Young Southern Student Writers Contest Winners
Each year, Sophomore students enter the Young Southern Student Writers contest, sponsored by the Southern Lit Alliance. This year, four BBS students won awards: Jaiya Madison, Acadia Phillips, Gracie Hogan, and Hannah Joseph. These students were honored at an award ceremony Tuesday night at Abba's House.
Hannah Joseph won the top honor in the contest, the Prevost award for best overall prose. She won $250, and she read her story out loud in front of hundreds of attendees. She was poised and articulate and did an incredible job!
The Young Southern Student Writers literary outreach program was established in partnership with UTC. It rewards, challenges, and nurtures Hamilton County public, private, and home school students’ writing and reading skills. The program also supports teachers and parents by encouraging their students/children with the fascination of reading and the importance of writing. Working with their language arts and creative writing teachers, students submit original works in either prose (fiction/nonfiction) or poetry. The student’s entries are evaluated on creativity, content and style.
“I love Him” by: Hannah Joseph
Based on the true story of my grandparents, Abraham and Achama Joseph.
Pitter patter, pitter patter, said the Indian rain, getting louder and louder as the moments passed. She was coming from work, but of course, she had forgotten her umbrella. She thought to herself, why is it that I bring an umbrella when it isn’t raining? She did not know what to do. She needed to get home before Papa came from work, but now she would have to wait until the rain passed, which seemed to be forever. That’s when she saw him, actually not him, but an umbrella. His face was completely covered by his black, slightly bent umbrella. She went up to him and asked if she could borrow his umbrella. She looked into his eyes, and him into hers. I am glad I picked this umbrella, she thought. He looked into her eyes and saw how beautiful she was. They walked together through the downpour to her house. She had hoped no one had seen her with this stranger, but she hoped that she would see this stranger again. So did he.
“I didn’t catch your name,” he said.
“I am Anna, what is yours?”
Anna opened the gate and went through the door of her house. There she was greeted by her many bothersome siblings.
“Who was that?” one said laughing, “forget the question, we all know the answer.”
“It's Abe,” said Anna’s youngest sister, mockingly. Abraham was now pretty common amongst the siblings, as they have been secretly seeing each other for over a month now.
“One of these days,” says Anna’s oldest sister, “Papa is going to find out.”
Right then he walked into the house. The head of the house.
“Have you got dinner ready yet? I am starving! Get me a glass of chai while you are at it.”
“Yes, Papa,” said the eldest sisters, responding quickly to the list of demands.
“Anna, wait a second. A lovely family that is well known around here has a son that is around your age. His family and him seem like a perfect fit for our family.
“Oh,” Anna said unenthusiastically.
“He is actually coming over tomorrow.”
“Papa! I told you not to play matchmaker for me!”
“Well if you can’t find someone, it's up to me. We need to get you married soon.”
The next day came sooner than Anna wished. Per her father’s request, she put on her nicest clothes, just to meet another stranger.
“Here,” said her older sister at the doorway to Anna’s room. She was holding something that Anna had never seen before. “Mama gave it to me when I first met Thomas.”
“Wow, it’s beautiful,” Anna murmured, breath taken by what she saw.
As her sister clasped the necklace, a tear formed in Anna’s eye. “I miss her,” Anna said as she now wiped the monsoon coming from her eyes.
“Me too,” her sister whispered. After a moment her sister left Anna’s room, leaving Anna with so many emotions.
Wait, what was that, Anna thought as she turned to where the noise was coming from. Almost getting hit by another pebble, she saw him. Not the stranger, but Abraham. She ran down the stairs as fast as her legs could go, almost getting whipped by her braid.
“Hey, what are you doing here,” Anna said, gasping for air.
The loud sound of the car door being slammed shut, cut off Abraham.
“Here take the money, though you don’t deserve a penny, you needy fool.” The stranger came up to Anna, gave her a kiss on her hand, and said, “these taxi drivers only have one job!” Her father stepped out of the house.
“Ah I see you have met John,” said Anna’s father. Anna wasn’t listening, all she could think of or look at was Abraham. She wanted to be with him; she didn’t care who he was, or how much money he made, but Anna didn’t say a word. She followed her father and the stranger into the house.
Later that night a knock on the door awoke Anna’s father. The knock woke up Anna too, forcing her to watch through the crack of her bedroom door.
“Excuse me sir, but it looks like you forgot to grab today's paper.”
“It is late at night, why in the WORLD did you come to my house for today’s paper, who even are you?”
“Sorry sir, but I have needed to tell you something for the longest time, my name is Abraham Joseph and I am in love with your daughte--”
“Aren’t you that taxi driver, I doubt my Anna even knows you.”
The hysterical laughter and the disbelief that Anna saw on her father’s face made her want to burst out of her room and scream, Papa I AM IN LOVE WITH HIM, but she didn’t.
Though she thought no one saw her, her father saw her and said firmly, showing no emotion,
“Absolutely not. Sorry, but Anna doesn’t even know you.”
I do Papa, he loves me; I want to be with him.
“Anna will marry who I think is best for her, someone who is like us, wealthy. Not some lowlife like you!”
Was it the fact that Abe showed up at her house that night? Was it the slight nudge one of her siblings gave her? Was it the look Abe had on his face? The reason why Anna did this, even Anna didn’t know. She did know that, at that moment, she felt imperious. Her heart was pounding, her blood was boiling, and her soul was irking, when she said,
“Stop Papa, I love him.”
As soon as she said those words, she could see a clear picture of her future. She saw herself beside Abraham for the rest of their lives. Them being the only guests at their wedding. Them living in a beautiful house, filled with beautiful children. In sickness and in health, she would be there for him, watching their love grow, until their very last breaths.
Name: Hannah Joseph
School: Boyd Buchanan School
Teacher: Temple Davis