The following are the winning entries in the Journalism Workshop contest at the recent YSU English Festival:
The students had to write a news story from news conferences involving interviews with famous authors:
By GABRIELLA PISHOTTI
Laurie Halse Anderson speaks for the Candace Gay Memorial Scholarship at YSU English Festival.
Photo by Taylor Ainsley / TCTC
Howland High School
As a young girl, Youngstown State University professor and published author, Rebecca Barnhouse, often got yelled at by her family for reading at the dinner table.
However, unlike many young people who get scolded for texting at the dinner table today, Barnhouse's distraction led to her career.
JOURNALISM WORKSHOP WINNERS
at YSU ENGLISH FESTIVAL
High School grades 10-12 - March 28
1st - Gabriella Pishotti, Howland High
2nd - Anna Barnomo, Kennedy Catholic
3rd - Ciara Irwin, Shenango High
Honorable Mentions - Alexis Myers, Youngstown Early College; Amanda West, Victory Christian; Camille R. Smith, Page One and McDonald High School; Sam Pownell, Mineral Ridge; Emily Maxwell, Laurel
1st - Leah Bayer, Brookfield High
2nd - Tamielynn Doyle, Youngstown Early College
3rd _ Carley Chavara, Hickory High
Honorable Mentions - Emily Gianett, Canfield; Brittany Landsberger, Springfield Local; Amy Wright, Ford City, High; Olivia Trish, Struthers
Junior/ Senior High grades 7-9 March 29
1st - Collin Farone, Kennedy Christian Middle
2nd - Maddie Reuschling, Howland Middle
3rd - Madison Huff, Wilmington
Honorable Mentions - Michelle Allen, Linesville High; Hazel Minich, South Range Middle
1st - Natalie Eusebio, South Range Middle
2nd - Erin Sherry, Saegertown
3rd - Addie Becker, Lakeview High
Honorable Mentions - Kada Williams, Girard Junior High; Antoinette Wagerman, Commodore Perry; Victoria Johngrass, Boardman Glenwood Middle; Julie DiGiammarino, Shenango High
Junior/ Senior High grades 7-9 March 30
1st - Carley Barnhart, Poland Middle
2nd - Daniel Driscoll, St. Charles, Boardman
3rd - Hannah Lovelle, Poland Seminary
Honorable Mentions - Zachary Brison, Bristol High; Katelyn Davis, Struthers Middle; Annie Boniface, Cardinal Mooney
1st - Allison Beckinger, Liberty
2nd - Alexis Henninger, Lordstown High
3rd - Erin Styka, Ursuline High
Honorable Mentions - Dicey Miller, Hiram; Jordan Godfrey, Maplewood High; Jonathan Mahan, Champion Middle; Olivia Rocco, St. Patrick, Hubbard; TaiLiyah Luten, St. Joseph the Provider, Youngstown; Garbriella VanAken, Greenville, Pa.
On Wednesday, March 28, 2012, Rebecca Barnhouse spoke to high school students at the 34th English Festival where she discussed her experience as an author.
"I find it very difficult to write a book," says Barnhouse, "I know where I'm going, but to get there is difficult."
Barnhouse has published three novels for young adults and several adult, nonfiction works.
One of her novels, "The Coming of the Dragon," was apiece featured at this year's English Festival. The work takes place during the Anglo-Saxon time period and contains, "... a lot of nudge-nudge, wink-wink allusions to Beowulf," as Barnhouse tells.
Barnhouse has a Ph.D. in medieval literature and has read numerous manuscripts from ancient time periods. Her favorite genres include science fiction and fantasy, which she fuses into her own works. She even recalls that as a young girl, she would exchange stories with her friends where they were the main characters.
"I wrote fanfiction before I knew fanfiction existed," she says.
Barnhouse's newest book "Peaceweaver" came out on Tuesday, March 27, the day before the opening of the English Festival.
Offering advice to future writers, she says that the most important part of writing is to find a quiet place to focus, but adds that she knows that in today's world, that can be a very difficult task.
Barnhouse is currently working on a new book, and when she is not writing, she enjoys gardening and is often referred to as "the walker" on her street.
By LEAH BAYER
Brookfield High School
For Laurie Haise Anderson, she said that writing her contemporary young adult novel, "Speak," saved her life.
Anderson made an appearance at the YSU English Festival on Wednesday at the Tribune Chronicle Journalism Workshop. At the workshop, students participated in a press conference to get the scoop on Anderson.
A recurring theme of the conference was the challenges that teens face throughout high school.
"I hated high school," Anderson said. She added that the takes are a lot higher for teens now than ever before. Anderson said that she doesn't think that adults understand how vulnerable teenagers are.
When asked why she chose to talk about these hardships in her books, Anderson said she wanted to talk about things that are hard to talk about. She told the students that she feels parents now are afraid of their own inabilities to talk to their children.
"You have so many choices," Anderson said. She also said that people have a lot of control over how to respond to certain situations. Anderson told the students that reading is a healthy way to relieve you problems, saying it is a "nice little vacation from reality."
Anderson told the students that she didn't study reading or writing in college.
Growing up, she said she'd always wanted to be a doctor.
She said not to plan out your life. "It's OK if you don't know what you're going to do. You'll figure it out," Anderson said.
By CARLEY BARNHART
Poland Middle School
Rebecca Barnhouse told her mother she wanted to be an author when she grew up.
She grew up using reading as an escape from her socially awkward childhood.
Many of her character, setting and plot ideas are greatly inspired by Beowulf. Listeners found this and mour at a press conference in Maag Library on Friday, March 30, where a few English Festival attendees got to interview Barnhouse.
"I'm only writing for myself. I don't care what people think," she said. Her interest in the medieval period was spakred after she read "The Lord of the Rings" books. She said she starts with a very big picture in the beginning of her writing process, but narrows it down as she gets to know her characters better saying, "When I write, I don't think about themes. I'm focused on writing the story."
Many of the questions invovled what "The Coming of the Dragon" was based on, and she said amajority of it was inspired by Beowulf and not much about people she knew personally.
Barnhouse said writing Beowulf's death was "emotional" and a very hard process. After someone asked how Barnhouse feels after a book is published, she said "pretty darn good." She said the world disappears when she writes, but it's also hard to let go of heraself as a scholar and transform into a story teller.
When someone brought up the "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" megafans, she said, "My students told me there is a difference between nerds and geeks, so I don't really know which one I am."
By ALLISON BECKINGER
From rape to depression to an alcoholic dad, Laurie Halse Anderson has used her life experience to write award-winning books such as "Speak."
On March 30, Anderson spoke to students at the Maag Library during the Journalism Workshop at Youngstown State University's 34th annual English Festival.
Throughout the session, Anderson spoke on the controversial issues presented in her books. She said that books are her way to connect to people, to show that everyone is human. Through her stories, Anderson wants to give the whole story and show that there are awkward situations in society that she said she feels need to be addressed.
Anderson said, "If there's anything I'm good at, it's making people uncomfortable."
Since the beginning of her writing as a young adult author, Anderson has presented stories of rape and slavery, having her books banned and censored, but she says she loves it.
She said, "It brings attention to the situations. People shield the younger generation from these situations because they just don't know how to talk about it." Anderson said that the rejection of her books even helped her because she realized society doesn't do enough and that these are some things that need to be talked about.
Additionally, Anderson gave advice to those inspiring to be writers. She said "it is hard to make a living, but don't let it discourage you from writing. You just need a plan B."
Anderson also said everyone has a different writing process and chooping wood is good, but she says she is that person who has voices in her head when she writes, she becomes the character.
Anderson knows rejection and she said when you are told no, you find out how badly you want something.
"You always want to leave a big impression."
As her mother always told her, "If you are not bleeding from an artery, you do your job!"
By NATALIE EUSEBIO
South Range Middle School
Laurie Halse Anderson spilled that as a kid, she got into some trouble.
A lot of trouble.
" I was always getting called to the principal's office," she said. "Even the principal said my name wrong!"
Anderson's biggest pet peave is having her maiden name pronounced wrong. Why to the principal's office?
"I didn't have a filter," she said.
Laurie Halse Anderson spoke to a press conference full of eager students Thursday March 29 at the YSU English Festival journalism workshop. The conference took place at the Maag Library, fourth floor, to be exact.
Anderson was invited to come here by Youngstown State University's English chairman Gary Salvner who as she said, "is a really cool guy."
Two of Laurie's books are on the English Festival's reading list "Speak" and "Fever 1793". Anderson said that a lot of her inspiration for "Speak" came from her own experience.
"A month before ninth grade, I was sexually assaulted," Anderson said.
Her familyw as having enough problems, so she didn't speak up about the incident until 25 years later.
Laurie Halse Anderson insisted that "Speak" was not her own memoir. "just the roots," she explained. Just the roots of her own assault fueled the book's tragic plot.
She also talked about her children and a grandchild on the way. She pulled a quilt she was working on for the baby and displayed it. While talking about her children, she laughed and said, "Can you imagine being the guy who wanted to date the daughter of the woman who wrote "Speak"? This question was greeted with chuckles.
Halfway through the conference, Anderson tugged her hoodie off and was rewarded with a chorus of giggles.
"Like my t-shirt?" she asked. The shir had a flogan for the proper use of there, they're and their printed across the front.
Anderson also stated that she is "the queen of the revision." She plays around with a scene time after time until she gets it right. Her similie for finally getting the right idea involved a phrase somewhere along the lines of. "Like a brid pooping on my head."
Anderson gave a few pieces of advice.
"Read 'Diary of a Part-Time Indian' by Sherman Alexie; keep your pants on and stay sober!"
Anderson is planning on writing a parenting book titled "Mom, Don't Freak Out, but..." She also wants to twrite books about abortion, dealing with exploring your sexuality and pregnant teenagers. She explained that as soon as she found the right door to go through, she would begin these projects.
Anderson recognizes that her novels are a bit controversial. "Who'd I piss off in your community?" she asked. When asked about her career as a writer, she simply said. " God, I love it so much."
By COLLIN FARONE
Kennedy Christian Middle School
Rebecca Barnhouse was grilled in apress conference on March 29.
However, it wasn't an average group of reporters.
They were middle school students at the YSU English Festival's journalism workshop. Barnhouse, an author and teacher at the university, answered questions on her life, writings and occupation.
She said she never really thought about what she wanted to be because she too busy "thinking of elves and dragons."
In high school, she wrote fan fiction of "Star Wars" with her friends. Barnhouse's interest in the Middle Ages was sparked by reading handwritten manuscripts in grade school.
After earning an English degree, she started teaching and said she "felt at home in the classroom." However, writing was still part of her life. She says the favorite part of writing is "I get out out of myself."
She hopes others will "lose themselves the way I do," when they read her books. Her favorite book she has written is "the book I'm gonna write next; the one I haven't ruined by writing."
Barnhouse became involved in the English Festival 17 years ago when she got a job at YSU. "I love the enthusiasm; she said of the students who particpate in the festival. Looking to the future, she will continue writing books on the Middle Ages.