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Short stories, deep emotions

by: Submitted photo, Paige Snodgrass, a sophomore at Beaverton High School, won first place in Beaverton City Libraries' 55 Fiction contest.

Teen writers showed their talent, creativity and, most importantly, their knack for brevity at a 55-word fiction contest at the Beaverton City Library.

The Young Adult Division librarians sifted through more than 400 entries from authors in grades 6 through 12 before announcing 19 finalists Dec. 12.

'We are absolutely thrilled by the creativity and positive contributions of our teen patrons,' said Young Adult Librarian Courtney Varney.

Beaverton High School sophomore Paige Snodgrass took first place with her dress-shop scene.

'Paige's story not only uses great description and vocabulary, but it also has superb character development and a clever dénouement,' Varney said. 'I loved the unexpected twist at the end.'

From Calin Gabel School, junior Nick Rinehart won second with his fantastical description.

'Nick's writing had such a strong, unique voice that he caught the judges' attention right away,' Varney said. 'His writing is almost enigmatic and abstract, yet showed a strong plot arc.'

Third place went to another BHS student, junior Anna Schneider, for her sad, mournful tale.

'Anna's story had a wistful quality that set the stage immediately,' Varney said. 'In a brief 55 words, she incorporated realistic dialogue, fantastic vocabulary, and excellent character development.'

Out of the 19 finalists, Valley Catholic High School and Catlin Gabel School each had seven, while two each came from Aloha High School and Beaverton High School. One finalist was from Pilgrim Lutheran School.

Entries from all the finalists can be found at www.beavertonlibrary.org/teens, by clicking on the '55 fiction short story contest 2007' link.