Congratulations to Maurice Leon ’21 for placing 1st in the Largo Public Library’s 36th Annual Stanley Shalit Short Story Competition. Maurice was one of over 200 students in Pinellas County to enter this year’s competition, whose theme was Oceans: Fun, Fear, Future.
The contest was open to students in grades 6-8 and 9-12. The story guidelines stated that it should be 4-8 pages long, 12-point font, and should revolve around an experience, setting, problem, challenge, tragedy, triumph, or any circumstance that will intrigue readers and bring characters to life.
Maurice’s story is a modern folktale that blends magic with the horrific history of Africa and its battle with slavery. When a slave ship arrives on the coastline, Sadie and Kwame are thrust into the reality of what many Africans experienced when they were faced with European slavers in light of the ever-expanding transatlantic slave trade. They are forced to fight for their lives to escape those who seek to take away their freedom while trying to protect what matters most.
Maurice was awarded $250 for winning first place. Great job, Maurice!