My name is Lauren Koops, and I am 19. I was always unbelievably passionate about telling stories any way I could… I’ve been writing consistently for as long as I can remember! I continually participated in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and found out in late May that I had internationally placed in the competition! However, my celebration was cut short after a critical auto-pedestrian accident on June 1. I am currently pushing through many new physical and mental disabilities, which has only fueled my storytelling passions with new perspectives. I was overjoyed to find your contest, and am wondering if I could get any extra details about entering. Unfortunately, the Release Form PDF is not linked to the page, and I can’t seem to find a deadline. Looking forward to hearing back and hopefully submitting my work!
I’m in a port city with this guy I’d been dating, sprawled out across the floor of a media room with my laptop open because he’d wanted to go nap or something. And I’m clicking through all my old writing, which is obviously what you do when you can’t go to the beach, as a madness descends upon me. But it’s the beautiful kind– an Alice in Wonderland type vibe– that’s a rainbow ride of beautiful, colorful words sitting right on the brink of something a whole lot bigger than your own understanding.
I’m totally tripping off all the art; being thrown back into visceral frames of my life as I highlight fragments that exude a raw, poetic authenticity. I’m dumping them into a separate document with no rhyme or reason at all, and finding that a story waits for me there.
Those pieces I’d pulled all connected in some capacity; it was beautiful. My morals, ambitions, values, and favorite moments of being alive had naturally manifested themselves into what would become Yellow Wildflower; eight distinct works with something to say.
I get back to my suburb sometime that week and print out my pages of mismatched madness. I cut them up and go buy fifteen dollars worth of string, clothespins, and iced lattes. Then I turn my bedroom into a living storyboard. I have Bella Rose over my mirror, ABBA lyrics hanging above my bed. I crawl under daddy issues to get to the bathroom. And I’ve had the time of my life assembling this portfolio, moving bits and pieces around as I fill in the blanks of a story Someone else has already written in the stars. I see now that Yellow Wildflower is my growing up. It’s the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve loved, the places I’ve walked. It’s all become art. Thank you for letting me take you along on the adventure.
I got a fortune cookie one time that said, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.”, and I hope that’s what my writing says, too. I hope it compels an eagerness in becoming the universe’s perpetual student; a fearless curiosity for stories tucked into every beautiful Today. Because a story is a place to try on a million pairs of shoes and find that Love ties all the laces; it’s a place to feel understood. I hope I made someone feel understood. I hope my readers journey to magnificent places in the pursuit of this Love they’ve found, and I hope they look back over their sails at an island they didn’t leave undone.
And that’s who Writing is to me. She’s Love in the purest form. She’s my affair in a port city, my greatest adventure yet. She has my heart, my soul, and all my Tomorrows
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