$1,000 for a short story collection

Today, I won a $1,000 award from the University of Kansas Center for Undergraduate Research for my short story collection proposal.

Mom’s reaction: “So you’re a paid writer now?!”

Here are some proposal excerpts to tease you into the project:

Be Cool will be collection of short stories told in the second person where protagonists dream up how to and fail to act cool in different social situations. It will use humor contrasted with tense settings to include parties, class, a breakup, and a retail job to explore what coolness is and exactly why it is unattainable or undesirable for each protagonist.

This short story collection will bridge my journalistic research abilities with innovative literary techniques by combining interviews and personal biography with a second-person point of view. This will investigate contemporary social and cultural norms of coolness through the perspectives of multiple “you” protagonists, intimately involving readers by pushing them into those protagonists’ uncomfortable social and moral situations.

I expect to present the final product at the Spring 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium on campus. It will not be posted publicly until it is published or presented there, but I always appreciate feedback from readers in addition to my faculty mentor. Contact me if you’re interested in helping.

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