Teacher Pens Resilient Teenage Student Book Collection
HOWARD COUNTY, MD – A Howard County teacher, writer and resident has written stories based on the resilient teenagers he taught in the classroom. Her debut collection of stories, The Rest of the World, won the 2020 Washington Writers’ Publishing House Award for Fiction and Late October. The eight stories in this collection take place in Baltimore.
“As our country grapples with who we are and the ideals we claim to aspire to, my book offers stories of resilient children growing up in neighborhoods sabotaged by systemic inequality. These teenage and young adult characters save loved ones, betray themselves, seek redemption, plot, accommodate moral ambiguities, and struggle to find meaning in a city that owes them better,” Adam Schwartz told Patch.
After more than two decades in the classroom, Schwartz said he learned to see the world through the eyes of his students.
“Baltimore is tough on kids. It’s a city that puts a lot of kids through a wringer – through grief, loss, trauma, and all kinds of instabilities. These challenges force many kids to navigate a minefield of choice. And, yet, many of the teenagers who come through my class are engaged learners who remain hopeful, determined and generous. You don’t have to be a writer to be moved. by kids on the boil, but watching kids strive to improve in the face of steep odds is inspiring,” he said.
Schwartz’s stories have won awards sponsored by Poets & Writers, Philadelphia Stories, and Baltimore City Paper and have appeared in Mississippi Review, December Magazine, Arkansas Review, and elsewhere. His non-fiction articles have appeared in the Sewanee Review, Baltimore Sun, New York Daily News, and other publications.
“Winning the Washington Writers Publishing House award was a delightful surprise. Getting to this point was a bit of a painstaking job. liked the book but wanted a novel.Also, over many years the stories in the collection have been published in literary magazines, but seeing them all collected in one book and on the shelf of Barnes and Noble has been exhilarating,” Schwartz said.
When he’s not diving deep into his writing, Schwartz genuinely enjoys spending time with his students.
“I’m grateful to have found a career that continues to be meaningful and fulfilling. I have no illusions about saving the world, but the work is still rewarding most of the time. And of all the plates that teachers are supposed to keep in tune, getting to know the students in my class is by far the best part of the job,” he said.