finn says the purpose of the writing contest is to recognize the imaginative literary talent of young writers and to encourage their continued artistic development. “Many writers, editors, literary agents and publishing houses across the country have been feeling the squeeze during these diffi cult economic times,” Finn says. “But saving literary art from extinction truly depends on cultivating enthusiasm for creative writing in our nation’s youth by encouraging their imaginative efforts and rewarding their successful results.”


This fall, CGCC offers a variety of creative writing courses including Introduction to Creative Writing, Introduction to Writing Poetry, Introduction to Writing Fiction, Introduction to Screenwriting, Intermediate Fiction Writing and Planning and Structuring the Novel.


CGCC is located at 2626 E. Pecos Rd. in Chandler. To register for classes, access my.maricopa.edu or call 480-732-7320.


Youth Submitted photo


WRITE STUFF: Hamilton High School students heading to CGCC on writing scholarships are, left to right, Elisabeth E. Niman, Nastassja Van Leuven, Amanda Rahaman with CGCC Creative Writing program coordinator and faculty Patrick Finn.


Nine fifth- and sixth- grade students from Basha High School and Weinberg Elementary School in Chandler and St. John Bosco School in Ahwatukee represented Chandler in the Battle of the Books Regional Championship, recently held at the Chandler City Council Chambers.


The teams from Basha and St. John Bosco won two of the top three spots in the competition against students from Mesa, Gilbert, Higley and Queen Creek.


Students from 31 Chandler schools competed in the 2011


Submitted photo


BEST READERS: Battle of the Books Regional Championship winners from St. John Bosco School Claire Rafford, Stephanie Burckhard and Teagan Scott with Basha Elementary third-place winners Megan Maxwell, Anitha Ramadoss and Madison Smith.


Battle of the Books, which included school, city and regional competitions over several weeks. Overall, more than 900 Chandler students participated this year. In preparation for the event, each team of three students competed at the school level reading four assigned books three times during the year. During the fi nal competitions, the teams were asked detailed questions about all 12 books. The fi rst place team for the 2011 Battle of the Books was St. John Bosco School, with team members Stephanie Burckhard, Claire Rafford and Teagan Scott. The second place team was Neeley Traditional from Gilbert. Basha Elementary team members Megan Maxwell, Anitha Ramadoss and Madison Smith took third place. Also representing Chandler was the Weinberg Elementary team of Chrissy Feller, Montana Flores and Brianna Miller. Weinberg won the Chandler semi-fi nal competition in April.


The Battle of the Books program in Chandler is sponsored by the Chandler Public Library, the Friends of the Chandler Library and the Chandler Unifi ed School District. Kathy Gamard, the librarian at Shumway Elementary School, is the Battle of the Books coordinator for Chandler schools, and Jo Librizzi is the Chandler Library representative.


June 4 - 17, 2011 63 Creative writing earns scholarships to CGCC Chandler students are champion readers


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