LA sophomore Maeve Tholen has been named one of “Four Young Writers to Watch” by Maine Magazine in their March issue.

Lincoln Academy sophomore Maeve Tholen has been named one of “Four Young Writers to Watch” by Maine Magazine. Tholen, who is featured in the magazine’s March, 2023 edition, writes poetry and short stories and has won a number of regional and national awards for her creative writing.

Before coming to LA, Tholen attended Chewonki middle school, where she started entering contests in sixth grade. Over the course of the last five years she has won many recognitions.

“I’m not surprised at all to hear that Maeve has been recognized,” said Lincoln Academy English teacher Jack DeAngelis, who taught Tholen last year in ninth grade honors English. “In my class she consistently produced thoughtful and intentional pieces of writing that displayed a real knowledge of how powerful writing can be as a practice, and how powerful her own writing can be.” Her writing in DeAngelis’s class earned Tholen the Ninth Grade English Award.

“Maeve’s writing really knocked me out when I first read it,” said Lincoln Academy English teacher John Cannon, who has taught Tholen in poetry and creative writing classes as well tenth grade Honors English. “She is such a visual writer. She has an amazing eye for detail, and she can talk about objects in a way that makes you feel real emotion. She wrote a poem about objects in the kitchen, and you were just so there.”

Tholen’s awards include a Scholastic Arts Gold Medal for a short story she wrote in eighth grade and a regional Honorable Mention at the high school level for a story she submitted in ninth grade. Her short story “Chocolate Hope,” about a young woman from a family of cacao growers who emigrates from Brazil to Miami, won the 2022 Maine Writers and Publishers Award, and her poem “At Sunset” was published by the Telling Room.

The Scholastic Arts Gold Medal is a national level award, and Tholen said, “normally I would have traveled to New York City for the award ceremony, but the year I won was during Covid, so the ceremony was online.”

Despite her success in writing contests, Tholen doesn’t believe they are the best way to learn to write or improve over time. “I think it is good to get feedback on your writing, but the contests aren’t really about that. There are judges, but you don’t really get feedback you can use to improve, just awards.”

Tholen describes creative writing as, “a good way to express yourself and perceive the world around you. Writers can take pieces of the things they observe around them and interpret them in different ways.”

“Maeve wrote this wonderful one-page piece as part of a creative writing lab, and I thought about it for weeks,” said Cannon. “There was something so simple but haunting; this longing for connection. She summed up what everyone was missing during Covid. She has a unique voice, very developed for a young writer. She is very in touch with what she wants to say. Her first drafts are pretty amazing. And she is so quiet and soft spoken, with this powerful writing voice–that makes her a very interesting young person to teach.”

“Maeve is a skilled writer and she works hard at it,” said DeAngelis. “She understands how tumultuous the process of writing can be, and she embraces that. She is willing to go deep. That really shows, because she produces tremendous pieces.”