Penguin Random House Editors Volunteer with Our Scholarship Winners
Each year the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards present more than $100,000 in scholarships to a group of New York City public high school writers. These award recipients are also invited each summer to attend and participate in a summer-writers retreat held at our uptown offices.
Part of the Penguin Random House Foundation mission to nurture the next generation of readers and writers, the Creative Writing Awards program operates internally with essential support from our team of talented editors, designers, published authors and employee volunteers. After two mornings spent volunteering their time to brainstorm, write, and edit dialogue with some of our 2016 student recipients, Kelly Delaney, Random House Children’s Editorial; Camille Dewing-Vallejo, Random House Marketing; Eryn Levine, Digital Publishing Group (Pictured with student Tajrean Rahman); and Deanna Masselli, Information Technologies, read aloud the completed scenes for an invited group of their Penguin Random House colleagues.
Tackling a broad range of topics from friendship to infidelity to gender identity to critical conflicts, it was hard to believe that the mature dialogue in this staged reading of original scenes was written by recent high school graduates.
Phillip Stamper-Halpin, Publishing Development and Author Platforms, also volunteered his time to meet with these Summer Writers to discuss his experience both promoting and developing authors, as well as sharing his own perspective as a Penguin Random House employee by day, author by night. “Speaking with the winners was an incredible experience. They’re such an ambitious group, and—though their writing styles are wonderfully diverse—they all speak with a passion for writing and telling their stories. I’m excited to follow their writing careers and learn of the successes that will come from both the scholarships and the retreat.”
Creative writing awards recipient Ha Young Ahn, summarized her experience best on the final morning free write, “It only took six days — six days for me to fall in love with writing again. This summer wasn’t filled with the adventurous vacations in foreign countries that I had dreamed of. I didn’t grow taller or learn a cool new hobby or anything like that. But I did fall in love, with writing. And it’s not just a summer romance. That, I can assure you.”
Are you interested in working with young writers? The Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards’ program will kick off the new academic year this October with more than 50 writing workshops in NYC public high schools. Volunteers are needed to attend workshops and distribute student applications and promotional materials. If you’re interested in learning more about the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards click here.
About the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards
Penguin Random House is passionate about fostering the freedom to create for our authors and our employees. This freedom to create is at the very heart of the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards. Looking for writing with a strong, clear voice, by authors who are daring, original and unafraid to take risks; we want to know what the kids of New York City public high schools have to say. We believe in the power of books to connect and change lives, and recognize the unique vision and voices of New York City high school seniors with scholarship awards while inspiring student writers and educators with empowering opportunities for their voices to be heard. We believe in the power of books to connect and change lives, and recognize the unique vision and voices of New York City high school seniors with scholarship awards while inspiring student writers and educators with empowering opportunities for their voices to be heard.