FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Penguin Random House and We Need Diverse Books Celebrate Creative Writing Awards Competition Winners at NYC Ceremony
The day-long event celebrated the five 2019 Creative Writing Awards winners, unique literary voices of high school seniors from across the country.
August 12, 2019
New York, NY — Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publisher, in partnership with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a national grassroots organization that advocates for diversity in children’s literature, hosted a day-long celebration and award ceremony on Thursday, August 8, in New York City for the five high school senior winners of the 2019 Creative Writing Awards.
The 2019 Creative Writing Award winners are:
- Samantha Kirschman for blood moon (Fiction & Drama), Kenston High School, Chagrin Falls, OH
- Katherine Sanchez for Red-White-and-Brown Skin (Poetry), Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY
- Siobhan Cohen for American Jew (Personal Essay), Hunter College High School, New York, NY
- Kiora Brooks for The Misinterpretation of Dark Skin (Maya Angelou Award for Spoken Word), Topeka West High School, Topeka, KS
- Nora Carrier for Stories My Mother Tells Me (New York City Entrant Award), Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY
More than 600 high school seniors entered the competition this year, which was open to graduating seniors from public high schools across the country for the first time, expanding the award’s original New York City scope. Students from more than 30 states and 250 high schools applied, representing all regions of the country. The five winners will each be awarded with $10,000 for their college scholarships.
Claire von Schilling, Penguin Random House EVP and Director of Corporate Communications and Social Responsibility, said: “It was truly inspiring for our colleagues and me to meet these brilliant, talented students, and after listening to them read their award-winning works, we came away with a renewed sense of why their work is so singular. As the home to many of the world’s most gifted authors—among them our Creative Writing Award winners—we are so proud to work at Penguin Random House.”
The winners attended a roundtable discussion on publishing careers, as well as a Networking 101 workshop designed to help those starting out in their careers. They also met with Penguin Random House editors to discuss their work and attended a fireside chat with Natasha Diaz, author of the upcoming debut novel Color Me In.
“We wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of these talented students as well as provide them insight into different career paths available in publishing,” said Nicole A. Johnson, executive director of We Need Diverse Books. “By encouraging diverse students to learn about their many career options, we can begin to change the representation in publishing.”
During an afternoon ceremony, the winning submissions were presented to an audience that included parents, former award winners, and Penguin Random House and We Need Diverse Books staff, among others.
Photos from the event can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ndi5yzxg5knyoek/AADhZvcg3s_MPTjW8hlgRVdva?dl=0
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About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It is our mission to put more books featuring diverse characters in the hands of all children. You can learn more about WNDB programs at www.wndb.local.
About Penguin Random House. Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. With nearly 275 independent imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles and more than 600 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.
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