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Close to Home Contest

Six young writers and artists, ages 11 to 17, from across the United States were selected from thousands of entrants as national winners in CLOSE TO HOME: A WRITING AND ART CONTEST ABOUT ADDICTION. The contest, conducted nationally by Scholastic Inc. and Thirteen/WNET in New York, is part of a national outreach campaign for MOYERS ON ADDICTION: CLOSE TO HOME. Scholastic featured the contest in its classroom magazines.

Asked to write an essay or poem or to create a piece of artwork in response to the theme "Has addiction affected your life?," thousands of students responded with candid, thought-provoking, and moving entries exploring the many ways addiction -- to tobacco, alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs -- impacted them at home, at school, and in their communities.

Fifty finalist entries were reviewed by a panel of celebrity jurors, including Tai Babilonia, Nell Carter, Nan Goldin, Anne Lamott, Mackenzie Phillips, and Dan Wakefield, whose scores determined the six national awardees. Links to their entries are available below.

Allison Inga, 11, New York, Essay

Britta Gerdes, 11 California, Poem

Iyishia Floyd, 17, New York, Essay

Kelly Rahill, 15, New Jersey, Essay

Leeanna Chipana, 16, New York, Drawing

Manuel Guardado, Jr., 12, Texas, Drawing

These six winners, each accompanied by a parent or guardian, traveled -- all expenses paid -- to Washington, DC, where they were honored at a breakfast on March 24, 1998.

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