SFPL events and programs facilitated, led and inspired by teens.
Teen writers logged in on a rainy November afternoon to participate in the student-led Writers Sprint. Sophia Peckner and Breanna Lau inspired SF teens and beyond to submit essays related to two prompts in a two-hour time period.
Congratulations to Grand Prize winner, Faith Hardin, a 14-year-old homeschooled ninth grader with “Sacrifice”, a fast-paced inside look at an assassin’s first job. Faith has been homeschooled her whole life and in her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, gardening and baking. Her favorite part of school is reading (and writing about) classic literature. Faith aspires to be a librarian or pursue a career in psychiatry/therapy. Enjoy an excerpt from “Sacrifice”.
She opened her eyes. The dim light pointed at her appeared blindingly bright, after her long wait in the darkness.
“Are you ready?“ asked a voice.
Elara didn’t hesitate. “I am ready.“ She had been ready for years. Her whole life had been centered around her career. And now she could take her first task, to dictate whether she had the strength to continue. Or the weakness to fail. But she couldn’t stop. Fail, and be killed.
“Here.“ The dim light was adjusted, and Elara could see a hologram of a middle-aged man. “Here is your target.“
She nodded briefly. “Suicide, or an accident?“
“It will be a mysterious disappearance. Dispose of the body in a way that cannot be discovered. Leave no evidence.“
“I won’t,“ Elara responded quietly. She mentally ran through the ways she could accomplish this.
“He won’t be traveling alone,“ her employer’s spokesperson warned.
Congratulations to Honorable Mention recipient, Marlena Rohde, a 15-year-old tenth grader at Lowell High School with "Fish Out of Water", an introspective connection between a jellyfish, pigeon and a broken family. Marlena loves to read and write, especially while surrounded by nature. Her true passion is marine biology, which comes out a lot in her stories. Enjoy an excerpt of “Fish Out of Water”.
Jellyfish were not meant to be kept in small tanks, in small rooms of large houses. Jellyfish were never supposed to be taken out of the widest expanse of water in the world and be put into the homes of unhappy children. My jellyfish was a bribe. A tacky way for my father to apologize for bringing me to his new house with his new wife; for dragging me from the city to an endless sea of grassy emerald slopes. I didn’t mind the switch, whether or not it came with a jellyfish. I may have resented my stepmother, but at least in such a large house there would be distance between the two of us.
Congratulations to Honorable Mention recipient, Yasmin Suzani, a 17-year-old eleventh grader at Los Altos High School for "Night Walk" describing the beauty of a 4 AM walk. In her spare time, she likes playing guitar, playing DnD (Dungeons & Dragons) and playing video games. Enjoy an excerpt of “Night Walk”.
4:00 AM is the most beautiful time
The cool air bites my cheeks
keeping the monsters away
With its bared teeth,
Welcoming me to be devoured by
The beauty in its frost
The dark air lets me be unseen,
Free from the shackles of society
Free from those who want to lock me in a room<
Filled with books I am to read
And words I am to write
And ideas I am to think.
In the darkness,
Nothing of importance,
Just another shadow hidden away
Our librarians received twenty-two submissions that in ranged in topics from a fantastical trip to an extraterrestrial planet to a historical fiction voyage to meet a newly crowned Queen. To all our current and future writers, thank you for taking a leap and sharing your writing with us.
Watch Breanna and Sophia host and facilitate two workshops:
Teens in the Youth Engaged in Library Leadership (YELL) internship program created a whole new series of STEM Challenge Yo'Self videos. Watch the award-winning web series below, or on our IGTV and YouTube channels.