The best part about receiving submissions is that we have no idea what to anticipate–where the stories come from, which characters will pique our interest, what new voices we might discover or–perhaps the most intriguing–what inspires fellow writers and artists. We were delighted to read “The City Across the River,” a moving and eloquent tale set in 20th century China–and were surprised and amazed to discover that its author is none other than eighth-grader Michelle Qiao, whose English teacher suggested she submit to us. (Shout-out to English teachers everywhere!) We are thrilled to perform her story on Sunday, February 24 at our New Terrains show at the San Jose Museum of Art.
Michelle loves birds, volleyball, and writing. She is the vice president of her student council and will be attending Leland High School next semester. She is the winner of the Scholastic Writing Awards Gold Key. She was kind enough to tell us a little bit about herself.
What inspired you to participate in Play On Words?
I asked my language arts teacher to help me edit my writing, and she recommended that I submit!
Which writers or performers inspire you?
Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind. She starts writing out of boredom but the novel eventually won her a Pulitzer Prize.
Name a book or performance that has fundamentally affected you.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It’s the only book that has made me cry!