To students enrolled in the AP Humanities class at Monmouth Regional High School:
What does it mean to be fearless in moments of change? That question is at the heart of this year’s Inspired Scribble creative writing scholarship. It is up to you how you answer it. I ask that you submit an 5-8 page story OR portfolio of works (non-fiction, fiction, poetry, short stories or individual moments) that you feel best illustrates your creativity and problem-solving prowess when addressing this theme.
The scholarship, in the amount of $500, will be awarded to one student who best exemplifies an authentic voice in their words when describing a specific moment in time—a defining moment—where the main character exhibits courage in the face of fear. What does that moment look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? Is it a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual transformation? Use your senses to build emotion and suspense, and trust that your personal experiences will provide the wisdom to enlighten me—your reader.
Try to capture a specific moment(s) of insight that brings the character to a crossroads—it’ll bring you closer to that moment of change—one that typically involves a decision to defy the dangers of risk. What risk is your character calculating, and who would be impacted by the consequences of such a decision? Sometimes change may not be about expanding one’s capabilities or social network, but discarding and refining for a more specific purpose or goal. There must be a clear distinction that the character, because of newfound insight and an active decision, is not the same person they were when the story began.
I am curious to explore these moments of change with you. Be bold with your words and think about how revolution is purposeful in the context of humanity. However you choose to define change and fear in your submissions, I encourage you to try as hard as you can to prove those definitions obsolete. Defy your own logic. Break the rules. Rewrite the path forward.
These are just a few guidelines to get the synapses in your brain firing with imagination. I understand the monumental task I have challenged you with, but I am certain that the reward in taking up the pen to write with gusto, is one worth trying. Remember, this scholarship is about trusting your instincts, giving attention to your experiences and believing in your ability to create the future as it unfolds before you. Writing is simply a medium for this kind of adventure, and I hope this scholarship provides you with the safe space to discover its treasures.
Best of luck,
Chief Inspiration Officer