Winner of our 2012 Teen Writing Contest: “Night Swimming” by Nicole Acton

nightswimming-ipad-portraitOur final issue of One Teen Story this season is the winner of our 2012 Teen Writing Contest: “Night Swimming” by Nicole Acton. Our judge, Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay and Where She Went, had this to say about the winning story:

“I read a lot of fiction, books that are out, stories that are out, books that are coming out. I can be awful finicky and hard to please. Therefore, not only was I blown away by the finalists in the One Teen Story fiction contest, I was surprised, too. They were that good.

It was a tough call and I had to re-read the stories several times (usually in these kinds of things, there is a clear favorite, or clear un-favorites). In the end, I chose “Night Swimming.”

To me, the best YA writing tells stories about young people, but doesn’t tell “young” stories. By which I mean, the stories themselves are meticulously crafted, the characters multi-layered, everything subtle and nuanced. “Night Swimming” is a coming-of-age story about teenagers, but it is not a young story.”

Thanks to Gayle Forman for being our teen writing contest judge, and to Stefan Lawrence for designing such a beautiful cover. Be sure to read our Q&A with Nicole Acton to find out more about what it’s like to be a teen writer, and how she penned this winning story.

Our 2013 Teen Contest is open to writers under 19, and is accepting submissions until June 30th! The judge will be Matt de la Peña, and the winner will be published as our May 2014 issue. Send in your story today!


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