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Lillian Lewis selected as a contestant for the Colorism Healing Writing Contest

Vanessa Martin, News Copy Editor

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Lillian Lewis, sophomore at Athens Drive, has been selected for the 2018 Colorism Healing Writing Contest. The poem is titled “The Life of a Nutty Buddy” which reflects Lewis’ view on colorism. While Lewis’ entry may sound like a fun piece about ice cream, it is really about Lewis reflecting on how she is treated both harshly and pleasantly based on the color of her skin. The contest is sponsored by Colorism Healing, which was founded by Sarah Webb, writer and educator, in 2013.

Colorism is when people are discriminated against or treated differently because of the tone of their skin. However, it is not the same as racism. With racism, people of different races are discriminated against, while with colorism, people of different skin tones within the same race are treated differently. The rules of the contest are as follows: the piece must directly address colorism, essays must be 1250 words or less, poems must be 1000 words or less, a contestant may enter one to three pieces of writing,  the submission must have not been published previously and they must be the original author of the submission. The submissions are judged by Benjamin Wallace, spoken word artist and Donney Rose, poet and community activist. The deadline is April 30, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

“If there’s one thing I’d like to say about colorism, it’s that it should have a lot more awareness. Before entering this contest I didn’t even know what colorism was. I knew I had been treated differently by other people because of my complexion, but I didn’t know why. No one should have to wonder why they’re being treated a certain way. In fact, no one should have to be treated differently at all,” said Lillian Lewis, sophomore.

Lewis first discovered the contest at the end of the 2016-2017 school year in creative writing. She was hesitant about entering, then later changed her mind when she saw an advertisement for the contest on Instagram during the summer. As she gets older, Lewis hopes to continue doing something based on writing, possibly journalism.

It is important for students to try and tell their stories to the world and try to get their voice heard.

“Make sure to edit it over and over, if you get rejected don’t be upset just continue to submit different writings,” said Grady Elrod, English teacher.

There is no harm that can come from just submitting a piece of work, if anything a writer will gain from the experience.

“The best advice I can give students who want to share their creativity with the world is to do it. The worse case scenario is that someone says no. Most of the time writers doubt themselves into thinking that no one wants to hear what they have to share. However, most of the time that’s not the case, share your stories!” said Lewis.

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