December 11, 2020
Welcome to the Winners' Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL and IFW Contest winners. Today we're celebrating winner Takeyon Foreman! His poem "Return to Greatness" came in Second Place in our Silver Linings Poetry Contest.
What contest was your winning entry submitted to?
I earned 2nd place in the Silver Linings Poetry contest.
How many writing contests have you entered?
This was my first time entering into any writing contest.
Please give the title of your entry and a short summary of the poem.
The title of my entry was "Return to Greatness." The poem was written as an effort to move anyone who heard in the direction of love, confidence, acknowledgement, and drive. I also wanted those who in a small part of their brains believe that other then outward appearance humans are somehow different. I wanted those human beings to hear me announce aloud their contradictions.
What inspired your winning entry?
I was inspired by both history and present times. I was inspired by ambition and hope for the future.
How has entering this contest helped your writing?
I currently have over seventy unpublished works in the Library of Congress and actually having my work heard and even placing in the contest has definitely given me more confidence in my own abilities.
How did the critique in the Winners' Workshop help you?
For me it was powerful to hear the readers and judges get the poem and have a real sense of what it was that I was feeling when I wrote the poem and also to hear them express what they as readers thought from their point of view.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, what is your "day job"?
I do not write full time. In my day job, I work in human services with youth in residential programing as an Program Director.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first short story seriously in 2008.
What will you do with your piece now that it's been recognized?
I'm not sure what I will do with the poem now that it has been recognized, but the original version was copyrighted a few months before the contest and is a bit lengthier and much more expressive, I just wrote a feature length film and I think I would like to see the poem in its entirety be displayed at the end of the film.
Any fun plans for the prize money?
I plan to use the prize money to help assist me with illustrating some of my children story books.
What do you do when you're feeling discouraged or blocked? Do you have any tips for your fellow writers?
I believe creativeness just happens and great stories tell themselves. If you are feeling discouraged or blocked, get up and go for a walk, stop have an ice cream or a slushy, and be in that moment. When you come back to the table relaxed and invigorated then things will begin to flow.
If you could go to the yard sale of any character in the history of children's literature, whose would you go to, and what would you buy?
I would see if I could go pick up that cool hat from The Cat in the Hat.
Are you our next contest winner? There's $1,300 of prize money up for grabs! Check out our current contests on our Contests Page.