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TCHS Graduate Wins Michelle Obama Creative Writing Award

Madison Corzine, a Timber Creek High School graduate, was selected as one of five seniors nationwide to receive a 2023 Penguin Random House (PRH) Creative Writing Award. 

This year, the PRH awards included the first-ever Michelle Obama Award for Memoir, which was given to Corzine for her work entitled "What I Wish I Knew: A Suburban Blackphoto of madison corzine Girl's Guide." This award was established in collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, a national organization that advocates for diversity in children's literature.

“I learned about this opportunity while searching online for a scholarship last fall,” Corzine said. “I was immediately intrigued by the opportunity to share my experiences through creative writing, especially because of the name of Michelle Obama, a role model of mine.” 

For the past three decades, Penguin Random House's Creative Writing awards have helped showcase the voices of exceptional public high school students and reach underrepresented communities across the country. More than 1,000 students from nearly 800 high schools across 50 states and two territories entered the competition.

“It’s not easy to be vulnerable about your life and be open about your experiences with the world," former First Lady Michelle Obama said. "I was moved by Madison’s fearless writing and her willingness to share her light with us." 

Corzine has always used writing as a means to reflect on and express her emotions. According to Corzine, the essay serves as a self-love letter and represents the voices of those who have been through similar experiences. Through sharing her story, Corzine aims to offer support and motivation to others.

Each first-place recipient of the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards will receive a $10,000 college scholarship, along with a week of summer professional development from Penguin Random House that includes one-on-one coaching from some of the industry’s best editors, networking workshops, a panel about career opportunities in publishing, and fireside chats with Penguin Random House authors.

Corzine plans to attend Spelman College in the fall. She will be studying English with a focus on African American Literature, as well as Political Science on a pre-law track.

“I would like to thank my parents for helping me to develop an individual education plan that was most conducive to my interests and academic endeavors,” Corzine reflected. “I look forward to continuing my educational journey.” 

To read more about the PRH Creative Writing Awards, click here to visit their website