Three Glenfield Students Win Short Story Contest

Three Glenfield Students Win Short Story Contest
Posted on 02/26/2024
Two Montclair seventh graders and one sixth-grader, all from Glenfield Middle School, have won the sixth annual Friends of Anderson Park Short Story Contest. The winners are: Madhuja Ghosh’s “Fairy Tales,” about a not-so-wicked stepmother; Madison Pholwattana’s magical trip through a tree into another world, “The Hollow in the Tree”; and Desmond MacBride’s “Bird-Brain,” about an obsessed birdwatcher. 

contest winners
Winners from left: Desmond MacBride, Madhuja Ghosh and Madison Pholwattana

Photo credit: Lisa Renner, Friends of Anderson Park

Winners will each receive $100 from Friends of Anderson Park, and their stories will be read aloud during an awards ceremony at the Bellevue Avenue Branch of the Montclair Public Library on March 3 at 3 p.m. The winning stories will can be read on the Park Conservancy’s website.

This year brought a robust and imaginative array of entries, and the judges were amazed and delighted by the quality of the entries, whether by winners or not. Ann Anderson Evans, founder of the contest, said, “Every year these middle schoolers nourish my hopes for the future.” 

The judges were Judy Newman, known in Montclair as the “book lady” on Halloween but known more officially as the Chief Impact Officer of Scholastic; Sharon Dennis Wyeth, the author of numerous award-winning books for children and young adults, including “Evette: The River and Me”  and “Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom”; Michael Laser, author of books for adults and younger readers, most recently “Eulogy” and “The Word-Lover’s Lexicon”; and Ann Anderson Evans, whose second memoir, “The Sweet Pain of Being Alive,” came out this year. Laser and Evans previously taught writing at Montclair State University.

Friends of Anderson Park formed in 2006, just over a century after the park opened in Upper Montclair. It is a non-profit conservancy dedicated to the thoughtful stewardship of Anderson Park’s natural, cultural, environmental and educational qualities. Its primary mission is to protect the spirit and integrity of the park’s nationally significant Olmsted design and to rehabilitate and maintain its pastoral ambiance. 

The conservancy’s short-story contest will come around again next fall or winter, and students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades who live in Montclair or attend school in town, including home-schooled students, are encouraged to keep an eye out for the announcement of the 2025 contest.  
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