Whoa. You guys came to play! We got over 200 entries for the DEAR TEEN ME contest, and we are both delighted and shocked and...well, exhausted after reading so many heartfelt entries!
First of all, I want to thank everyone who entered. This is a very personal writing endeavor and I know it's hard to put yourselves out there so I hope you all give yourselves a hug for me!
Secondly, I want to thank my co-judges, wreckling, Cassildra, neurotype and Vocable. I think I would have drowned in letters if it weren't for you guys!
SO. Without further ado, here are your winners!
First place, which wins a prize pack of Zest books including DEAR TEEN ME signed by various authors in the anthology (and ME!); a1 year premium membership, a laptop bag [link], and an accessory pack [link] from dA; AND two 8x12 prints of photos by this chick E. Kristin Anderson (PinkyMcCoversong) (seen below).
ADULT FIRST PLACE WINNER: Horace-Bulregard with this piece:
Dear Teen MeDear Adolescent Self,
I know, everything sucks and you don't want to hear from some lame-ass old person. Lame-ass old people try to tell you things like this all the time, but they're just stupid old people that can't possibly understand. You don't respect me because I'm not in a band, I don't have black hair, and I don't look awesome. I don't write screamey songs that speak to your weasley black soul, nor am I Tim Burton or Freddie Mercury. I get it, past self. I get it. Frankly, I don't want to hear things from me either most of the time. As lame as I may be, just hear me out for a minute.
There's this thing you should really, really try, and it's called being happy. No, I'm not high. Yes, this is really quite terrible and hokey. Shut up and stop judging me for a minute, I'm trying to help you, you little twonk. Also, start thinking of absurd insults now, it will help you in the long run.
As I was SAYING, you spend far too much time and effort on being miserable. Part of it is the ho
TEEN FIRST PLACE WINNER: julietcaesar with this piece:
To My Future SelfTo my Future Self,
Breathe. You must be thinking, seriously, my teen self is acting like an old fart of a teacher telling off overstressed kids, but seriously, breathe. Stop. Pause. Listen. It's your heart beating. It's telling you, I'm beating so damn hard, I might just kill you one day.
Okay, let's digest. There can only be two reasons for your heart to beat like that. One reason is because I wouldn't have changed- I would still be that overzealous, neurotic, depressed teenager with a penchant for word thieves, dream catchers and moment makers. The other reason would be just the opposite: it's beating with life, with purpose, with hope.
I hope you'll be that second person.
Because being that second person means being serenaded by Chopin in a boy's car, travelling down to Bondi Beach watching sculptures rear out of the sea and you're feeling like, maybe, love may finally find you at last. Being that second person means you just won't shut up talking to patrons
Second place, which wins a signed copy of DEAR TEEN ME; a 6 month premium membership, and a laptop bag [link] from dA; AND one 8x12 matte print of each of the above photos by E. Kristin Anderson.
ADULT SECOND PLACE WINNER: zebrazebrazebra with
dear teen meDear Sarah,
Remember that time you tried to top yourself by hiding under the covers? That was hilarious. I remember you tugging at the edges of the blanket and praying, without a shred of scientific evidence, that the lack of oxygen would be enough to kill you. You sat under there for something like fifteen minutes before you gave up and went to make a sandwich. But while you were under there, choking a little on your pillow because you never washed your sheets, I remember you thought someone was watching. Someone who understood your suffering. Someone who understood you.
Kid, that was me. And I've got two words for you: man up. Life can get a whole lot harder than this. Before too much longer, it's going to. And by the time you get to my age, you're going to be glad.
Why were you
TEEN SECOND PLACE WINNER: DeathbySkittlez with
Beloved Future Self
Dear Future Self,
Hey, you. Or, alternatively, me. I've never spoken to you before, but I think it's time I did, not for a contest or views but because I know better than anyone that you need it right now.
I know you're hurting and you're scared. I know how you can't look in the mirror without clawing away at yourself and I know you write this with shaking hands and a heavy heart, but this isn't just about you. This is about the little girl you used to be and the little girl out there that's exactly as you were. Because they need you. I need you. Please stop crying each night, this will make you stronger. I know it's hard. I know you don't think it's fair, but who ever said life was fair? No one, because it would be the poorest excuse for a lie ever spoken. So take that step. Look up into that mirror and say it. Out loud.
"I was sexually abused."
Stop. Don't you dare erase that sentence. Remember those girls who could be reading this. Do NOT regret these words. Even if they do not help
And our honorable mention in each category, which wins a signed copy of DEAR TEEN ME; and 3 month premium membership and an accessory pack [link] from dA.
ADULT HONORABLE MENTION: Gold-Seven with
Dear Teen MeDear Teen Me,
Yes, you there.
You in the horn-rimmed glasses in your stupid millwheel hat. You knew you’d look totally dumb wearing that to a carnival party, didn’t you? And now you sit there hating the music, hating the people who dragged you there, hating your hair, your figure, your baggy tapered jeans and most of all your glasses. Yes, I know all that. I remember the whole damn evening, when they seemed to play nothing but Salt’n’Pepa, Rozalla and KLF. What did you think they’d play, Paul McCartney, or Elvis Costello? What did you expect the boys would do – would they suddenly notice you with that millwheel hat when they never noticed you before? I bet they noticed the hat, I’ll give you that. It's probably one of the things that makes them give you such a wide berth. Who’d snog someone who looks as if she’s ten? And be honest, do you really want to have someone shoving his tongue past your tonsils, the way they’re doing i
TEEN HONORABLE MENTION: night-of-light with
Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me)Dear You (Or, Alternatively, Me) –
I worry about you sometimes.
I worry about how you are doing: who you are spending your time frolicking with, whether or not you have finally kissed someone, if you still get nervous easily. I worry about my friends in your time – are they still our friends? Or have you finally let them all go, or pushed them away, or left like we always dreamed of?
Sometimes I lay in bed in the late hours of the night, dreaming of your life. Do you remember? Do you remember staring at the dark ceiling so long it began turning red, tossing and turning, hoping and dreading what is to come? I wonder if the things I have done effect you as we have always worried they would; if they have broken you.
You see, the truth is – and I am certain you remember this about me – I fear you. I fear you like a lightning rod fears a thunderstorm. Do you remember why I fear you so? You do, don't you? Just as I shrink away from the possibility of becoming you, so you shrink
Prizewinners, be sure to contact me with your mailing info! We'll get your prizes to you ASAP!
Thanks again to all the entrants! And keep an eye on DearTeenMe.com, where we may be posting some of our favorite letters form the winners' circle in the coming months