It is a pleasure for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) to announce Sara Medwin as the 2020-2021 Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award winner! As the recipient of this award, Sara will receive a $3,000 cash prize and feature one of her pieces at the Student Awards 2021 Artist Talk. AHCMC sat down with her to get to know more about her background, interest in writing, and what she sees for her future.
AHCMC: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sara: My name is Sara Medwin; I’m a senior in the Humanities magnet program at Poolesville High School! In my spare time, I love creating (poetry, pottery, and everything in between), going on long walks, and soaking up the stories of those around me.
AHCMC: When did you begin to take an interest in creative writing?
Sara: I’ve always had an affinity for words, so I grew to love creative writing when I was pretty young. It wasn’t until I was in high school, though, that I began to actually write and attempt to share my stories. Since freshman year, I’ve begun to seriously pursue creative writing, taking local workshops and virtual classes. Now, I see my once-hobby as a necessity, both as a creative outlet and way of connecting with the world.
AHCMC: What inspires your work?
Sara: More than anything else, emotion. I see my work as an extension of myself and, ultimately, a way to communicate the feelings and thoughts that I might not otherwise be able to. I’m constantly inspired by the multitude of poets and creative writers who continue to speak about the thoughts and sentiments that are socially sublimated, and hope that my work can similarly encourage individuals to explore a wide spectrum of emotion that is uniquely theirs! Additionally, my passion for social consciousness and awareness continually influences my writing; language is my favorite mechanism for protest.
AHCMC: How has the pandemic impacted your creative practice?
Sara: Though the pandemic initially disrupted most of my creative and extracurricular endeavors, I quickly returned to creative writing as a means of communication and catharsis throughout these trying times. Through my writing, I’ve been able to express my disillusionment with the hurt I see around me, as well as explore the beauty I’ve come to realize in the world.
AHCMC: How will the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award be helpful to you moving forward?
Sara: I hope that during my mentorship with writer Erin Roberts, I can further propagate my creative roots and solidify my creative process. Additionally, as I progress in my academic and creative journey, the prize money will help me to participate in writing workshops and courses that will greatly benefit my craft.
AHCMC: What do you aspire to accomplish in five years?
Sara: Ideally, I’ll have obtained a bachelor’s degree after spending my undergraduate years exploring the ins-and-outs of political science and philosophy while continuing to write creatively. I hope to pursue my interest in justice reform and work with organizations that allow me to engage with and research the intersection between creative manifestation and the carceral system.