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Sophomore wins honorable mention in fiction competition

“As her coughing grew more frequent, she gasped for air in between fits. Her phone dropped with a loud clang! While one hand stayed near her mouth, the other went to her collarbone, the middle point between her burning throat and lungs.”

This is an excerpt from sophomore Lydia Garcia’s short story, “Drip, Drip, Drip,” which recently won honorable mention in Michigan State University’s Tom Samet High School Fiction Competition.

In what was her first writing contest, Lydia was amazed with her award in the field of roughly 200 in the competition.

“I was surprised, for sure, based on how many people entered,” said Lydia, one of four finalists in the short-story section of the contest. “It was a fun thing to see what happened.

“I have always loved writing. It’s not what I’m going to major in, but I’m never going to stop doing it.”

Her English teacher, Lisa Botsford, was impressed with Lydia’s award, considering the competition.

“Most of the winners for the Benvenuto poetry competition and for the Samet fiction competition were from Interlochen (Center for the Arts), so this is a huge deal that Lydia’s talented writing placed,” Botsford said. “Lydia possesses an authentic love for reading and writing that exists both inside and outside the classroom.

“Her writing tends to capture the gritty human experience that many people her age fear to think about and explore. It is exciting to see where her talents will take her.”

Sophomore Lydia Garcia won honorable mention with her short story ‘Drip, Drip, Drip’ in the Michigan State University Tom Samet High School Fiction Competition

Writing Early

Lydia said her interest in writing sparked at age 10.

“I began writing short stories that are probably really awful now, but amazing back then,” she said with a smile.

Following in the footsteps of her favorite movie, “The Blair Witch Project,” and TV show, “Supernatural,” her award-winning piece is a horror story with a chilling conclusion.

“This short story is actually a prologue for a novel that I’m writing,” said Lydia, who wants to study accounting at Grand Valley State University. “I usually pull it from movies or TV shows, or weird random thoughts.

“I have the first two chapters written and would like to meet with a publisher someday.”

She also has an interest in theater, and was in November’s school play, “Clue.”

Fittingly, “I play a dark figure, which goes around killing people,” she said.

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Cris Greer
Cris Greer
For more than three decades, Cris Greer has been a wordsmith, working in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Much of the past decade, he helped grow the MLive Statewide High School Sports desk as a supervisor, editor and reporter, which included eight newspapers in Michigan and mlive.com. Cris also was a freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press, The Advance and On the Town magazine for many years. A good portion of his early career was spent building and managing the copywriting team in the advertising department at Meijer, Inc., where he oversaw copywriting for print ads, mailers, brochures, signage, several dozen in-house magazines per year and much more.


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