West Sound Academy sixth-grader to be a published author

POULSBO — Tess Schorn, a West Sound Academy sixth-grader, dreams of being an author when she grows up.

However, 12-year-old Tess didn’t have to wait until she’s all grown up to accomplish her life’s ambition.

At the beginning of March Tess learned she’s about to be a bona fide published author.

Tess submitted a poem she wrote entitled “Life,” to The Anthology of Poetry Inc. Her poem was selected to be published in 2008.

“The main thing that impressed us was the metaphor and imagery behind it,” said Anthology Inc. Managing Editor Steve Salvitti. “It does use good use of metaphor, imagery and looking at things from a different point of view.”

Salvitti said Anthology receives “quite a few submissions,” from all over the country and approximately 55 percent of the submissions are published each year.

The Anthology, based in Asheboro, N.C., is a publication that recognizes writing excellence in students from kindergarten through grade 12. For the past 20 years, the Anthology has published student’s poems and short stories.


One night as Tess was about to turn off the light and go to sleep, a string of poem stanzas flooded her mind.

It was 9 o’clock and Tess knew she couldn’t sleep because she had to write.

“When I write poems the only way I can write is if I get one line in my head, then I can go from there,” said a composed and well-spoken Tess. “And once I start writing I kind of get in a trance and I only break it when the poem is over.”

So she put pen to paper and the thoughts flowed out, like a river rushing to meet the ocean tides.

She began, “Living in an ocean of turmoil, people moving this way and that, restless and unsettled ... .”

After all the thoughts had come and all the lines were written Tess finished her poem “Life.”

Tess’ English teacher encouraged Tess to submit the poem to the Anthology. Shortly after, Tess gave her teacher a stamped envelope with “Life” enclosed.

“Life” hit the mail before Christmas break. But Tess didn’t hear anything until the beginning of March. She said the wait was suspenseful and seemed to take forever. The suspense ended when her mom Lynn Schorn received a letter announcing “Life” was chosen for publication.

“I ran into her room screaming, ‘Tess you were chosen for the book,’” Schorn said. “It was exciting, we’re proud of her.”

Tess said she was excited and happy.

“I was quiet for a while and then I kind of started to write a ton more poems,” Tess said.

The journey to authorship for the Kingston native was a rapid one. Tess said she didn’t have an interest in poetry until this year, when in English class her teacher began reading poetry. Tess became instantly enthralled.

“I have always liked deep poems,” said Tess, who enjoys writing about love, belief, possibilities and freeness. “(Writing) kind of helps you open up yourself. Poetry has a much more subtle way.”

And through her writing Tess has opened the door for others to share in her feelings.

Schorn already knew her daughter is creative, a dreamer and passionate and encouraging of others. But it was “odd” for Schorn to hear her daughter’s written feelings for the first time.

“You think, ‘Wow. Is she capable of that?” Schorn said. “I was really taken back by the thoughts.”

Salvitti, however, was impressed with the thoughts Tess portrays in “Life.”

“She has a good message behind it and it shows a good thought process for someone her age,” he said. “When they (kids) sit down and write their thoughts and feelings it’s amazing what they can get out.”

Until an older Tess publishes a book of her own, the young woman will continue enjoying all the wonders of childhood, as she rides horses, plays soccer and acts.

And of course she’ll make time to write. Tess said she’s already finished at least 10 poems and has plans for many more.

“I’ll just keep on writing,” she said.

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