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Arts & Culture

Local High School Girls Win Book Festival Writing Prize

There’s something amazingly optimistic about seeing young people attaining goals. Yesterday I saw a pair doing just that. The San Antonio Book Festival had asked local high school students to write an essay with the theme: A river runs through it.

I went along as winners were informed.

"Oh, I won?" said Jessica Redmon, the 11th grade winner, shocked to see a TV camera, her grandmother and a dozen people invade her classroom. Jessica wrote about the summer her sister and she experienced, but she started the project by doing this.

“I actually saw the movie 'A River Runs Through It,' and it was about two brothers,” Redmon said.

Jessica’s grandmother, Daphne Redmon, said she hopes for big things. “She wants to be a writer,” she said.

Jessica won $150, and a $500 prize goes to her school, Sam Houston High School. Next we moved on to the Northeast School for the Arts, where Rhyanne Saul was the 9th grade winner. 

I noted to Saul that she sure did look surprised.

"I’m very surprised!" she laughed.

I asked what she credited her accomplishment to.

"Uh…the freedom." After a moment she looked over at her teacher.  "Thank you Ms. Stengel!" Saul said.

"I’m so happy for her, and her story" said Amy Stengel, her creative writing teacher.

Winners will all be recognized at the San Antonio Book Festival. The Texas Cavaliers provided prize money and the San Antonio Public Library Foundation is coordinating, and putting on the book festival on April 5th.

We’ll have more when the visiting authors are announced.