Bella Blickenstaff, a 13-year-old Chesapeake Bay Middle School student with a passion for writing, was recently crowned a winner in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council's Young Authors Contest with her poem, “Fake Crown.”
The council selected one winner from each grade for poetry and another winner from each grade for short story.
Bella’s poem was about a girl who covers herself up to be popular. “I know a lot of people in middle school and high school who don't feel like they fit in,” said Bella of her inspiration. “So they try to be someone they're not.”
She hopes her poem will explain that people don't have to wear makeup and fake their personality to make friends.
Bella went to Lake Shore Elementary and is now an eighth-grader at Chesapeake Bay Middle School. Her English teacher, Judy Davidson, had made participating in the contest a requirement, although Bella said she would have entered anyway.
“I've been very passionate about writing since fourth grade,” she said.
Bella does not know if she will receive a prize, but she was surprised when she found out that she had won. She is also involved in drama and chorus activities at Chesapeake and is planning to perform in the school play, “Aladdin Jr.”
What's in store for Bella in the future? Who knows, but she will continue to spread positivity to anyone who will listen.
“You don't have to be someone you're not,” Bella said. “There's always going to be someone who appreciates you for who you are.”