How did you find out about the contest?
Kao Kalia Yang
I learned of the essay contest through an email database that I signed myself for. I believe it is CRWPP and it is very good on letting me know of available writing opportunities.
Why was the subject of your essay important to you?
I grew up hearing the stories of the adults in my family dreaming back in time to the days when they had a bit of land and animals. To them, the two necessarily must come together to make a home, and home is the place they’ve been looking for all my life. Perhaps because we are still all looking, I carry their dreams with me. I do not know how to imagine a home or go about finding one without thoughts of the environment and animals. The essay gave me the opportunity to write on something that was inside.
Did you discover something surprising in the process of writing your essay?
I have learned that I love chickens, too.
What do you hope people will take away or learn from your essay?
I hope readers of the essay will be reminded of a necessary truth: we show our children the best of ourselves in the things we choose to protect. This is perhaps how legacies of care begin.
What advice would you offer to other writers on composing a successful essay?
Write about what you know from your heart. There are great writers in the world who know of structure and diction relationships. But to me the best writers are those that can put their hearts on the page, and show us what we cannot see in the everyday. This is sometimes the unspoken/untaught element in forums on craft.
You can reach Kao Kalia Yang at email@example.com.
Read Kao Kalia Yang's winning essay.