As she was getting ready to use a copy of The Times Herald for an art project, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PW) Junior Fiona Yiaski noticed an advertisement for Corinthian Publishing's Scary Story Contest. The guidelines were simple; the story had to be self-written with a limit of 1,000 words. The prizes were monetary, with first prize also receiving a free e-book publishing contract.
"My thought process throughout the story was that I had nothing to lose except the entry fee of $12," said Fiona.
The young author's story set the scene of a small town called Gloomsdale, where the narrator Liam has hung out with his best friend Nolan since elementary school — and over the years several children have gone missing. Fiona won second place for the story.
Corinthian Publishing's Editor-in-Chief enjoyed Fiona's story enough to supplement what was originally supposed to be a $500 award. The author was able to choose between a $500 award plus an e-book publishing contract or a $1,000 award and having "Gloomsdale" published in the company's short story collection.
"The money didn't matter to me one bit; it was getting my words and my characters into the world for people to enjoy," said Fiona. "I chose the publishing contract and couldn't wait to get started."
At the high school, Fiona writes for the school newspaper (The Town Crier) and the school's literary magazine (The Continental).
"PW has helped me in so many ways with my writing career through the clubs, supportive staff and the encouragement to let the creative juices flow," she said.
Currently, Fiona's favorite genre is murder/mystery, and she enjoys reading authors April Henry and Barry Lyga.