Each year, Just Buffalo offers a motivated young writer the opportunity to develop their craft and explore professional avenues within the literary arts. The selected fellow will work with a mentor, be encouraged to develop their unique voice as a creative writer and thinker, and present a creative writing project to be completed over the course of the summer fellowship. Here are the winners.
MILLIE RODRIGUEZ-SPENCER is a poet, recording artist, visual artist and a JBWC youth fellow from Buffalo, New York. She plans on pursuing a certificate in music production. She is a multi-faceted and motivated individual that believes in pursuing each one of her passions and not abandoning one for another. She merges her poetry writing as song lyrics, ultimately killing two birds with one stone. She says, ‘’I won’t settle for one box.’’
SOPHIE ZHU was born and raised in Buffalo. A poetry alumna of The Adroit Journal‘s summer mentorship, her poetry can be found in Muzzle Magazine, and has been recognized by the National Poetry Quarterly, Hollins University, and Smith College. Fascinated with deconstructionism and voicing the abstract, she is also a classical pianist, an avid mathlete, and an aficionado of prime numbers.
ZANAYA HUSSAIN is a graduate of City Honors School. She will be attending the University at Buffalo as an International Studies major in the fall. She believes that writing is power, and hopes to yield her work to make the world more welcoming.
FIONA STEWART is a writer from Western New York who plans to pursue English and History in college this fall. In addition to writing, she loves reading, green tea, and the rain.
MAYA SIMMONS is a junior Afro American Studies major, English minor at Howard University in Washington, DC. She has worked as a poetry editor for Howard’s Amistad literary journal, and as a staff writer for the student newspaper, The Hilltop. Maya plans to pursue creative writing and long-form journalism in the future.
TRINITY RIDOUT is a young writer, musician, and JBWC Summer Fellow. She graduated from City Honors High School. In her free time, Trinity likes to spend time with her sisters, go on bike rides, and watch movies.