Living Through the Coronavirus

… the conversation continues

1st Place – La Ventana Cerrando

by Ella Kirkwood, 05/24/2020, Traverse City, MI
Middle School 6-8 Category
La Ventana: Climbing term used to describe the perfect window of opportunity for an ascent; Also, “the Window” in Spanish. Cerrando: closing. We had great expectations for 2020 . . .

1st Place – Nelly Thinks

by Issabelle Brooks, 04/17/2020, Beulah, MI
Elementary K-5 Category
“Oh hey! I didn’t smell you there!” My name is Nelly. I am a German Shorthair Pointer. I’m almost a year old but I am the queen of my house. I love to help clean dad’s toes. My sworn enemy is kitty the cat. She is as black as your nightmares . . .

1st Place – Pandemic Percussion

by Athena Gillespie, 06/30/2020, Traverse City, MI
High School 9-12 Category
As I lay in bed, the natural light from my window slowly dwindling, I hear them. A cacophony of drums, maracas, pots, pans, and more. I glance at the clock. 8:00 PM on the dot. I wasn’t expecting a tradition that started in March to last all the way to May, but it was something I had adjusted to and learned to appreciate. Every night, my neighbors stood on their porches and banged on drums, etc. for one full minute. No less, and (usually) no more . . .

1st Place – Touch

by Anne-Marie Oomen
04/09/2020, Empire, MI
Adult Category
I walked the empty road to a neighbor’s house. I hesitated to knock—I’d have to touch the door, but then I did. She came, her hair mussed, smiled, and put her palm against the glass and I put mine against the cool on my side.

PLEASE HELP US KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

We know these are very difficult times financially. If you’re able, please help us keep our nonprofit going with a donation, no matter how big or small. Thank you!

Life in the Time of Virus Essay Contest

Thanks for all who submitted their entries! As a note, this website will remain open for additional entries until the pandemic becomes a thing of the past.

Best wishes,
Anne Stanton
Executive Director
national Writers Series

Submitted Stories

1st Place – Pandemic Percussion

by Athena Gillespie, 06/30/2020, Traverse City, MI
High School 9-12 Category
As I lay in bed, the natural light from my window slowly dwindling, I hear them. A cacophony of drums, maracas, pots, pans, and more. I glance at the clock. 8:00 PM on the dot. I wasn’t expecting a tradition that started in March to last all the way to May, but it was something I had adjusted to and learned to appreciate. Every night, my neighbors stood on their porches and banged on drums, etc. for one full minute. No less, and (usually) no more . . .

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

We are accepting submissions from anywhere in the world. We ask that submissions be truthful, civil in tone, with no profanity or personal attacks.

You may make more than one entry, though all entries are moderated. 

Judging of submissions began on June 30, 2020 and the winners were announced August 23rd at our fundraiser with Susan Goldberg, editor-in-chief of National Geographic.

Because the story is evolving day-by-day, week-by-week, we’ll keep this website open indefinitely. Submissions will be digitally preserved by the Traverse Area District Library.

The National Writers Series is a nonprofit, dedicated to holding great conversations with nationally renowned authors. Net proceeds of our events go to our Raising Writers programs that help build the reading and writing skills of area youth. For more information, go to www.nationalwritersseries.org

While you’re home, take a look at or listen to some of the National Writers Series past author events. They were so much fun!

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