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  1. Noella
    March 2, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    Since no one else has commented yet, I’ll go ahead and take the plunge.

    This is my third year applying to Alpha. I got rejected for the past two years, but this year is my last year of being age eligible to attend so I figured I would give it one last try especially since I still really want to go.

    I’ve finished writing my story, I just need to finish editing it before I send it in.


  2. Diane
    March 2, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

    Good luck, Noella. I’m not one of the judges this year, so I can comment here, right Cassie?

    We have about 40 applications so far, 6 from guys and the rest from girls. The most distant applicant lives in Australia.

    The judges will see the stories after the names get stripped off them. No one sees scholarship requests but me, so that doesn’t impact your chances at all.

    You could always read a book by one of the judges in the meantime, while you wait.
    Lane Robins

    Good luck to everyone!


  3. Noel
    March 2, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    It says the workshop is open for teens ages 14-19, but I think someone said once that the average application acceptance age ranged from 16-18.5. So I was just wondering, has there actually been anyone 14 years old that has attended Alpha?


  4. Noah
    March 3, 2013 @ 2:35 am

    Just submitted everything. If all turns south, at least I have another short story under my belt.

    I think I did the impossible and wrote a genre-less tale about the love between a boy and his bear. I feel I deserve a medal.

    Or a sandwich.

    Noella, I too am at the tipping point, age wise. Wish I had heard of this years ago.

    I’m also a guy, and am honestly surprised to learn that we’re a minority around these parts.

    Go figure.

    Good luck to all, may there be much knocking on wood and crossing of fingers.


  5. Noel
    March 3, 2013 @ 3:08 am

    I really want to just start my short story all over again. I’ve been working on it for the past 2 months, and it’s still a mess. But, I can’t turn back now, the deadline is so close and I’ve worked on it so hard.

    Not that I really think I’m going to get accepted. Of course it would be amazing if that actually happened to me, but sometimes we just have to be realists here . . .

    I don’t know. . . I’ll submit everything tomorrow, I want to have as much time as possible. Meanwhile, I’ll be crossing my fingers and hoping for the best! Good luck to all of you!

    Oh, and I’m pretty surprised at how little the number of male applicants there are, it’s kind of sad. Guys! You need to write more!

    oh, look. It’s past midnight. Well, I’m tired, bye guys!


  6. Diane
    March 3, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    @Noel The youngest was 11 and her mom stayed in the dorms with us. Two students came at 13 and more at 13, but then we changed the ages to 14-19. (We were getting too many applications.) Yes, every year we have some young students. I’m surprised how age doesn’t seem to matter all that much in crafting an amazing story.

    You’re right, though, the typical average age range is 16 to 18.5, but the distribution is wide.

    At this point, we have 53 applications in hand (9 from guys). That ratio is typical of our applicants, too. I have never understood why so few guys.

    One applicant with an Alpha birthday.

    2 from Australia, 2 from China, 2 from Canada.
    Two from Princeton, three from Palo Alto, CA — I wonder if they know each other . . .

    I’m having fun, can you tell?


  7. Diane
    March 3, 2013 @ 8:09 am

    Whoops, I meant to say two students came at 12 and more at 13.


  8. Noella
    March 3, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    It’s nice to see the N names represented in these comments.

    Once I come up with a useable name and grammar check once more, I’ll be submitting the story. I have it from my reputable sources that my story is better than the last two years, but it’s still nervewracking. I woke up this morning feeling nervous, and i don’t know if that’s because of this or because i’m leaving to go on a service trip today.

    @Noah we gotta represent the old people πŸ˜‰ I wish I had starting applying when I was younger too. However, even the last two years when I got rejected everything turned out well and I ended up doing things that changed my life in so many ways. Also, that story about the bear sounds really cool… Have you ever seen a picture of a shaved bear? It’s pretty scary/cool.

    @Noel What’s most important is that you completed a story. As an experienced applier to Alpha, what’s been most helpful is the pressure to finish a story. I’ve improved so much over the past two years by just making myself write stories to apply.

    @Diane thank you. It does seem pretty interesting that so many of the applicants are ladies… defying the stereotypes of genre fiction writing!! πŸ™‚


  9. Noel
    March 3, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    @Diane. That’s actually really funny , that three people are from Palo Alto, because that’s where I’m from!

    @Noella. I think it’s cool how you’ve continuously applied to Alpha, it makes me admire you for not giving up. I hope all your hard work pays off and you’re finally accepted this year!

    I am probably going to read my story a few times over again (I had my english teacher read it, and I’ve been fixing it up). I think my main problem is – grammar. I, according to my teacher, have a terrible tendency to insert an abundance of commas where I NEVER NEED ONE, so I’m definitely going to do a read-through just for the commas.

    So . . . just out of interest, what genre do you guys write?


  10. Meghan
    March 3, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    Gonna ruin the ‘N’ name thing you guys have going on…sorry lol.

    I’m applying to Alpha for the third time this year. I’m hoping the third time’ll prove to be the charm. I only have next year left to try, worst case scenario.

    I also find the lack of male applicants a wee bit surprising…who would’ve thought?

    @Noel Ah, I know the comment feels. I use the way too often as well.

    Also, in answer to your question, I write Fantasy, mostly.

    Good Luck to everyone!! πŸ˜€


  11. Meghan
    March 3, 2013 @ 12:06 pm



  12. Madison
    March 3, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    I’ll add to the M name count. ^^
    This is my first year applying to Alpha, and I only found out about it a week and a half ago. I’m a mix of a fantasy and sci-fi writer, although I mostly do fantasy. The best thing about applying for this was the fact that, when writing my application story, I got an “imagination-high,” where I literally did nothing but write the story for an entire day. I get this feeling in my gut and just can’t stop writing. Anyone else get that?
    I’m really proud of my story, so even if I don’t get in, I’ll at least have this story. The worst thing, though, is the decision for the camp comes in at the same time as all of my colleges. Talk about a month of pure anxiety.


  13. Cheyenne
    March 3, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    I’m ruining the M and N scheme you have here.
    This is my first year applying to Alpha, so I’m pretty nervous about it. I write fantasy and science-fiction, but I enjoy dabbling in other genres, as well. The story I wrote for application is one I’m pretty proud of, which doesn’t happen very often.
    Good luck everyone!


  14. Noella
    March 3, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    @Noel I tend to write in a very mixed kind of way… I like mixing science fiction and fantasy, although I do like fantasy a lot. THe story I wrote this year was more generally supernatural… I’m not really sure how to describe it.

    @Meghan Having been thru 2 other alpha submissions with you, I’m hoping for a good result this year! πŸ˜‰

    @Madison I love it when that happens. You just get so lost in the fantasy world that it just comes pouring out. Lately I’ve had a lot of writer’s block, so I had to work really hard to get this story out. I can definitely relate to you about the college anxiety. Coming from a current college student, just remember that no matter what happens everything will be fine.


  15. Noella
    March 3, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    @Cheyenne That’s great that you applied! I’ve definitely found that forcing yourself to write is a great learning experience.

    I also like writing in many different genres, although no matter what I write, it tends to shifts towards something unorthodox and wacky.


  16. Madison
    March 3, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    @Noella I spent last semester writing a novella for my independent study, and very very often I felt stuck. But I had to keep writing. At least when it’s finished it’s a pretty awesome feeling. Can I ask where you ended up going?


  17. Meghan
    March 3, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

    Ah, I love just being on the same wavelength as you guys.

    Talking to other writers is so refreshing.

    @Noella, this is the year. I feeeel it lol

    @Madison, imagination highs are the best.


  18. Diane
    March 3, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    If the people in the same towns and their parents agree, I could always share email addresses. I thought you people in Palo Alto applied because you knew one of the girls who was here last year. There are now two people from Princeton and two people from Dallas, too. Other states highly represented: PA, VA, NJ, GA, NC, CA

    Count as of right now: 11 male, 49 female applicants
    Average age is hovering at 17, but there’s a wide spread.

    The Beta scholarships go to four students who attend the 2013 workshop, but were at Alpha previously and demonstrated writing and leadership abilities. These $100 scholarships look great on college apps and resumes, but each one comes with a task–give a 35-minute lecture on a topic of your choosing. Thanks to Thomas Seay for the funds for these. Betas will be picked in April.

    Where did you hear about Alpha?
    Lots of people just googled “teen writing workshop” to find us, but many saw a notice from Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Holly Black, Tamora Pierce or Scott Westerfeld. A few said their teachers or a friend mentioned Alpha. One person saw notice of it at the Clarion Workshop webpage.


  19. Noella
    March 3, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

    @Madison I go to a liberal arts school in Virginia… one of the more famous ones. I won’t say the name just because my name is very unique and I don’t want internet trolls to find me, but if you know Virginia you’ll probably know what it is.

    @Meghan Hopefully

    @Diane My state is represented! I think I was the one who saw it on Clarion! Funny story actually. Two years ago, when I was at the tender age of a junior in high school, I picked up Orson Scott Card’s guide to writing science fiction and fantasy. It talked about Clarion, so I looked it up. I found Alpha from Clarion’s page.

    I’m about to leave for a service trip (I’m on my spring break atm). I’ll be off the grid until next Saturday, but I’ll be back… Don’t forget me…


  20. Noel
    March 3, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    @Diane. Who was the person that went to Alpha last year from Palo Alto? I actually stumbled upon the Alpha website by complete accident last summer. I got the link from Tamora Pierce’s website (she’s one of my favorite authors) and got really interested, since I was thinking of doing something like a writing intensive over the summer

    @Cheyenne. Yeah, I am rarely proud of the things I write, which makes me wonder sometimes if there’s something wrong with me. But at the same time, while I’m not always proud of the things I write I always acknowledge them as accomplishments, and things that can be improved dramatically.


  21. Sam
    March 3, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    This is a random comment aimed at Diane, but I would bet money that the Princeton people have something to do with Aleka. (To readers of this comment, she attended a couple years ago and got Dell runner up this year.)

    Also, whoa, China. D: That’s all kinds of awesome.


  22. Madison
    March 3, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    @Mehgan I could live off of that feeling. Is it weird to say that I write to get that feeling? Does that make me a writing junkie?

    @Noella Oh, have fun! I’m on spring break too, and I leave for a class trip to London tomorrow. A week in London with 16 classmates and my two favorite teachers, plus I have my birthday while I’m there! So excited! ^^

    @Diane I’m curious, how well was the Midwest represented? I’m feeling a little lonesome as a Michigander/Indiana-der. (That’s not a word, but I’m going to make it one!)


  23. Cassiel
    March 3, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    Hey dude, I’m the Palo Altan from last year. I don’t think I know you? But it’s neat that so many other applicants live near by us. We should have a writing meet-up or something. (So long as everyone promises not to be serial killers, etc. cetera)

    @ Cheyenne and Noel
    This is reminding me of a really great Venn Diagram I saw. In one circle there’s “self-hatred” and in the other there’s “narcissism.” In the very middle there’s a tiny over lap labeled “great writing.” Pretty true, huh?

    @ age discussion
    I was 14 at Alpha last year and I think it was just fine. Don’t be worried about sticking out; so long as you’re fairly mature (and writers tend to be, thinking all those deep thoughts n stuff) you won’t have a problem.
    (I uh. Think. I cannot be held accountable for above statement and results thereof.)


  24. Meghan
    March 3, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    @Madison, I totally get you lol. If it makes you a writing junkie, then you’re among friends, I’m sure.

    @Diane jeez…that’s a lot of applicants >.<

    I'm one of the ones from NJ…


  25. Noel
    March 3, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    @Cassiel. That’s cool! how was it? I might not know the people from Palo Alto *that* well, since I go to a private school, (you know . . the all girls one). And I totally get the venn diagram, it’s pretty hilarious. And we should totally have a writing get-together πŸ˜›


  26. Madison
    March 3, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

    @Mehgan Writing junkies, unite! XD

    So what’s everyone reading now-a-days? I’m currently absorbed in The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.


  27. Meghan
    March 3, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

    @Madison Yes! πŸ˜€

    School’s proven to be a bit of a distraction lately, so my list of reading material has been put on hold…but I believe I was actually in the process of rereading Alanna: The First Adventure a couple weeks ago.


  28. Cassiel
    March 3, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

    …I’m halfway through my short story ahahaha I’m so screwed hahadas ijfdskasdhjkwoaklsfnbnsmf

    @ Noel
    You mean, how was Alpha? Unbelievably awesome. Learned about quantum physics, accidentally almost killed Tamorra Pierce, and spazzed out in Perry the Platypus boxers for a good portion of it. It comes highly recommend. It’s too bad you can only attend for two years though… D :

    Also, which girls school? The gators or the griffons? I’m back at public school, but I went to the griffons for middle school.


  29. Madison
    March 3, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

    @Mehgan One of my favorites, that book. That whole series is the reason I got into fantasy. So, uhm…. Yeah, I’d really like to go to Alpha and meet Tamora Pierce. ^^;

    @Cassiel How do you accidentally almost kill someone, much less Tamora Pierce? O.o


  30. Noel
    March 3, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

    @Cassiel. The gators. Also, I though that was the only girls school in Palo Alto . . . I’ve never even heard of the griffons, hm…are you sure it’s in palo alto?


  31. Meghan
    March 3, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

    @Madison, Me too!! That book is what introduced me to both reading AND writing. If there’s one reason I want to go to Alpha, it’s to meet her.

    @Cassiel, How DID you almost kill Tamora? O.o


  32. Noah Again
    March 3, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    I have no experience whatsoever with Teen, well, anything. I do hold a special place in my heart for Uglies. Would my old soul prove to be a disadvantage at the workshop?



  33. Mara
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:01 am

    One of the girls from Palo Alto here who attended last year! Weird how our town seems to spawn writers, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s something in the water…. @Cassiel, how are you? We should get together some time! Just submitted my story (at ten minutes to midnight… hopefully that’ll teach me something about procrastination, but I doubt it will), and I’ m so proud because it’s only 4800 words, as opposed to the giant monster of a story that I wrote last year. Anywhoo, I don’t know if any of this is coherent because I’m absolutely exhausted, but good luck to all of us who applied! Hopefully we’ll all get in and have the chance to meet each other in person. πŸ˜€


  34. Amanda
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:19 am

    I feel so stupid for finding this thread now, ten minutes after the deadline (at Pacific Time in case anyone’s wondering). But I’m so high on endorphins right now I don’t even care. I just discovered Alpha last week, got started on it, procrastinated to very last, last, last second, and got my story in literally at 11:59. It’s at 5200 words–I’m way too ambitions for myself, and I still have homework to do.

    Also: Hey, half of everyone here is from Palo Alto! Awesome! I go to Paly, and I’ve committed educational suicide for Alpha. And I feel AWESOME.


  35. Meghan
    March 4, 2013 @ 6:30 am

    Good luck to everyone <3

    @Amanda, I pretty much neglected all of my school obligations to work on my Alpha story too ^_^' but hey, anything for the dream, right?


  36. Madison
    March 4, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    @Noah I’m a huge fan of 1920’s literature, especially Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I doubt we’ll be the only ones with a love of not-teen literature. ^^

    I didn’t just neglect school work to write my story – I neglected school. The day I wrote my first draft, instead of taking notes in all my classes, I wrote my story. ^^;


  37. Diane
    March 4, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    By my count, we ended up with a pool of 93 applicants (77 girls and 16 guys), which is a record for us. John will have the official tally when he checks to see if everyone submitted a story.

    12 of the applicants were from an area within 20 miles of Palo Alto, CA. That’s cause for puzzlement and celebration.

    @Madison: You’d be the sole representative of those lovely states.

    13 applicants had previously been at Alpha. The rule is that students can only attend Alpha twice. After that, we think they should try one of the adult workshops like Clarion, Clarion West, Viable Paradise and Odyssey.

    Make sure that you got a response from John saying he got the three things you needed to submit (story, application, $10 application fee). If you just submitted something this weekend, he’ll be sending those notices out today.

    Good luck everyone!


  38. Melissa M
    March 4, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    So does that mean that we can discuss what are stories were? Because I’d love to see what other people thought up. I was on the Westerblog a few weeks ago and someone who went to Alpha last year said that their story was a mob fight in a world of words (ink for blood, etc.) and that really got me wondering what everyone wrote about.
    Also, I want to size up my competition πŸ™‚


  39. Melissa M
    March 4, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only procrastinator. I submitted my story after midnight (midwest time, thankfully.) and it totals at a whopping 5,800-some words. It’s SciFi, which I’ve been dabbling in more often lately. I used to be hardcore fantasy (and a terrible writer, though the two aren’t related). But then I found this wonderful thing called (hate if you want, but I love it) and then I got awesome through lots and lots of practice on a fanfic for nothing other than a Westerfeld novel.
    So that’s me. Someone else say something now.


  40. Madison
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    Of course I’m the only one from here. Although, granted, I am originally from California, so I guess being from the West Coast made me destined to find Alpha. XP

    @Melissa M – My story ended up being around 3200 words, after editing it up from about 2600. It’s a fantasy and sci-fi mix I guess about a female matador and her quest for freedom (matadors are similar gladiators in this world), which she must gain through defeating a giant mechanical bull, all of which is told by the prince of the kingdom, whose hand in marriage she would win as well if she defeats the bull.
    That sounded a lot more complicated than it actually is.


  41. Diane
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

    @Melissa M who asked
    > So does that mean that we can discuss what are stories were?

    Discuss away, but generally — you might not want to give away your coolest ideas on a public forum. Ideas cannot be copyrighted, just the expression of an idea can.

    Among the accepted students, we usually have something like 16 who self-identify as fantasy writers, 3 science fiction writers and a lone horror writer. At the beginning, anyway. Alpha is a good place to try something new.

    This doesn’t mean that the judges like fantasy better–those are just the ratios of the submissions we get.

    This slant toward fantasy surely has something to do with the fact that Tamora Pierce comes every year.

    Some people who write what they think of as dark fantasy find that their stories might better be classified as horror.


  42. Melissa M
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Okay. I just reread my story and found about five typos/things I wish I’d seen before so I could change them. πŸ™
    So, basically, this is officially the end of the world. Nice knowing you.


  43. Madison
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    @Melissa M – *patpat* Don’t we all know that feeling.

    ….. Uhm….. Oops? Guess I said to much, huh? ^^;


  44. Tess
    March 4, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

    Well I’m going to join the party. I submitted fairly early last night, but I’m still super nervous. I only hit the age requirement this year, and I just found out about Alpha this year as well. So who all here has been to Alpha before?


  45. Seth
    March 4, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    Hey guys, I’m a former student (06/07) and now an instructor at Alpha. Best of luck to everyone and I’m happy to field any questions.

    Remember, even if you don’t get in this year, there’s always the future. And I can guarantee it’s worth trying again.


  46. Abby
    March 4, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

    @Noella – Hi, I went to Alpha last year and I applied again this year, and I also currently attend a fairly famous liberal arts school in Virginia. It’d be awesome if it’s the same one!


  47. Melissa M
    March 5, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    So, I haven’t received a confirmation email that you got my story yet. When should I start worrying?


  48. Lauren
    March 5, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    I’m in the same boat as Melissa M. Submitted last Thursday, double checked that my email actually sent my story in, but no confirmation.


  49. Melissa M
    March 5, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    Okay, I just got my confirmation.
    I hope you get yours really soon, Lauren!


  50. Melissa M
    March 5, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    So now, all we can do is wait. How far away is April 15th?
    Gah. There’s so much stuff that I’m waiting for. Not just this, but a writing contest and an art contest. Also, I’m waiting for my birthday πŸ™‚


  51. Rachel Grinti
    March 5, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    You are all making me feel very old, as I went to Alpha in 2002!

    Good luck to everyone who’s waiting to hear back! Speaking as someone who hates, hates, hates waiting, the best thing to do is to start a new story. That way you have a shiny new distraction.


  52. Noella
    March 5, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

    Mooching off of my friend’s smartphone for my internet fix…
    Definetely started to panic a little when I saw there were 93 applicants… Trying to keep it together.

    @Abby if its the very old one named after the king and and queen of england that took over in the glorious revolution… That would be me. It would be great if we attend the same one, and if so we should totally meet up!

    I will respond to more of the conversations when im back at my computer.
    Dont stress guys.


  53. Abby
    March 6, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    @Noella, that would be the one, and I’d love to meet up sometime!


  54. Lauren
    March 6, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    I’m confirmed! At least that nail-biting is over…


  55. Noella
    March 6, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    @Abby if you look up my first name in the student directory, I should be the only one in there. You should definetly shoot me an email!


  56. Melissa M
    March 6, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    Gah. There are so many things I’m waiting for.
    1.) Alpha. Obviously. (*moans*)
    2.) A writing contest on (You can read my story if you want πŸ™‚ It’s at: and it’s a story in which love is dangerous.)
    3.) Take it Outside, a state-wide art contest. (9 days)
    4.) My birthday. 16 in ten days and counting πŸ™‚
    5.) (and this one is more dread) Opening night for my high school musical is this Friday.
    And more.
    This is too much stress for one girl.


  57. Natalie
    March 8, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

    Wow, I sure am late to this, but I thought I’d drop in anyways just to contribute my worry to the thread. How’re you all holding up?


  58. Noella
    March 9, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    @Natalie I’m doing okay. I’ve done this twice before so I think I’ve adapted to not worrying so much, although in the last few days I’ve gotten kinda worked up over it. I had a bad dream last night related to not getting in and it wasn’t good.

    @Melissa Girl, you just gotta relax and focus on other things. Those things are all out of your hands (except for opening night). I hope it went well! πŸ™‚ Also, I read your love is dangerous story and I really liked it!

    @Seth thank you for the encouragement! As someone who has been applying to Alpha a few years in a row, it’s definitely been worth it to keep trying.

    To start the conversation back up again… what sorts of points of view and different stylistic techniques do you guys like to use? I try to vary between different kinds of point of view, although tbh I have never really attempted second person and that can be tricky to pull off. This year with my application I went a little bit off the beat path (although only in small ways) with the style in terms of what I usually see in sf/f/h and what I usually write.


  59. Noah
    March 9, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    @Noella Well, I’m still at a point in which I’m incredibly, ridiculously sensitive to whichever author I’m currently reading. I discovered H.P. Lovecraft while reading The Scarlet Letter in High School. It was an interesting year, to say the least. I’m just trying to look at my stuff in retrospect and pick apart the ‘me’. I need to write more. I’ll always need to write more, haha.

    That being said, I love juxtaposing short/run-on sentences. Commas and I have a very special relationship.


  60. Noella
    March 9, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    @Noah I’ve heard of HP Lovecraft, although in the last few years I’ve been so busy with school that I haven’t had much time to read for fun.
    Have you ever seen this video? It’s written in the style of H.P. Lovecraft

    I definitely understand the search to find own personal style. Today I felt like reminiscing and looked at my old alpha application stories. Besides being glad at seeing how much I’ve improved since then, I definitely keep trying new styles. I feel like the style I worked with this year had a lot less flowery language, which can be a good thing. I also wrote it in first person present tense, which was interesting.


  61. Madison
    March 10, 2013 @ 5:12 am

    @Noella I tend to work mostly in third person, although my best stories tend to be in first, oddly enough. I like to work, though, from a point of view outside of the main protagonist, generally because I find it helps me from being too introspective. I also try and work in what I call ‘realistic fantasy,’ mixing the styles of realism and fantasy. With this story I was really inspired by Hemingway (particularly The Sun Also Rises), so I worked hard to keep any introspective down to a minimum.


  62. Natalie
    March 10, 2013 @ 5:52 am

    @Noella Oh no, that can’t have been pleasant! This is my first year applying, so I kind of feel like I’m still too new to the whole concept of this program to even comprehend my anxiety haha
    I tend to prefer third person, I guess, but I write a fair amount in first as well. Second person intrigues me but I’m doubtful I’d be able to pull it off. Also, I’m always really anal about dialogue and whether it is constant with the characters… so I end up with very little to none an unfortunate amount of the time :’)


  63. Noella
    March 10, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

    @Madison that’s interesting. Why do you prefer to avoid introspection? I guess one thing about first person is that you get really into that character’s voice. I know my story this year is very character focused so it was very important that the reader understood how she was feeling the entire time.

    @Natalie haha I’ll be alright. It’s great that you applied to this program. It’s a really great opportunity. Dialogue can be really hard to get right, especially keeping speech patterns consistent between characters.

    I don’t know why, but I’ve started just really worrying about it more this year. I guess it’s because if I don’t get in this year I won’t be able to apply again.


  64. Madison
    March 10, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

    @Noella It’s because I’m a very introspective person and I know if I don’t watch myself the entire story will be introspective and make the character incredibly narcissistic. I’ve written stories like that in the past. It’s a bit of checking myself before I wreck myself. Especially since this story I wrote from the male perspective, which I rarely do and means there is less introspective-ness in generally. I love the story, though, so I can’t complain too much. :3


  65. Noella
    March 10, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    @Madison I can understand that. It really depends on the story. If I recall correctly, this is the story about the female matador? If you don’t mind me asking, did you write it from a different character’s perspective who was male?


  66. Madison
    March 10, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

    @Noella Yeah, from the prince’s view actually. His and/or his sister’s hand in marriage was offered for defeating the bull as well as the matador’s freedom. I almost felt as if I was writing a legend or a myth or something like that. What did you write about?


  67. Noella
    March 10, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    @Madison I wrote about a girl who is trying to become a supernatural creature by sucking the energy out of people by kissing them. A spirit is helping her but he actually manipulates her thru the entire story. The whole story is sort of a power-play between them, and talks a lot about feelings.


  68. Melissa M
    March 12, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    @Noella. I used to write in strictly third person past tense, but now I do a lot of first person present. It just feels weird to write in 3rd present or 1st past (I shudder to think of it.) I suppose I don’t really mind reading stuff that way, but my own writing style doesn’t flow like that. (Also, I admittedly tend to change style depending on what books I’m reading. But I think I’ve settled into one πŸ™‚ )

    This may be a mistake to ask, but do any of you read/write fan fiction? (Some writers have an utter hatred for it, so it feels like I’m treading on thin ice here. But don’t be afraid to share your opinions.)


  69. Noella
    March 12, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    @Melissa That would be interesting to do 3rd person present, I’ve never tried that. 1st person past doesn’t seem that weird to me, though. I like fanfic, although I don’t read a lot as I used to. I think it’s a good way for people to connect with things they are excited about and can be a good way to develop writing skills. I wrote fanfic when I was a lot younger, but it was pretty bad. I guess with me, I would rather focus on writing my own stories, but some people can get a lot out of fanfic. As long as you don’t violate an author’s copyright, I think it’s good.

    If you think about it, many works that out now would be considered “fanfiction” if the work wasn’t in the public domain… like Wicked, for example. I can’t count on my hands the number of Wizard of Oz derivative works there are. And the Lion King was based off of Hamlet


  70. Melissa M
    March 13, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    @Noella. Fan Fiction is the reason I can write. I was, quite frankly, terrible before I started my fanfic for LBG (by Scott Westerfeld πŸ™‚ ), and it ended up at around 90,000 words, 193 reviews (in the top ten for LBG stories), and thirty-ish chapters. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better through all of it.
    Ha! We’re just finishing up our Hamlet unit in Language Arts right now by writing an essay to compare the two!


  71. Noella
    March 13, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    @Melissa that’s cool! I love the Leviathan series, although I haven’t gotten around to reading Goliath. I’ve been saving it. I especially love the map of Europe in the first book. I love all the symbolism and metaphors of the books.

    Today, I started reading some stories on Strange Horizons and its awesome… So much good stuff.


  72. Melissa M
    March 14, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    @Noella. What? You haven’t read Goliath yet? It’s the best one! (In my opinion. I read it in a day [the first time around. 2nd run took about a week.]) I know. The map and all of Keith’s stuff is really awesome.
    Strange Horizons? I don’t know those books.


  73. Noella
    March 14, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    @Melissa I know, I know. I’ve been swamped with a lot of school work and I want to savor every word. I wanted to read Leviathan and Behemoth again before Goliath, so I’ve been waiting.

    Strange Horizons is an online speculative fiction magazine


  74. Melissa M
    March 15, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    @Noella. Ha, ha. Oops. Seems I *really* didn’t know what “Strange Horizons” was.


  75. Noella
    March 15, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

    @Melissa No worries πŸ˜€ you should check out some of the stories on there.


  76. Melissa M
    March 15, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    I may do that. So you said your story was about someone who sucks out energy with kisses, trying to become a supernatural? Sounds neat.
    Mine was about this guy on an alien planet (humanity lives there now) who’s squad got blown up, and he was the only survivor. He almost dies, but is saved by someone of the indigenous species, which he believed were monsters but are actually super awesome. When he tries to go back home, he realizes he never belonged there anyway and then goes back to live with the other species. Sounds kind of lame like that, but I’ve never claimed to be good at synopses. It’s really just a Scifi version of the classic tale of finding where you truly belong.


  77. Diane
    March 18, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    After we decide on the top 20 stories, we always have a wait list with the next 6 people on it. Sometimes the wait list doesn’t move at all, but sometimes we need to go through all six people.

    One person who applied withdrew her Alpha application because she got in to Interlochen for the summer. Interlochen is 3 weeks, you have to wear uniforms, $4600.00, poetry, fiction and playwriting, but no genre emphasis, 2500 students in Northwest Michigan.

    All things Alpha is not. I’m not sure there’s anything that compares to Alpha.


  78. Meghan
    March 18, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

    $4600.00?! Ouch…


  79. Noella
    March 18, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    @Melissa That’s cool. Did he do a lot of soul searching?

    @Diane I know someone who was on the waitlist but still didn’t get in; I guess it does depend from year to year. I went to the UVA young writer’s workshop last year, which is more similar to interlochen than Alpha in the way that it was more summer camp-y and was three weeks and had several genres. No uniforms though, which was a plus. No genre emphasis, but we could pretty much write whatever we wanted. I was in the poetry class and I wrote sf/f flavored poetry at times, and I taught an elective about dragons. Fun times. It was bigger than Alpha, but not as near as large as Interlochen (it had around 100 students I think).

    @Meghan I know… the number burns… although I’m doing study abroad this summer and the program costs more than that, although not that much more.


  80. Mallory
    March 18, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

    @38, Melissa M: Oh, that was me (I go by Roxanne on the Westerblog)! It wasn’t a mob fight though, but a gang robbery.

    I was 15 last year when I attended Alpha. The cool thing about Alpha is, age doesn’t matter at all. Cassiel and I hung with all the 18-19 year old kids, and it was never a problem!

    This year I wrote about a girl who can talk to ghosts who get in her head, but opts to cut them out of her flesh instead. But then someone she knows dies and shit happens.
    I usually write 1st/3rd person. I TRY to write 3rd, but 1st is so much easier when it comes to pronouns (a one-on-one scene with two people of the same gender gets mighty confusing with the “his” and “shes”).

    Oh, I LOVE LBG!!! Amazing series!


  81. Noella
    March 18, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    @Mallory that’s cool! Age doesn’t matter that much… I’m in college, and once you get to know someone, it doesn’t really matter if they are 3-4 years older than you. That sounds like a really great story! How do the ghosts get into her head?


  82. Mallory
    March 18, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    @Noella: That’s cool. I’m usually the youngest person in a crowd, so age worries me constantly. I’m also really shocked whenever someone’s younger than me, which is probably really weird, lol.

    Are you trying to steal my story? Haha, just kidding! They have the ability to go into anyone’s head, but just Sarah (my MC) can hear them.
    What with the 6000 word limit, I didn’t have much room to explore her backstory and the limits of her “gift,” I was focused on solving the murder. (Lemme tell you, it’s hard to introduce red herrings and such within just 6000 words!)


  83. Noella
    March 19, 2013 @ 8:10 am

    @Mallory Never! πŸ˜› I’m just interested! I definitely understand that word limit constraint. I think my story was around 5993 or so words… I didn’t really have time to do much more with it, although I really wanted to. I felt a little bit rushed at the end, although I hope I pulled it off.

    I remember feeling that way when I was younger, near the end of last year when I graduated from high school, and even now a little, I’m definitely one of the older people (especially in teen groups) and its really weird. Especially since I’m not quite ready to make the jump into all-adult groups; I still feel like I have more in common with a lot of teens, especially since I’ve been with some of those groups for a while.


  84. Melissa M
    March 19, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    @Noella (79) I tried to do some soul searching for him, and a lot of it is shown through flashbacks. I made references to footsteps a lot, and tied the ending into all that with some analogies and such. If it hadn’t been creeping closer and closer to midnight, I would have loved to develop that more throughout the story, but it is what it is.
    @Mallory (80) Oh, okay. Either way, it sounds pretty awesome.
    It’s good to know I wasn’t the only one pushing the word limit.


  85. Mallory
    March 19, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

    I try not to let word-limits affect my story. I once did a contest with a 3500 limit, and the end got really cramped and rushed. I’ve learned to just write the story as is, and then make cut edits throughout the whole story until your within the limit, otherwise you have a nice, flowing story that suddenly gets really fast and botchy at the end.

    @Melissa M: Thanks!
    My story this year (the cutter ghost one) ended up being 5995 words (heavy editing for that = nightmare).


  86. Mallory
    March 19, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

    *you’re within the limit


  87. Melissa M
    March 19, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

    @Mallory. Yeah, that’s what I do. First draft ran me about 6,200 words, and after editing I ended up with 5,800-something. I have to admit, though, that I owe a lot of that to my sister, who proofread some of it for me.
    Honestly, the only part I can actually do is the writing. I’m a terrible plotter, really (thankfully I have a brother who is a ninja-magician at plotting and gives me lots of help), and the story I applied with’s original idea was from one of my friends (I had permission, I swear!). It probably sounds strange to say that all I can do is write (because it isn’t easy!), but there is sooo much more that goes into a good story, and I’m sure you all know that.


  88. Noel
    March 19, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

    @Melissa. I think I can agree with you on being terrible at plotting and only being good at writing. It’s not that I can’t come up with good plots, because I can. I usually come up with these really creative or amazing ideas that I want to write about, and once I start writing it becomes difficult to understand where the story is going. I know how it’s going to start. I know how it’s going to end . . . but I don’t know about anything in the middle and that is exactly where the problem lies. I think that’s why it’s so difficult for me to write something short. I love to dive into writing something, like writing on a whim or writing in the spur of the moment when a miraculous idea comes up but I know that I can’t. I know that if I keep going on like this, I’m just going to continuously end up with unfinished stories that are just waiting for a conclusion. The problem is that I just don’t like plotting things down — or rather — I know that if I do, I’m going to go too in-depth in my plotting. It’s frustrating and it makes me both terrified and determined to write things at the same time.
    Following what @Noella said a while ago in this thread, I still think that applying to Alpha has been really good to me though. I completed a 5000 word short-story with a clear beginning, middle and end and although it’s not perfect, it’s done and I did it. I think in the end, that’s what really matters.

    Woah there, I’ve written a lot.

    But, I don’t know. I grew up with people telling me that creative writing or anything of the sort was “useless”, “easy”, and that “everyone can do it”. I never really believed them, and I still did it but they always told me to focus more on analytical and persuasive writing (or what I call “essay writing”). I guess in a sense you can call creative writing “easy”. But I never thought it was easy. To me, writing is frustrating, difficult and time-consuming . . . but it’s also the best thing that I’ve ever done or experienced. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but I’ve always wondered if anyone else felt the same way.


  89. Melissa M
    March 20, 2013 @ 6:59 am

    @Noel. Yes, yes, and yes! I can usually come up with my characters, a beginning, and an end to my stories, and then I take them to my brother for plotting help. I really do like to write out a plot, though, because then I have a solid idea of what needs to happen when, and it just doesn’t become a messy blob of plotless text.
    In a sense, creative writing could be easy. All you have to do is plop some words down on a page. But if you want to do well, really pull it off and make it good, it needs a great writer, interesting and believable characters, plots and settings, a fast pace, witty dialogue, and countless other things that are more difficult than the people who told you it isn’t could imagine. People who say essays and such are more difficult just don’t understand. Their minds are filled with cotton.


  90. Tess
    March 20, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    @Noel, I totally agree on both accounts. I have a 4 book series planned out, and each book has a beginning and end, but no middle. Frustrating…


  91. Mallory
    March 21, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

    @Melissa M/Noel: I’m not really sure about how good at plotting I am. I guess attending Alpha suggests I’m pretty decent?!? πŸ™‚ [Of course, I have no idea how good I am at long-term plots…]

    I think most people (<–absolutely NOT a statistic right there) have problems with the middle. The beginnings and endings are so exciting, but the middle is always just kind of there… I mean, it's obviously important to the finished product and not just filler, but at the idea stage I feel like lots of people don't really know what's gonna be there.
    That brings a question to mind: I always write my story chronologically, but has anyone ever written the beginning and end first, and then the middle (seems difficult to me)?

    I'm lucky that I've never had someone tell me that writing genre fiction is a waste of time and that I should focus on "essay writing," but I agree that they don't know what they're talking about. In no way is creative writing easy! I mean, sometimes you get into a passionate mood and the words just pour out of you, but it's never EASY.

    @Tess: That's better than me. I have a 6-book series planned, and just kind of a vague plot that stretches between them (of course, whenever I get around to seriously fleshing out this idea it'll probably be less books).


  92. Tess
    March 22, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    @Mallory I often write out of chronological order, just writing whatever scene comes to mind the strongest, then adding more to fill in the gaps between the different pieces.


  93. Noel
    March 22, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    @Tess. Same. I do this especially when I feel stuck at a certain scene, or when I feel I need to learn more about a certain character/setting.


  94. Erin
    March 31, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    It’s almost a month after the due date, so i realize it’s silly to be posting on this thread, but I’m freaking out.
    I sent in my story late and it was accepted, but I just realized that I’m not entirely sure whether I sent in the application fee or not.
    RIP me nice knowing all of you you’re all invited to my funeral


  95. Sarah Brand
    March 31, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    Hi Erin! Alpha alumna (and 2013 staff member) here. If you’re concerned about the status of your application, you can use the contact form on this very website and get in touch with John, who can help you out. (I don’t have access to application information myself, unfortunately.) Good luck!


  96. Melissa M
    April 1, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    Hey, everyone! I’m back πŸ™‚
    @Mallory. I always write in chronological order. I build on so many details as a story goes along that I would have to totally scrap and rewrite the out-of-order scenes because they would not fit at all. And, hard as they are to write, middles are very, very important and sometimes fun to write simply because you have so much freedom. Once I get an idea of what I’m going to write in a chapter, then it’s fun πŸ™‚
    @Erin. It’s not silly. I’m still freaking out, too. Fifteen days!


  97. Melissa M
    April 1, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    And I always have a beefy plot plan-thing that I add to as I go. (Pretend that was somewhere in my last comment.)


  98. Melissa M
    April 9, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    So. It’s been a while since anybody posted on here. And there’s less than a week until the 15th!


  99. Diane
    April 9, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

    I’l check in with the judges and see how they’re coming along. I’m anxious, too!


  100. Marina G
    April 11, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    -nerves nerves nerves-

    I know I haven’t posted on here before. I was at Alpha last year, though, so I know exactly how awesome it is and how much I want to get in. SO MANY NERVES EVERYBODY.

    Dear self, do not look at your application story if you want to be useful for the rest of the week.


  101. Abby
    April 12, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Marina, I’m right there with you. Last year it was just a thing I found on the internet and I never thought I’d actually get in, so I sort of forgot about it until I got the email. This year, it’s…harder to forget.


  102. Diane
    April 13, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    I just taked with John. The Alpha 2013 invitations will get sent late tomorrow night or Monday morning (which is just as promised on the Alpha website). The four judges did an amazing job ranking over 90 submission stories. Very, very grateful to them. The staffers don’t find out who got invited until after invitations are sent to students.

    I hate this wait, too. I feel for you all. Yes, it’s hard to work. I’m going to try to do more novel editing now. I feel it’s the best medicine for the jitters.


  103. Madison
    April 13, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

    But…. But…. But…..
    I don’t want to wait until tomorrow night or Monday morning….
    I want to know now…..
    *tries not to hyperventilate*


  104. Melissa M
    April 14, 2013 @ 9:52 am

    *Despite her best judgement, begins hyperventilating*


  105. Madison
    April 14, 2013 @ 12:41 pm

    @Melissa M – It’s KILLING ME. *rocks in the corner*


  106. Melissa M
    April 14, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

    @Madison. ME TOO. And then I will be DEAD, so it won’t even matter if I get accepted. (Who am I kidding? Yes it will. I’ll be extra dead if I don’t get in, and if I do I will attend as a ghost.)


  107. Noel
    April 14, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    Terrified. :-/


  108. Madison
    April 14, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    Why must we be tortured like this? It’s just as bad or worse than the wait to hear from colleges. TT.TT


  109. Noella
    April 14, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    @Madison at least with college you can at least have backups so that you go to college somewhere. Here is one shot a year. Or for me, this would be my last chance.

    I don’t even know what to think anymore. I’m still waiting to hear back on this and something else.


  110. Lauren
    April 14, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    @Marina and Abby – I know! Somehow it’s even worse this year, both because I know how awesome Alpha is and because last year I didn’t know the exact date we’d find out!


  111. Melissa M
    April 14, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

    @Madison. I wouldn’t know on the college things… still a sophomore in high school.
    @Noella. What else are you waiting on?


  112. Madison
    April 14, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    @Noella – This is true…… This is the only thing I’m waiting on now and I’m obsessing over it. >.<
    @Melissa M – Have fun in two years time, then. XP


  113. Melissa M
    April 14, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

    ACCEPTED! This may be the best day of my life.


  114. Marina G
    April 14, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

    @Melissa: CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Having been to Alpha, I can promise you that you have no idea how much awesome is in store.

    But I wish I hadn’t looked at this thread, because now I know acceptances are going out…and it’s very likely that I’ll be glued to my email for the rest of the day, getting an instant of false hope every time my college sends me spam. ACK. -hyperventilates- Good luck, everybody!


  115. Noella
    April 14, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

    I got in! After two rejections, you guys cannot fathom how great this makes me feel… Life is beautiful.


  116. Melissa M
    April 14, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    So, I looked at the email list, and it would seem that only (up to) two of us are guys…


  117. Nicholas
    April 14, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

    Yup. One of them would be me, lol. Hello πŸ™‚


  118. Marina G
    April 14, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

    Aaaaand I’m in too! Apparently my university was messing with my email and I wasn’t paying enough attention, so I missed it at first. To everybody who made it, congratulations; to those who didn’t, I hope you can try again next year! And Nicholas, thank you for doing your part to ensure that it will not be a complete girlfest. πŸ˜›


  119. Tess
    April 15, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    Dang. No luck for me this year. At least I can try again next year.


  120. Noel
    April 15, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    @ Tess. Same here. I feel pretty disappointed, but there is always next year. Congrats to everyone that got in!


  121. Melissa M
    April 15, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    @Nicholas. Hello.
    @Marina. You go to university? (Pretty much the same thing as college, right?) So does that mean that you are 18/19, then?
    @Tess and Noel. Dang. I’m sorry. Well, good luck next year.


  122. Meghan
    April 15, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

    Congrats to everyone that got in!!


  123. Diane
    April 17, 2013 @ 5:49 am

    I’m horrified that, due to a software glitch, the letters went out to “Dear alpha-accept” and “Dear alpha-deny” instead of people’s names. I’m so very sorry about that. Harsh!

    We’re planning a blog post about where to get your stories critiqued for free if you didn’t get in this year.

    Every year we talk about doing an Alpha-at-home, which would be a tandem workshop. People who chose to join us would follow along with the same lessons at home and pledge to write a short story on the same time table (in ten days at the end of July). Maybe this year we’ll pull it together with critiquers and online content.

    Two guys got in this year. The farthest student is from Australia. Six former Alpha students and two more Alphans on the wait list.

    Looks like an exciting group!


  124. Nicholas
    April 17, 2013 @ 6:27 am

    I’m totally okay with being referred to as an “alpha-accept” — that’s a little bit cool, actually. “Hey, you, alpha-accept!”

    Though I could see where the inverse could be problematic, hahaha.


  125. Abby
    April 17, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    Congratulations to everyone who got in – I did too, and I can’t wait to meet you all this summer!


  126. Kasey
    April 17, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    Hey guys, just got my acceptance email too! Looking forward to seeing you all in july!

    Just a quick question about scholarships- did any of you request one and already found out whether you got it or not? Since I’m paying for my tuition and airfare myself, unfortunately that could really impact whether i can go or not.


  127. Abby
    April 17, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    Kasey – I don’t know for sure, but I think the scholarship stuff is still being worked out and you should hear back about it fairly soon. Hope you can make it!


  128. Melissa M
    April 17, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

    @126. Good question, Abby. I’d forgotten about that…


  129. Melissa M
    April 17, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    *facepalm* I meant Kasey. Epic fail.


  130. Noel
    April 17, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

    Everyone who got in, awesome job!
    Unfortunately, I didn’t make it in this year, but I will definitely try again next year (or until I get accepted).

    the alpha-deny thing was actually kind of funny (although I was surprised that I could see all the people who hadn’t gotten accepted as well)

    As of now, I’m looking for simple summer writing camps that will help me improve in skill, as I think it will just help me become a better writer in general (I’ve never taken a single creative writing class in my life).

    I really want my submission story to be critiqued even though I know it really is not my best work (I’m a little scared, honestly).

    In a ways (and this may sound strange, but . . . ) although I was really sad to hear that I couldn’t attend Alpha this year, I was almost . . . grateful for the rejection. At least now, I have some rejection experience to help me in the future. This was my first time applying to anything writing-related and I’m really glad for the experience.

    Next year, I’m thinking of applying to not just Alpha, but other workshops too (although Alpha will always stay my first choice). Apparently, most writing workshops don’t allow rising 9th graders, the youngest have to have completed grade 9, so that’s something interesting.


  131. Tess
    April 17, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

    @ Noel
    Yeah, the whole ’10th grade +’ grade-level thing kind of stinks. As an 8th grader this year, it narrows my options a lot.


  132. Melissa M
    April 17, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    @Noel&Tess. Teehee. You’re so little πŸ™‚ (Says the sophomore..)


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