The IMPAC-Connecticut State University

Young Writer
s Competition




Entry Form

Contact Us

Thank You Note

Back to In the News

Young writer captures state award

By John McKenna
June 5, 2004

LITCHFIELD – Litchfield High School junior Alexandra Regenbogen earned $1,000 and a trip to Ireland during the seventh annual IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust awards dinner Friday at the Litchfield Inn.

Regenbogen, however, won’t be able to make it to Ireland for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award presentation this summer because of a prior commitment. That the trip won’t happen didn’t seem to matter to the 17-year-old who, based on her reaction to winning the Young Writers Trust poetry competition for state high school students, was content with the cash prize.

“I’m very surprised because I read all of the poems that were finalists and there were a lot of good ones,” Regenbogen said. “I never thought mine would be chosen.”

Regenbogen’s poem, “School Bus Etching,” was one of nine finalists. In April, she was named the winner of the Litchfield County poetry competition, which earned her $1,000 from the Young Writers Trust and a spot as a finalist.

The winner of the prose competition was Emily Dykes of Montville High School. Dykes also earned a $1,000 prize and will be making the trip to Ireland for the Dublin Literary Award presentation.

James Irwin, a Litchfield resident and chairman of IMPAC, a management productivity consulting firm, established the Young Writers Trust competition in 1998. Prizes totaling $100,000 have been awarded to poetry and prose winners in the seven years of the competition.

Regenbogen wrote her winning poem in a creative writing class taught by Rudolph Sellei. Her poem is about a high school boy on a bus on the way to school reflecting on his life.

“I just submitted it and didn’t know where it would go,” she said of entering the poem in the competition. “There were a lot of entries and I’m happy the judges felt mine was special.”

Litchfield High Principal Timothy Breslin said the school’s English teachers have made a concerted effort to encourage creative writing among students. Regenbogen, Breslin said, is one of the many students who have benefited from being pushed by their teachers.

“She’s a terrific kid and she deserves all of the recognition,” Breslin said. “She’s outstanding in many respects, especially as a writer and class leader.”

The other local finalist in the poetry competition was Zoe Goehring of Westover School in Middlebury. Rebecca Podros of Torrington High School was a finalist in the prose competition. Like Regenbogen, both won $1,000 prizes in the first segment of the competition.

Top of Page