So much of The Passed Note blossomed out of my own high school experience—for a great slice of my teenagehood, books were my solace. With this project, I have always tried to publish work that reaches out to the reader specifically. I have been extremely fortunate that so many wonderful writers and artists have submitted their work to The Passed Note, and that we’ve continued to be able to publish work for teens that meets readers where they are.
This past fall, we hosted a teen contest and received over one hundred submissions. Poems, stories, and essays from around the world poured in; we were amazed by the skill, tenacity, and bravery presented in each submission. The Passed Note is proud to announce the winners of our first ever teen writing contest: Tanisha Tekriwal, Grace Tran, and Kennedi Jones. We are also honored to pair the work with the art of our second and third place winners of our art contest, August Osterloh and Amber Richard.
Tanisha Tekriwal’s poetry amazed our team—her poem “Hiraeth” deftly handles a delicate topic with beauty and grace. Tanisha’s writing was a clear choice from the start; her poem about compassion and empathy cements the very heart of what we believe at The Passed Note.
Grace Tran’s story, “If I Could Love You” caught our attention with its clear bravery, its overwhelming heart, and the fantastic use of space. We always strive to publish the sort of work that is relatable and strong, and Grace’s work perfectly aligned with that goal.
Kennedi Jones’s short story, “Paranoia” was a stunning read. We loved the sudden turn of the story, the short, slicing language that cut to the feeling of a lurking presence. We especially loved how Kennedi’s story was so daring—different than every other story we read.
We are so honored these amazing young writers sent us their work—we know brilliant futures lay ahead of them.
Read Issue Nine here.