Sept. 19, 2011
BKW senior and Tech Valley student Xena Pulliam won first place in the MTV Act + Figment writing contest.
The contest — the chance to use storytelling to help us better understand one another, celebrate our differences and fight intolerance — was inspired by the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11.
She found out about the MTV Acts contest and actually entered late, without knowing what the prize was.
“This summer I decided to enter different
writing contests,” Pulliam said. “It wasn’t planned; it just happened.”
Pulliam’s story. “I Said Yes,” about a pregnant high school student, ranked number one in public voting and then was chosen the winner out of the top ten finalist by judges author Maureen Johnson, author Melissa De La Cruz and Grammy-winner Kenna.
Pulliam will be receiving an iPad for her
reward and has had her story published on the MTV Act blog.
“MTV Acts — That’s big,” she said. “I am so excited!”
When she first received the email telling her she was a winner, she didn’t believe it.
“I thought it was a joke,” she said. “The email came a day earlier than the results were to be announced and they told me I couldn’t tell anyone else. I was dying to share the news.”
Pulliam said she began writing as a child but it wasn’t until middle school that she really developed an interest in the craft.
“I remember writing stories in first grade, but they weren’t very good,” she said. “I began seriously writing in eighth grade.”
Pulliam doesn’t limit her writing to one genre; she has produced fiction, non fiction, poetry and even plays.
“I took two creative writing classes that forced me to try a lot of different things,” she said.
One inspiration for her writing comes from her love of reading, especially the Harry Potter books.
“I want to write like that,” she said. “I want to have a kid so drawn into my story. I would love to have my writing change someone else’s life.”
These days, Pulliam is interested in surprise endings.
“I’ve read so many books, that I find it hard not to predict endings,” she said. “I love twist endings. I knew I wanted to write something like that.”
While Pulliam said she would love to have a career as an author, she also knows it’s a hard field to break into. She is planning to attend college next year, where she is considering majoring in business while minoring in creative writing or communications.
No matter what her career, she plans to continue writing.
“I’ve always wanted to write a book,” she said. “I’m hoping to do that.”
Check out Pulliam’s work at Figment.com.