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Press association extends kudos to four Bob Jones writers

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – The Alabama Scholastic Press Association convention clicked “Like” for Thomas Baldwin, Mary Butgereit, Sarah Hartung and Zach Perry.

Brandy Panagos mentors these Bob Jones High School students for “The Eclectic” literary magazine.

Baldwin, first-place winner in long fiction for “Zoe,” showed the search for acceptance. “Zan is put through trials that challenge both his beliefs and his strengths … Zan plunges headfirst into the pursuit of this one girl,” Baldwin said.

“… Although Zan couldn’t describe the feelings he felt, he knew that he wanted to feel them again. Was it love? Maybe … Was it acceptance? Absolutely, and that’s all that Zan really cared about,” Baldwin wrote.

Hartung’s first-place poetry, “Practice Makes,” examined “the reality behind young pianists who learn pieces for serious competition. Inevitably, the performer practices … until they are flawless to any listener, but meaningless and mind-numbing for the musician.”

“At first they were lovely, the sounds dancing before me … I practiced until the notes were just dots on a page,” Hartung, a competition pianist, wrote.

Butgereit, second place for short fiction, explored people’s reactions to grief with a boy who “uses a crazy daydream to escape the loss of his mother.”

“Inevitably, he would drop things along the way: bits and fragments of a life he stained crimson and left behind … He would forget the sound of his father’s snores in a diner in Seattle, and his brother’s laugh would be thrown out with a McDonald’s bag. He’d litter his footsteps with dreams and nightmares, memories and hopes,” Butgereit wrote.

Perry earned third place for humor with “flash fiction” (short story), “Twitch Once for Yes.” “Crazy things don’t really happen, or do they? It’s about a guy who can’t tell if others can read his mind or not. He’s a little paranoid,” he wrote.

“Through writing, I can create my own worlds. Sometimes, I can change my own world, for the better, in the process,” Perry said.

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