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Student wins Aspen Writers’ scholarship

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Whitney Will isn’t shy about her passion for words, stories and literature. “Read a F—ing Book” demands the sticker – not a small one – on the cover of her journal.

An equally strong testament to the 17-year-old’s passion for the written word – and a more refined one – is what’s inside the journal. Since the night she discovered the wonders of story-telling, when she couldn’t handle the suspense of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” and so stayed up till 4 a.m. reading, Will has been putting her own poems, letters and thoughts on paper.

That passion has paid off with a $5,000 Aspen Writers’ Foundation scholarship. Will, who graduated from Aspen High School last month, will put the money towards her education at St. John’s College, in Santa Fe.

Will counts among her favorite books two works by Thomas Hardy – “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and “Far From the Madding Crowd” – and Toni Morrison’s “Beloved.” Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about slavery, “was huge,” said Will. “Exhausting, emotionally exhausting to read – the power, the complexities, the racism.”

While Will adores novels and has specialized herself in poetry and short stories, she says her aim is to be a screenwriter, favoring the broad reach of the film medium. But any kind of writing seems to suit her.

“The importance of stories – there’s a perpetual grace to them,” she said.


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