Bloom: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2014 digital home


Welcome to the digital version of Young Authors of Arizona’s Bloom: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2015

Last year, 63 of Arizona's grade 7-12 authors earned publication space in Bloom: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2014. This year, YAA offers publication opportunities to Scholastic Writing Awards and Scholastic Art Awards participants. Who will earn publication this year?

In 2014, 63 of Arizona’s grade 7-12 authors earned publication in Bloom: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2014. Each year, YAA offers publication opportunities, drawn primarily from Arizona’s Scholastic Writing & Art Awards participants.

Welcome to Bloom, the digital version of Young Authors of Arizona’s Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2014 anthology, the first of its kind in state history: by young authors, for Arizona, earned publication through the Scholastic Writing Awards. YAA is the only Scholastic affiliate in America making our own “best of” book, and we continue to make publishing a habit.

Grade 7-12 student, if you ask “Can I read that?” “Can I write about that?” “Can we talk about that?” Yes, you can.

YAA was created to help young authors show-and-tell language and media arts. We welcome you, the reader, the teacher, the parent, the librarian, the partner organization, the partner business, and especially you, the aspiring young author, to help language and media arts bloom in Arizona by getting and reading the book, as well as “reading” and “writing” the Bloom: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2014 book site.

“Bloom!” Make this print book a dynamic text.

Do you know that, combined, Arizona now has over 1,700 middle schools and high schools and many home schools, each with potential storytellers? Media exposure too-often lets the wrong people define Arizona, and Arizonans, so maybe it’s time to create page space for Arizona’s grade 7-12 authors–writers and artists.

Focusing on writing in Bloom’s short-term development, the following words show, in snippets and out-of-context, what 63 Young Authors of Arizona have to tell.

Click on linked phrases to read the work and participate by creating and using related lesson plans, as well as create and use related works, shared by Young Authors of Arizona for you.

Editor Introduction by Billy Gerchick: “Show-and-Tell for Arizona”

Senior Portfolio Introduction by Haley Lee: “The Way We Burned”

Memories swelling like a gasoline rainbow; the old regime and a fear of apology; your pastpresentfuture; my fusion heritage; prefixes rioting for recombination.

Personal Narratives

Weird gypsy music for self-pitying goth girls; child at the Diwali party clad in jeans; a little green-bodied, red-stomached hummingbird; our van which was luckily stuck between two coconut trees; my heart that thinks too loudly; the same crumpled blue tee, gray yoga pants, and dusty Converse; that awkward kid; that dreaded five-letter word.


Leaking contradictions that send steam rising off asphalt; fireworks that pinwheel across the sky; a spark; smoke ring love letters; Desolation Row; the ugly Christmas sweater; Heaven’s ears; scent of Palo Verde; drawing of a polar bear during recess; three balls to juggle two hands one girl; for who I am and not for who I’m not; blasphemy in the beauty of our fingers intertwined; four-point, thirty-six point, two-thousand, four-hundred point scales; a trophy, a glorified piece of metal; against the rusted fence of the basketball court; hues of lonely blue and shades of bitter belladonna; scowls darting across the room; sardonic interior; the cruel paradox of young men; for La Raza; same way on a zigzagged line; mirror, oh mirror; a rather simple concept; how I feel about myself; chewing bubble gum in the rain; hunched like Atlas and cold like David; eyes like Hera and a voice like Echo; how the other person thinks; just a pat on the back and a few words of kindness; a paper-thin castle made of words; one big chunk of rock floating in space; the stoic stare of glassy eyes; a serpentine wisp of fragile white vapor; haphazardly stitching in hopes of mending; just one last smile; white noise in the TV; War, Poverty, Death, Sickness, Homelessness, Starvation, Dehydration, Helplessness, Greed, Evil, Obliviousness, Cynicism, Deception, Anger, Hatred, Depression, Suicide, Loneliness; nothing like we expected; the end of the Demon’s rebirth; the Bliss of the leaves beneath my feet; unplanted seeds and misplaced house keys; an Arizona sunset; the time you nudged my shoulder with your nose; when sheets of glass rain slandered the asphalt; slowly down from five; no more North or South; all that matters; my twelve years with her; perpetual wave of the naked truth.

Flash Fiction

Suspension bridge of global culture; hiss of steel ringing; other side of the Earth; the Guns and Roses tattoo; heartbreak, cancer, and a Catch-22; Frost’s heart beat; his wedding ring; paper-thin memories crinkled by time; the last of the Presents.  

Short Story

The annoying red light; the ding of the elevator doors; empty cans of spray paint; a pale patch of dried glue.


The grand opening; phrases and English sayings; a regular high school; a new cultural studies program.

Critical Essay

When to speak your mind and when to shut up; that beautiful mixture, half-lion half-eagle; the mental wellness and social conditions of the assailants; “reasonable suspicion” that someone is “an alien.”


The chagrin of the zealots who loved the dramatics; the knot that held my entire loincloth; as dirty as that last sentence sounded.

Dramatic Script

Names, and names, and names of men and women old and young.

Science Fiction-Fantasy

12 minutes, 56 seconds; a small breakfast of regulation canned Good Meal; the empty shell of my ghostly body; the ones who live life to the fullest, accept all mistakes made, and truly enjoy life as it is.

If you feel the above words don’t merit further reading, I welcome you to close this book/page. If writing by Arizona teens doesn’t belong in your curriculum, ignore this rag and the “punks” that pass notes/text in class. If bored by 63 friends passing paperback notes, then stop focusing and express ur boredom. Try an emoticon: :(. Otherwise, enjoy.

Enter the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards by December 16, 2015

So what language and media arts authorship will you submit to the Awards by this Wednesday, December 16th, Arizona’s upload and postmark deadline for the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?

Five steps to enter the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards:

1. Create your Scholastic Account

Students can begin creating 2016 art and writing works as early as desired; starting in mid-September, students and educators can register your accounts at:

2. Access, read, & share YAA’s 2015 participation materials

Anyone can go to or YAA’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards affiliate page to access, read, and share YAA’s 2016 Scholastic Writing Awards Participation Guide or its 2016 Scholastic Art Awards Guide. For display, print and post YAA’s “BLOOM!” classroom poster.

3. Submit your work(s) according to Awards category specifications

Because YAA now accepts entries for art and writing in 28 different Scholastic Awards categories, pay attention to category-specific submission requirements and remember to:

  1. Review category descriptions and guidelines.
  2. Revise, edit, and proofread your work.

Tech note: You can upload your work to the Awards and edit that work, without having to re-submit, until 9:59 MST on Wednesday, December 16th.

4. Print and complete each work’s entry form

In addition to completing account registration and submitting work, each student must:

  1. Print the submission form for each entry.
  2. Obtain required signatures from a teacher and guardian on each entry form. Guardian signatures are not required if the student is 18 years or older.

5. Mail forms and payment by December 16, 2015

Submission is complete once you mail your signed submission forms and payment (if applicable) and they are received by YAA. Please mail your envelope as soon as possible, but it must be postmarked by December 16th. Individual submission entries are as follows:

  • $5 per work (submit as many entries as desired)
  • $20 per portfolio submission (12th graders only)
  • Some students can qualify for a fee waiver

Benefits of entering the Awards and participating as mentors

  • Each submission is eligible for scholarships and an invitation to the national ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York.
  • Earn Honorable Mention, Silver Key, or Gold Key Certificate for the State of Arizona and an invite to YAA’s Scholastic Awards Ceremony in April of 2015.
  • Select Gold Key and Silver Key-winning compositions offered publication in the Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2016 book; 2016 “best of” art publication opportunities will also be available.
  • Educators can use Awards as a 1st semester tool for enrichment, PLC collaboration, and portfolio-based assessment of Common Core-aligned writing projects.
  • Educators earn professional development credit as a YAA volunteer judge, from home.
  • More benefits available, including YAA partnerships with other organizations.

Share your thoughts.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: