Madison “Maddie” Guerrera is a freshman at Faith Preparatory School in New Milford, CT. She enjoys writing, musical theater, 1930’s cartoons and photography. She has performed in many different musicals and plays at the local theaters and hopes to one day become and actress on Broadway and a playwright. Her natural curiosity and strong desire to overcome new challenges give Maddie her inspiration when writing.
Madison submitted a fictional autobiographical tale set in the pre-Civil War South. Her “Diary Of Susie Valentine” navigates one of the darkest moments of America’s existence with the kind of faith and imagination found only in the heart of a child, and in the pen of a budding novelist. Which is why she placed third the 17 years old and under category of the Brave Enough To Write, short story contest which benefits Brave Enough To Fail Inc. a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. Learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!
David Moore of St. Charles Missouri is a darn good writer! Let’s get that right up front!
In fact, David Moore is such a good writer that he came within one single vote of winning the $1,000 top prize in the 18 years old and over category of the Brave Enough To Write, short story contest which benefits Brave Enough To Fail Inc. a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!
“Love, Life, and Bacon” is a really cool story about…well, Love Life and Bacon, but not in the way you think. To say any more would spoil it for you.
Just read it Here! Love_Life_And_Bacon
And by the way, David’s personal story is so compelling and inspiring that we posted it in it’s entirety below. Read it and be inspired to go after your dream, whatever it is!
My early education was, in the simplest of terms, lacking.
Before I had changed schools, I had been in a less than reputable school closer to the St. Louis area. The school had been so bad that when I had entered the second-grade in my new school I was behind and had to attend a special class that was meant to help me learn to read and write on the same level as the other students in my grade. Through these special education classes, I was able to become a better reader but was never quite able to get on the same level of the other students in my same grade. This was a problem that followed me out of elementary school and led to me being required to attend more special education classes through middle school and into high school.
It was in these classes that I found a passion for writing. We would write little stories which were intended to help us gain a better understanding of how sentences were structured as well as introduce us to new words. Writing these short stories had always been one of my favorite exercises but having as much trouble as I had with reading and writing a career as an author seemed absurd. The short stories I had written were never intended to get me anywhere. They were simply something I did because I liked to do it. In fact, the idea of being a professional writer was so far out of my mind that in my entire academic career I have only ever had one creative writing course that I attended my senior year of high school. The only other writing courses I had ever had were those that came as general credit courses in college. (English comp, Technical writing, etc.) But, even with the idea of being a writer far from my mind I never stopped writing. Short stories and half-finished novels of distant worlds, medieval towns under siege, and many other tales of woe and triumph. They were always for fun and always just for me.
It was many years later while I was working as a marketing designer and listening to the Harry Potter audio book series (for the fourth time) that I found a sudden burning inspiration in me. I felt for some strange and unknowable reason like I could be a writer if I really wanted to. So, I began writing again but with more intent and more passion for being a writer, not just as a hobby. I am now wrapping up the final edits to my first novel, which will be book one of a three to four book series that I hope will be my path to a career as an author.
Having a career as an author isn’t just for me. It’s something that I hope to be able to show my daughter when she gets older. Something I can hold up and say “Look I followed my dream. I worked for it and it came true.” and maybe, if I’m very lucky, I can one day inspire her as much as she inspires me to keep going every day.
By David Moore
Molly Anne Brewer of Indiana is a new author who enjoys penning stories with fantastical and sometimes macabre twists. She grew up in a small town, the youngest of eight children in a family of musicians, writers, actors, poets and artists. She is currently working on several short story projects and a full length novel entitled ‘Collide’. She makes her home in the Midwest, which she shares with her husband, two dogs and two cats.
Molly’s short story, entitled “The Library” is, according to one of our judges, reminiscent of an episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery for folks over fifty, or an episode of Stranger Things, if you’re somewhat younger than that. Either way, it was scary enough to grab third place the 18 years old and over category of the Brave Enough To Write, short story contest which benefits Brave Enough To Fail Inc. a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!
Last year he had his first top ten record, co-writing with old friend Ace Frehley (former KISS founder and guitarist) on his Billboard #9 CD, “Space Invader”. This came on the heels of his You Tube hit, “Route 22,” about the road from the Bronx to Canada. In 2012 he led the BBQ All Stars on a tour of BBQ festivals with “My Baby Loves BBQ”.
Chris started his path as a recording engineer in the late 70’s to better document his songs, mentoring with hit maker, Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Frampton) where he learned the art of production and the need for story in the song. He worked with Dr. John, Mercer Ellington and Billy Joel, among many others. Old friend, Chazz Palminteri and director Robert DeNiro, tapped him to record the music for A Bronx Tale in 1992.
His next production, The Cakeman Chronicles, is a one man musical about the intrigue around his family bakery in New York in the 50’s and 60’s, including his finagling into concerts using sheet cakes.
First of all,
Thank you so very much to each and every writer that participated in our very first Brave Enough To Write, short story contest fundraiser. By entering, you are not only following your dream, you are also helping to inspire young people all across America to follow their dreams. So thank you again for supporting our mission to provide free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!
#Girlpower was in full effect as two young ladies from opposite ends of the country won the first, Brave Enough to Write, short story contest.
The competition was fierce. A lot of outstanding writers submitted great stories in both categories and our judges really had their work cut out for them. In the end, two stories had just enough of an edge to put their authors over the top.
Sarah Tehuitoa is a 21 year old English major who lives in Pahrump Nevada and commutes weekly to classes at University of Las Vegas. She is working her way through college by working at a grocery store. She entered the contest on her 21st birthday. Sarah says,
“All I have ever wanted to be is a writer. It has been my dream ever since I was little and I haven’t been able to give it up.”
Her short story, “The Sands of Time” is a gritty (pun intended) tale of love, loss, despair, and just maybe a shot at redemption with a dash of magic thrown in as a tantalizing garnish.
Contest judge Ethan Carey, host of the Rock & Roll Morning Show on WRKI I-95FM, says Miss Tehuitoa’s writing style reminds him of James Patterson or Daniel Silva.
Read The Sands of Time here The_Sands_of_Time_by_Sarah_Tehuiotoa
Isabel Adams is a 17 year old homeschooled student from Weare New Hampshire. She’s always had a passion for writing, photography, singing, and gospel music. Isabel is also a former Vice President and lead writer for FYI Teen Magazine. Her story, “Spirit of the Warrior”, is a coming-of-age story set in the early American west.
Contest judge Lauren Porosoff, English and writing teacher at the Fieldston School in New York City and author of “Empower Your Students” says Isabel’s story has a relatable message about empowerment, perseverance, and bravery along with great imagery reminiscent of young adult adventure stories.
Read Spirit of the Warrior here Spirit of_The_Warrior
2nd Place: Love, Life, and Bacon by David Moore of Saint Charles, MO.
3rd Place: The Library by Molly Brewer of Mooresville, IN.
4th Place My Summer with the Beatles by Christopher Cassone of Patterson, NY.
2nd Place: The Story Gets Harder with Every Word by Jessica Rathmann of San Antonio, TX.
3rd Place: Diary of Susie Valentine by Madison Guerrera of New Milford, CT.
4th Place The Escort by Allissa Brianna- Riley Vernon of Lolo, MT.
Brave Enough To Write is Sponsored by
Closing the education achievement gap is tough.
New results from the nation’s most widely used college admission test highlight in detailed fashion the persistent achievement gaps between students who face disadvantages and those who don’t.
Scores from the ACT show that just 9 percent of students in the class of 2017 who came from low-income families, whose parents did not go to college, and who identify as black, Hispanic, American Indian or Pacific Islander are strongly ready for college.
But the readiness rate for students with none of those demographic characteristics was six times as high, 54 percent, according to The Washington Post Thursday September 8th 2017.
There are a lot of great people working very hard to narrow this huge gap from the policy, administrative, and teacher side of the spectrum.
But Wayne Winsley, a middle school history teacher who also happens to be a multiple award-winning motivational speaker is taking a different approach. He is working at the student level, using inspiration and motivation to increase student achievement.
His nonprofit organization Brave Enough To Fail Inc. provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools.
Winsley explains why he does it,
“At age 14, I was living in an orphanage in Cleveland Ohio, had failed eighth grade the previous year, and basically given up on school. I was a poor black kid who, the experts would say, had given up on my future and was too set in my ways to be motivated to change. I was destined for one of two places, behind bars or dead.
One day, a friend of mine’s dad was disappointed with his report card and began to lecture him. Without intending to, without even realizing that I was in the room, his dad said the words that changed my life forever.
“Always strive for excellence no matter what you do. Excellence will overcome, poverty, prejudice, and adversity every time. Just be excellent at whatever you choose to do.”
That simple message motivated me to make the choice that saved my life.
I chose to go back to school and do the absolute best I could. Because of that choice, I didn’t wind up behind bars or dead. I know first hand that a message can change a child’s life.
That is why I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to delivering a message of inspiration and motivation to as many young people as possible by providing free motivational programs to high schools.”
Natasha Ushomirsky, a policy development director for the Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for disadvantaged students, told the Washington Post, “There’s a lot of power in communicating the expectation that all students can achieve at high levels,”
Research, by the Dalio Foundation of Connecticut, shows that disengaged students who are re-engaged and motivated during the first two years of high school are nearly twice as likely to graduate than students who remain disengaged. See the report here.
Schools across the nation agree about the power of a positive message and are reaching out to request the program. Currently Brave Enough To Fail has requests for the 2017-2018 school year from schools in thirteen states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, and Alaska.