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Student shares experience from Sigma Tau Delta reading

April 2, 2014

Several English/Creative Writing students returned last week from the Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Savannah, Ga., where they gave public readings and accepted the Literary Journal of the Year Award for the 2013 Harbinger.

Senior Amber Surdam, a SC-Scene contributor, was among those invited to read works. Her piece revolved around a struggling marriage with both sides told through first-person narrative.

Surdam shares her experience here.

By Amber Surdam/Stephens College Senior

I laughed and threw the paper airplane across the table. The poorly constructed plane crashed into a piece of cake. Everyone at the table aimed their disappointment toward me. I replied with a twist of my lips and an embarrassed flush of my cheeks as I attempted to create a better plane model. The servers arrived with the food, halting our play. The aroma of chicken breasts and vegetarian pasta circulated the loud and crowded room. I sipped my White Zinfandel and waited for the award ceremony to begin. Blue skies, soft breezes and warm temperatures occupied my thoughts. I didn’t want to leave this beautiful state. I heard a harsh storm was brewing in the Midwest. Somehow I had to give up the palm trees, shelled sidewalks and candy stores. This was my last night in Savannah, Ga.
At my reading at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention, I sat near the window and listened to the four previous women’s short stories. I had been placed in the Currents of Love roundtable. My story had nothing to do with happy endings. I wasn’t sure how the audience would react. I surveyed the faces and noticed scrolling fingers on their devices. My professor, Judith Clark, sat in the front row. With a reassuring smile, she motioned me to stand and walk to the podium. I couldn’t feel my fingers or my stomach. My eyes blurred and my mind was nowhere accessible. I took a very deep breath, sat my story down and looked up with a lopsided grin. I spoke into the microphone and my voice travelled far. With an emotional rush, I frightened the audience into silence as I finished with the words: I betrayed her. I walked from the podium to my seat and waited for the questions.

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