Kipling award winners honored at Latchis

Kipling award winners honored at Latchis

DUMMERSTON — On May 20, in the main theater at the Latchis, the Landmark Trust USA announced the finalists of the second Rudyard Kipling Young Writers Award, a challenge offered to all Windham County students in grades 4-6. This challenge began in 2016 in celebration of Landmark Trust USA's 25th Anniversary.

“As owners of five historic homes that have been painstakingly restored and opened for guests, including Rudyard Kipling's home, Naulakha, in Dummerston, where he wrote the Just So Stories, The Jungle Book, and Captains Courageous, we wanted to celebrate his legacy along with our anniversary,” Tristam Johnson, Landmark's interim executive director, said in a news release.

“We believe this competition is an important opportunity to encourage imagination and creative-writing skills in our young people,” he added.

Awards were presented in three categories: poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, with more than 50 submissions this year from five area schools. Awards were presented to the 11 finalists at the Latchis.

Landmark Trust USA convened a panel of judges including Karen Hesse, an award-winning young adult author best known for Out of the Dust (1997) and The Music of Dolphins (1996); Dede Cummings, a writer, book designer, and publisher; Tom Bedell, a writer living in Williamsville; Jerry Carbone, former executive director of Brooks Memorial Library; and Tim Weed, who teaches at GrubStreet in Boston and in the MFA Creative and Professional Writing program at Western Connecticut State University.

The young writers were awarded with copies of The Jungle Book, signed by the judges. The author of the entry judged overall best was Desmond Longsmith who wrote Why Mice Like Cheese, which he read to the audience.

For his effort, Desmond received a gift certificate for a night at Naulakha with his family, where he can enjoy writing at Kipling's desk, sleeping in his bed, and soaking in his beloved bathtub.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates