Submitted by Esteban Ismael Alvarado.
As 2020 comes to a close, I hope you and your families are safe, healthy, and connected, despite the trials this year has presented us.
I write you with great news to share: the winner of the San Diego Public Library’s 2020 Matchbook Story Contest was announced on Wednesday night, and my student Michele Garb was named the winner! Michele has been a member of our longest-standing workshop offered through West City for seven years now, and she was a crucial member of our class anthology editors in 2016 that produced the fine book we have housed at CE Mesa. We are so proud to see her writing receive the attention it deserves. This prize was previously won by fellow SDCE instructor Tara Gilboy in 2017, so it goes without saying she joins a group of distinguished writers. Her story will be printed on reusable face masks and sold through the Library Shop. You can read her story and order a mask (I know I will!) on the Library Shop’s website: https://www.libraryshopsd.org/shortstory
As if that weren’t amazing enough, two other students were also selected as finalists: Valerie Hansen’s “Judy Collins on Covid-19” and Elissa Barber’s “Adult Education” were among the ten selections. You can hear the announcement, and the reading of the finalist and winning stories on the recorded ceremony: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/shorties
(At 23:00, they begin reading the finalists, starting with our talented Michele Garb. At 33:00 the announce Michele’s win)
I’m overjoyed for my students, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see them develop into the accomplished writers they are becoming before my eyes. I’m also excited to share some good news in regard to my own writing: Spillway Magazine, which published my poem “My Grandmother Dreams” in this year’s issue, has nominated me for a Pushcart Prize. For many writers, receiving a nomination from such a prestigious literary magazine is an honor in itself. I’m humbled to be nominated, especially when considering my poem appears alongside literary heavyweights like Gary Soto and my former professor Christopher Buckley. The Pushcart Prizes will notify us in March 2021 regarding their final selections, but truthfully, I’m already happy regardless of the final outcome.
Thank you for taking the time to celebrate these amazing happening and our talented students we have here at CE. I wish you all a peaceful transition into your holidays, and may you and your families enjoy a social-distanced merriment into the new year.