she is just entering her junior year at Whitnall High School, Anna
Krolikowski has already demonstrated that she has the imagination and
command of language she’ll need if she chooses fiction writing as a
recently named the winner of the Editor’s Choice Award in the local
Scholastic Writing Awards competition. Her entry, "Beneath My
Skin," is a poignant short story about a relationship between
teenage fraternal twins. One of the twins, Alice, is on the autism
The story was
inspired partly by two young boys who Anna says she is very close to.
The boys were born prematurely and have quite a few health problems.
"Before I wrote the story, one of them was diagnosed with autism.
It intrigued me that one was diagnosed and the other not," Anna
says. Her story is, in part, how she imagines the nature of the
relationship between the twins as they grow older, she says.
Anna also has an
older brother and sister who are living with autism. "They’re
both sweethearts, and it definitely changes my perspective of things a
lot — just the way I interact with people, and especially the
special education kids at my school. Of course, everyone is different;
no one is the same when it comes to autism," she says.
Skin" is written from Alice’s point of view, and Anna says it
was a challenge to craft the piece in the first person. "I think
that it’s hard to wrap your mind around the concept of somebody
wanting to be able to interact with the world, but they’re not able
to," she says. "It’s always been interesting to me."
bond between twins is evident in the story’s dialogue, as is the
heartache when a person, or a situation, threatens either of them.
has great emotional impact," says Janet Raasch, co-editor of M
Magazine. "She delivers a mature writing style, really connecting
the reader to the main character."
Anna wrote the
story, as she does many others, not as an assignment, but just because
she enjoys the process. She has been writing stories since she was in
fourth grade, she says, and may well pursue writing as a career,
"but it’s not my only interest."
She also is
exploring the digital visual arts, making and editing videos, another
outlet for her true passion: "I love telling stories. When I was
younger, all my friends wanted to play house and I always wanted to
play superheroes, because I always had a story to tell."
Art and Writing Awards competition, organized by the Alliance for
Young Artists and Writers, has been honoring creative, innovative
teens annually since 1923. Past winners include writers and artists
who went on to national and international acclaim, such as Truman
Capote, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath and Joyce Carol Oates. The writing
competition is administered locally by Still Waters Collective.