Young Artists' Contest Winners
Since forming in 2012, Acqui has made an impact in the local alternative/indie scenes they’ve found themselves in. Their inaugural release Brighter Days (2015) was an honest first effort at creating as a group in a self-produced and self-recorded environment. Supporting its release, Acqui played many venues in the Jersey shore area and formed a small following. In the winter of 2017, after being apart for a period of time, Acqui came together to write and record their sophomore release Sorority during a two week time. The recordings followed closely to the live sound that Acqui would then bring to venues around the East Coast the following summer in support of the record. Since then, Acqui has made two smaller releases, a split EP with their close friends Fence, and a single that came out earlier this year, titled Passenger.
Damn Vamps are a three-piece post-punk band from Delaware. Working as their current form since 2019, they have music out on Bandcamp, Spotify, and most other platforms. They are a part of the Mausoleum 9 Recording Co. music collective.
Daniel Despins seeks to capture the relentless endurance of the human spirit in his music. Daniel’s music has been performed in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the East Coast, including performances by the Peabody Institute Opera Etudes Program, the Tampa Bay Symphony, the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band, Christiana Winds, the University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and the Network for New Music Ensemble. He is also a prolific arranger, and has written arrangements for a variety of ensembles, including Baltimore's Marching Ravens, the University of Delaware Pep Band, and the University of Delaware 8-bit Orchestra, as well as several other marching band programs along the East Coast. Daniel studied music composition with Jennifer Margaret Barker at the University of Delaware, and with Michael Hersch at the Peabody Conservatory. He plans to continue writing music and spreading his musical message on a national and global level, as well as advocating for music and arts education.
James Gallahan is a multi-genre writer living in Northern Virginia with his wife. His debut novel, Dead Man’s Cave, was published in 2020. He has other short stories published in two Cat & Mouse Press anthologies, the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group 2019 Anthology, Pilcrow and Dagger Literary Magazine, Grey Wolfe Publishing, and was a finalist in Writer’s Digest May 2018 Your Story Contest. James is a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, and the James River Writers.
Ben Heath is an English Major attending the College of William and Mary. In his spare time, he can be found writing drafts on AlphaSmart Neo, rewatching La La Land, or repurposing aluminum Fanta cans. He also enjoys skateboarding while wearing a helmet because safety comes first.
JB Hogan lives with his wife and enough healthy boys to turn Henry VIII green. Besides writing, he has both sold and applied paint, invaded Iraq, answered the phone for a window manufacturer, and currently works in publishing. This leaves him with just enough time to regret not having more time to write.
Maria Masington is a poet, author, and spoken word artist from Wilmington, Delaware. Her poetry has appeared in over a dozen publications including Adanna, The News Journal, The Broadkill Review, The News Journal, and Earth’s Daughters. She has also had four short stories published in anthologies through Smart Rhino Publications and Cat & Mouse Press. Maria is a member of the Written Remains Writers Guild and The Mad Poets Society and is an emcee and featured poet on the local art scene. She has been a guest on WVUD ArtSounds and a three-time Delaware Division of the Arts fellow for poetry and prose retreats.
John is a full-time commercial photographer who lives in coastal southern Delaware with his wife Brenda and their three school-aged children. John LOVES music; musicians are one his favorite photographic subjects. John’s photography is known for striking a balance between clean, sharp, and technically precise photos, balanced with artistic perspectives and highly-creative uses of light and motion. He continually seeks out ways to use photography to bless others and bring positivity into the world. John is the Director of the Southern Delaware Chapter of Help-Portrait. Also, John has started a photo-walk group in his town to create a supportive community of people interested in forming bonds and creating art in the community.
I like to document the world around me... mainly so I can avoid getting my own picture taken. It’s one of my favorites of the numerous hobbies I have, though my ‘favorites’ can change as fast as a new 2020 disaster. Writing, dancing, puzzling, Star Wars-ing, drawing... I once asked some of my friends for new hobby suggestions, and I already had done all that they came up with... and that included basket weaving.
Dianne writes poems and fiction. She describes herself as "in a committed relationship with the semi-colon.” She is happy to be married to Dave, mom to Sophie, inked, a feminist, founder of Devil’s Party Press, and in her fifties.
Linda's father taught her how to use a camera when she was a little girl; she loves to capture what she enjoys - memories and the wonders of nature. She grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Delaware, where she is a civil engineer who works on accessible pedestrian facilities.
Luke Siler is a survivor and perpetrator of the public school system. Having taught English at Seaford High School in Seaford, Delaware for six years, he has switched to teaching digital media. His music and writing tend poetic, his art cartoonish or tragic. He can be found on YouTube as Artflunky.
Christian Wills (a.k.a Anthem in some circles) is an aspiring artist and poet. He's written lines of poetry and musical lyrics in his spare time since his early days of high school. During his college years, he hosted a variety of open mics and shows, dating back to his sophomore year. Today, he's a University of Delaware graduate with a major in English, working on starting a non-profit and empowering kids as a teaching artist within Wilmington, Delaware. His goals for the future are both certain and mysterious, yet his optimism remains true and reflect his poetic style.
Sandon Chevlin graduated from Rollins College in 2016 with a B.A. in Music and a minor in Creative Writing. At Rollins, Sandon studied fiction under James Driggers and the late Dr. Phillip Deavers, and poetry with Dr. Vindu Aggerwal. He went on to receive an M.M. in Music Composition from Florida Atlantic University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rollins College. Sandon is also an award winning harmonica player and Musical Director of The Orkleztra, a Klezmer band in Winter Park, Florida. Sandon’s creative writing is deeply influenced by his study of form and structure in music composition and his interest in stand-up comedy.
Alessandra DeAngelis is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in Secondary English Education. She is currently making good use of her degree as an English teacher in the Colonial School District in New Castle, Delaware. In her free time, she is also a content creator on the live-streaming site Twitch, using the screen name blonderps.
Fence is a 4-piece band from Old Bridge, New Jersey. They play "rock" music, and their influences include Nirvana, The Unicorns, and Neutral Milk Hotel. They've been playing shows in basements, bars, and clubs in the tri-state area since 2016 and are currently recording their first full length album.
Sarah Fredrick is a counseling professional who enjoys spending time with her cats, baking cookies, and of course, writing poetry. She finds inspiration for her work in her daily life, and the notes app on her phone is full of one-off lines that often bloom into full-length poems. She began writing poetry after taking a creative writing course during her undergraduate career at the University of Delaware, and has been adding to her collection of written work ever since. She loves writing and appreciates you reading her words!
Born in Massapequa, New York, Matthew Greene is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s in Music Composition. His primary instrument is piano, but he is also an oboist and percussionist. When looking for inspiration, his compositions will often draw from nature or emotions. Reflections on a Lifetime is one of his most recent compositions.
Luke W. Henderson is a composer, writer, and marketing professional. His music has been performed by small and large ensembles including the Columbia Civic Orchestra and Exit 128 Chamber Orchestra, and was featured in the documentary Lost Paradise which was shown twice at the New York Museum of Moving Image. He is also a distinguished writer and has contributed to multiple online publications as well as a contributing author to the book Igniting Liberty: Voices For Freedom Around The World. Currently, Luke is pursuing his Masters in Communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis while establishing his own freelance marketing business.
Alyssa Lane is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in English. She currently works as a junior copywriter for a Managed Markets Agency. In addition to writing poetry, she was also a member of the University of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hen Marching Band for her entire college career and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
Ginny McCluskey is blissful to finally be free to paint to her heart’s content now that she is retired from her very unartistic high tech career. She and her husband decided to move to Dover, Delaware two years ago, making it the sixth state they have moved to in their 25 years together. No, they are not in the military, just enjoy being ‘gypsies.’ Ginny’s latest painting series was inspired by the season of COVID-19, with all of its confusion and uncertainty. She plans to continue painting plein air (meaning outside) once it stops feeling as humid as Florida, which is the last place she lived before coming to Dover.
Itunu is a Nigerian American artist, who loves art in general from singing and dancing to visual art. It’s always a joy in his heart when he gets to express his view of life. Art has become a needed daily ritual for him, where he can reflect on how his day went.
Martha has always had an interest in art. In high school, she took AP Studio alongside an Independent Study. Upon coming to college, she continued her art education in both 2D and 3D classes, commission pieces, and research projects. Her work takes the form of different mediums, focusing primarily on the depiction personality through varying methods of portraiture. In the future, she plans on continuing her art education through college, exhibiting her work in various locations as well as eventually teaching art education in public school. Her art can be found on TikTok at @martharoseart_.
Buck Weaver is a former news correspondent for the Voice of America who served in Washington, DC; Bangladesh; and India. He is the author of Days of Sunshine with Nancy Lou and Belles Lettres of Nancy Lou Becht Weaver, which celebrate his long-time marriage to his wife, Nancy. He resides in Dover, Delaware.
David Yurkovich is a writer, illustrator, and designer residing in southern Delaware. His published graphic novels include Death by Chocolate: Redux, Less Than Heroes, Altercations, and The Broccoli Agenda. David has also written two prose novels, Glass Onion and Banana Seat Summer. As co-owner of Devil’s Party Press, LLC (DPP), he and the delightful Dianne Pearce (DPP's esteemed publisher) have produced 13 novels and anthologies since 2017, each of which has won awards at the state or national level. David is a former Delaware Division of the Arts fellow and a Xeric grant recipient. In fall 2020, David and Dianne launched Gravelight Press. Its first collection, Exhumed, was released in October. David publishes original fiction and graphic works at yurkoverse.com.
Sean Manley is a Freshman at Huntington High School. When he is not running or writing music, he is probably gaming. He also enjoys reading and playing trumpet when he can.
Andrew Overman is a senior from Wilmington Christian School in Hockessin, Delaware. He has been interested in photography since he was a child experimenting with his mother's camera while on vacation, and it grew into a hobby that he now takes pride in. He upgraded to a Nikon D7500 a few years ago and he now carries it with her wherever he goes. On top of photography, he also enjoys abstract painting and portraiture, taking influence from his daily surroundings and emotions.
Madison Macalintal is from a small town in New Jersey. She is a junior at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, DE, an avid swimmer, one of five children, and has a passion for diversity work and writing! Most of her pieces are inspired by her identity as an Asian-American, her observations from the world, and just thoughts in her head that can be overwhelming, uplifting, or indescribable. During her free time, you can find her eating sushi or noodles and drinking some good bubble tea with friends!
Hunter Melton is a Junior at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware. He loves literature in any form, whether it's prose or verse, and whether or not he is the writer. The fact that writing can be utilized in so many different ways to elicit different emotions and revelations amazes him, and it's something he is constantly exploring. Besides writing, he also likes food, lacrosse, and being by the water.
For as long as she can remember, English has always been her favorite class in school. It started with a fascination of engaging with characters that authors brought to life (one of her favorite characters being Holden Caufield!) and grew into a love of writing - creating her own characters and stories. As her senior year at Sanford School is coming to an end, she plans to major in English and become a journalist (or maybe she will write the next great American novel, who knows!).
Ava McCoy-Johnson is in the eleventh grade at the Sanford School. She has been making art since she was little, and she always strives to make every piece meaningful. She hopes to use her art as a way of spreading important messages, creating unity, and making a positive impact on other people’s lives.
Isabelle Bernard is a freshman at Smyrna High School. She has not been up to much due to the pandemic, but luckily writing is one of her favorite pastimes and she can do it from the comfort of her own home. While trying to improve her skills she is often accompanied by her dog, Gus Gus, and some upbeat music.
Kaelyn Doherty is a sophomore at Sanford School. She has always had a passion for writing and this is her first time submitting her work outside of her school! On the weekends she works at a local restaurant in her town and spends time with friends. She is excited to take AP Lang next year to further her writing! She first started getting serious about her writing in seventh grade as a way to handle her emotions and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite styles are poetry and personal essays.
Anna Beth Mercer