Brittany Newell, a junior from Belvedere, California, has been selected as the winner of the 2010-2011 Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition. As the winner, she will receive a $30,000 scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy where she will study with a faculty of published authors and other students who share her love for writing and the arts.
Mika Perrine, the director of the creative writing program at Interlochen, called Brittany’s portfolio mesmerizing and original. “We were particularly impressed with her riveting short story ‘Darwin,’” said Perrine. “It combined remarkable precision of imagery with a whimsical, fairy-tale like cadence.”
An avid writer and reader, Brittany has already finished a novel and a screenplay, and leads the poetry slam team at her current high school. She regularly submits to writing contests, which is how she discovered the Virginia B. Ball Writing Competition. After sending her portfolio to Interlochen on a whim, Brittany learned more about the Arts Academy and was drawn to the idea of being able to work with and exchange ideas with other writers and artists. “Writing has always been such a solitary thing for me, so the community aspect of Interlochen is something that is really appealing,” she explained. An accomplished musician, she also looks forward to the musical opportunities at Interlochen. She has taken private voice lessons since age seven and is currently studying privately with the chair of the voice department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Despite her many interests, Brittany’s future plans remain focused on building a career as a writer. She hopes to get published and see one of her screenplays realized. “I feel like I am a writer - and I would love for that to be validated by readers.”
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help her take her writing to the next level,” said Perrine. “She will be surrounded by peers who share her passion for writing and will have opportunities to interact with nationally-renowned visiting authors. With the support and guidance of a dedicated faculty comprised of professional writers, she will have the opportunity to further hone her fresh voice and unique vision.”
The Virginia B. Ball Creative Writing Competition bears the name of a remarkable philanthropist. Known for her many and varied interests, Ball was a longtime Interlochen supporter. She attended Camp in 1941 and later served on the Alumni Board and the Board of Trustees. She passed away in 2003. A 2007 commitment from the Edmund E. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation endowed a biennial creative writing competition that provides substantial scholarship support for the winner to attend Interlochen Arts Academy as a creative writing major.