Interlochen Arts Academy student Avery Gendler honored in the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum’s 2022 literary contest
Gendler placed first in the contest’s grades 11-12 category for her sonnet, ‘A Playlist, or a Sonnet Crown.’
Interlochen Arts Academy senior creative writing student Avery Gendler placed first in the grades 11-12 category in the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum’s fourth annual literary contest. Submissions included short fiction, poetry, ten-minute plays, film scripts, and multi-genre works. Gendler submitted an original sonnet, “A Playlist, or a Sonnet Crown.”
“The opportunity to have my work shared through this museum, which honors Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s lives and work, is amazing,” they said. “I am grateful that my piece can reach a larger audience and be put into conversation with masterful works of literature written by the Fitzgeralds.”
The theme for the 2021–22 contest was “The Radiant Hour” to honor the centennial of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s debut novel, The Beautiful and the Damned. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's artistic works from the 1920s and 1930s are still regarded as daring and revolutionary. In turn, the museum’s literary contest seeks to recognize young, daring, and revolutionary writers of this generation.
“Gendler’s ‘A Playlist, or a Sonnet Crown’ shows how even the most traditional forms can be revived and made fresh by the mind of a modern writer,” contest judge Jason McCall said of Gendler’s sonnet. “Part formal masterclass in formalism, part masterclass in narrative, the poem shines a brilliant light on how moments and emotions can be immortalized in verse.”
“I am interested in how the constraints or “rules'' of a poem allow the content to organically shape itself,” Gendler said. “And as a poet who is still learning, I plan to keep exploring poetic forms which have been employed in the past and new forms which continue to emerge. Like the Fitzgerald Museum, I want to highlight history and then creatively revitalize it in my own writing.”
In its four years, the contest, which is open to high school students and college undergraduates, has received submissions from around the United States and overseas. This year's honorees attend schools and colleges in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The three grade-level winners will receive a monetary prize, and all honorees will have their works shared on the museum’s website. Guidelines for next year's contest will be posted in August 2022.