Deep Laureate

Twice a year, at the end of each semester of the Young Author Project, Deep's young authors vote on the deepest, bravest, and most vivid writer in their workshops. The four young authors with the most votes become finalists for Deep Laureate, and the Deep community votes in the final round to determine the Deep Laureate for that semester. Honorees are announced at the fall and spring Deep Speaks every year.

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Deep Laureate, Fall 2017: Tyler Kipp

Tyler Kipp is a comic book artist and illustrator from Portland, Maine. He has lived in Savannah, Georgia, most of his life and has been writing since he was young.

Tyler is transgender and has been transitioning for half a year (at the time of writing this).

“Writing is therapeutic and helps me calm my stress. I believe it’s fairly good for you to write about how you feel.” This is something he says quite often and won’t shut up about.

Read Tyler's story, "Anxiety"

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Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2017: Isabella Webster

Hello! My name is Isabella Webster, and I’m in seventh grade. Writing has always been a passion of mine, so naturally I was excited when my teacher showed me Deep. I mostly write fiction or realistic fiction, but I also like poems and other things of the sort. I’ve written many stories in the past and hope you enjoy the two I wrote here. My goal is for you to find them insightful and politically relevant, but if you don’t like my stories, I understand. (I’m still learning.) Thanks for taking your time to read my somewhat-boring bio!

Read Isabella's story, "Jax"

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Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2017: Katie MacIver

I’m Katie, (or Kinfy, as my friends call me) an annoying digital artist with the maturity of a three-year-old. I’m a multi-trick pony; I enjoy drawing, writing, and playing music (the trumpet, to be specific). I’m an avid fan of Tally Hall—the band, not the soccer player—and their music inspires a lot of my work. I’m working on way too many characters and on at least three different stories. I’m a parent of one (my cat, Summer) and an advocate of complicated vocabularies. I cry to a song about robots singing to space whales, to give you a general idea of how I am.

Read Katie's story, "The Science Man"

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Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2017: Taniah Truell

I am an 11-year-old girl who turned 12 on December 29th. I live in a household of seven people: my mom, sister, four brothers, and myself. One of my little brothers suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, which causes him to have seizures and not be able to walk, talk, or sit up. He and my mom inspire me to write. I love to invent helpful things for life, like a box that helps declutter, phone cases, and a pencil holder. I like to read fiction, mystery, fantasy, and mythical books.

Read Taniah's story, "My Life Lessons"

Ayanna Horton

DEEP LAUREATe, SPRING 2017: Ayanna Horton

Ayanna, meaning beautiful flower (according to Google), is a 13-year-old bag of emotions who likes to write what she is feeling. This is her second year in Deep, and she loves it. She is ready to blossom into the beautiful flower that she is through her writing.

Read Ayanna's story, "keep ya head up"

Shanteirria Burns


My name is Shanteirria Burns. The three best words to describe me are special, sweet, and nice. When I grow up I want to be a doctor and plastic surgeon. My favorite foods are hamburgers and pasta. If I could have any superpower, it would be all of them because I can do multiple things with those powers when I get my own house. I want to live in Jamaica where my mom's from. My favorite books are graphic novels and comic books. One thing that might creep you out is that I can win at a staring contest because I sleep with my eyes open. The question I get all the time is, does it hurt? My answer is no, and no, they don't get dry. I'm 12 years old and a Taurus bull, and my birthstone color is green! Not Shanteria or Shaterria; it's Shanteirria Burns.

read shanteirria's story, "where I'm from"

L'Ashareuh Lark


Greetings, L’Ashareuh here. But, please, refer to me as Takashime, as labeled on some of my writings. I’ve been writing ever since I could read, and I was sometimes afraid to be “me.” My therapy was friends, family, reading, and writing. My work is always uplifting, but some pieces, on occasions, are silly like me.

read l'ashareuh's story, "tatemville"

Joi Walker


‘Owdy! My name is Joi Walker. I am the age of 12 and in the sixth grade. I grew up without my biological parents. I am a great freestyler and a Libra all day, okay?

read joi's story, "i never knew"

Deep laureate, fall 2016: KrystelL Sanchez Romero

  Photo by Anna Brody

Photo by Anna Brody

I am a living, breathing irony. I am the nicest rude person you’ ll meet. I don’t care about anything, but I stress over everything. I hate everyone, but I also love and care about everyone. I hate myself, but I’m also the must fabulous person I’ve met.  Also, standing at 4’ 11.6,” I’m height-deficient. This makes for awkward hugs. Also, any kind of kitchen activity is a struggle. And I’m very spontaneous. Well, actually, I’m just a huge procrastinator, but I think “spontaneous” sounds less terrible. I want to be a writer, film director, or just a really cool adult. I will not become another 9 to 5-er. I think I’ d be a husky if I were an animal. I’m a loner, but when I make friends, they’re friends for life. I like being in the lead, but I don’t like attention. I want to make sure all of my pack is safe, but I also have to watch out for myself.  And, finally, I want to live on the moon. No particular reason, it just sounds rad. 

read krystell's poem, "where I'm From"

  Photo by Anna Brody

Photo by Anna Brody

deep laureate finalist, fall 2016: michaela mccurdy

My name is Michaela. I love mystery books, unicorns, and Deep. I’m very crazy and talented. I hope you have fun reading my work. 

read michaela's story, "If I Could Change One Thing"

  Photo by Maggie Harney

Photo by Maggie Harney

deep laureate finalist, fall 2016: queen williams

I respect, care, and support all around me. I am only seen, not heard. I am very different from all. I don’t show off new shoes, clothes, or phones. I am positive most days, but not every day. I do the best I can to succeed in my goals. 

read queen's poem: "Black Lives Matter: How Can We Make It Better?"

  Photo by Anna Brody

Photo by Anna Brody

deep laureate finalist, fall 2016: nicholas walton

Oh, it’s my turn? Good. My name is Nicholas Walton, and I think it’s pretty rad that I got in this publication. Maybe it’ ll take me to a further destination. See, when I got my application I had a sort of revelation. Maybe some day, I could write stories popular around the entire nation.

read Nicholas's story, "Knock, Knock"


My name is Kionna U’Kia Rountree. I was born on September 15, 2000. I am 15 years old and in the eighth grade. I am about fearlessness, imagination, and seeing a picture in my writing to express who I am. I am about telling the world who I am. I am about telling the truth, even when I’m afraid. I am about me, myself, and I. I am kind, important, organized, neat, nice, and awesome. I am special in my own way. 




My name is Skyla Clark. I’m a girl, not a boy. Born in October, my zodiac sign is a Scorpio, and my personality is mostly about it because I’m proud. My favorite sport out of school is basketball. I like it because it’s my chance to go outside with my friends. I’m the oldest of my sisters, which I got four of them. I stay with my Momma while my Dad lives in South Carolina with my aunties, cousins, and more. 

READ skylA'S STORY, "my new neighborhood"



I’m that kid who always raises her hand and shares the answer so no one else has to. My life is primarily spent singing in the shower, dancing like no one’s watching, studying French till it hurts, and deciding whether to take a super-quick nap or practice my flute. I love writing because it lets you jump into someone’s brain and experience so-awkward-you-cringe, tear-jerking, joyful moments that make our lives worth living. That’s why I joined Deep: to share my moments with others. Some authors I practically worship are Soman Chainani, Quinn Loftis, Brandon Moll and Jessica Day George. I’ll probably write every day from now on, although not as a career (I actually want to be a professional musician!), hoping to share pieces of myself and inspire other people, too.




I started writing when I was seven. I love to write songs and books. I love to draw things that you don’t see, like unicorns and fairies. I pretend to make YouTube videos when I’m bored.


deep laureate, fall 2015: jade Davis

  Photo by Molly Hayden

Photo by Molly Hayden



My name on my birth certificate is Jade Davis. Jade is a beautiful mineral. The color, so kind. Just like my name. My name welcomes you with warm arms. I like writing very much. I have six siblings—three younger and three older. Three live in Dacula, Georgia, and three live in Savannah. I am 11 years old, almost the youngest in the class. I am the funny/act-slow one in the class. Act-slow doesn’t mean a bad thing. Act-slow actually makes people happy and makes them laugh, just like I do. My name’s Jade Davis. Call me Jade. 

Read Jade's story, "The Timeline of Jade Davis."

  Photo by Jody Wise

Photo by Jody Wise

Deep Laureate finalist, Fall 2015: Kennedy Fulton

 This is Kennedy Fulton reporting live from this paper. I am rather bubbly, quiet, and too awesome for anyone to handle. I really love Marvel, especially Captain America. My parents, Tarsha and Anthony, had me naturally birthed from Earth 616 on September 16, 2003. My favorite quote is from April Ludgate: “Time is money, money is power, power is pizza, pizza is knowledge.” 

Read Kennedy's story, "Ole Linconton."

  Photo by Jody Wise

Photo by Jody Wise

Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2015: Sanaa Simmons

 Sanaa. The name that is rarely seen or even heard. 
“Are you foreign?” they ask, constantly. 
Eventually they earn how to pronounce it, but when they do, it isn’t the same anymore. They say it in a sloppy manner, as if on purpose. 
“Wow, I would never have guessed you were from the U.S., especially the South!” they add. 
It sounds like a compliment, but doesn’t feel like one. 
Sanaa. That’s my name. So what if it’s foreign? So what if you don’t like it? I accept that. Maybe one day you will, too. 

Read Sanaa's poem, "Father."

  Photo by Jody Wise

Photo by Jody Wise

Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2015: Naomi Reyes

 Naomi Reyes: A success in progress: 

  • Meme master (Sad Pepe has been summoned.) 
  • Books and shows make me unstable (Favorite character: [dies] Naomi: [cries].) 
  • My OTP is either dead, non-existent, or too much canon. 
  • I only run for soccer. 
  • I’ve caught more Pokémon than Ash Ketchum. 
  • “May the force be equal to mass times acceleration.”—Charles Barkley

Read Naomi's poem, "Canela."

  Photo by Jody Wise

Photo by Jody Wise

Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2015: Cassandra Prescott

 My name is Cassandra Prescott. I am 13. I like softball, basketball, and soccer. My favorite colors are orange and lime green. 

Read Cassandra's poem, "Future Messiahs."


Deep Laureate, Spring 2015: Ellexus Hicks

  Photo by Maggie Harney

Photo by Maggie Harney


She’s back with more great stories, Ellexus with the crazy, sexy, cool style. I’m 13 and writing is my passion. I just love to express my feelings through my words. So enjoy!

If I weren’t a person, I would be a colorful butterfly. I love to practice drawing. I write because I love it, and I like to express my feelings. On my perfect day, I would be in Cali and advertising the place with my best friend for life.

Read Ellexus's poem, "I'm Not a Kid Any More"

  Photo by Emaia Rise

Photo by Emaia Rise

Deep Laureate Finalist, Spring 2015: Kirsten Jones


Kirsten is a 14-year-old born on August 15, 2000. She has a passion for writing, singing, and reading. She has a fearless desire to write from the heart about truths. This is her second semester in Deep, and she is sad that it is going to end. She will never forget the people who took their time to help her grow as a writer.

Read Kirsten's story, "Father's Love"

  Photo by Emaia Rise

Photo by Emaia Rise

Deep Laureate Finalist, Spring 2015: Justin Mitchell


You know my name
You’ve seen it before
I’ve completed Deep once and I’m back for more
Read my stuff and open your eyes
because when you see what I wrote
you’ll be surprised

Read Justin's poem, "Statistic"

  Photo by Emaia Rise

Photo by Emaia Rise

Deep Laureate Finalist, Spring 2015: Amelia Moorshead


I am a feminist and animal activist.
Love has no judgment and
neither do I. My name is
Amelia, nothing special,
nothing rare. But, I’m still
important, special, rare. There
is no one else on the earth like me

Read Amelia's poem, "#QUEEN"

Deep Laureate, fall 2015: 

Carolina Guerrero

  Photo by Brad Michael

Photo by Brad Michael


I am a 7th grader. I am 12 years old, and I want to be a journalist. My favorite thing to do is to be with my family.

Read Carolina's essay, "Maria."

Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2015: Patrice Wright

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I am smart, brave, and funny. I feel very special.

I was born December 16, 2000. I was raised in Savannah, Georgia. I would like to be a college student at Savannah State University (go Lady Tigers!). Or I would like to be a singer and the Next Big Thing.

My grandfather inspired me with his sweet ways. He is very special to me. He was a very wonderful man. He died October 8, 2013. He is my hero! 

Read Patrice's poem, "Probation and Violation"

Deep Laureate Finalist, Fall 2015:  Justin Mitchell


Hi! I attend Mercer Middle. I am 13 years old. I am fun, hilarious, and outgoing. My favorite color is Justin, and my favorite food is hot wings, even though they give me gas. I’m-a sure to make you think while I’m having a drink. Enjoy my reading and tell your friends. 

READ Justin's POEMs, "school" and "Breathe."

DEEP LAUREATE FINALIST, Fall 2015:  Sophie Healey





I'm a universally known secret. I'll tell you a little but never all. I will leave you full of curiosity. After all, curiosity will inspire you to do so much more than you thought.

READ Sophie's piece, "Tick, Tick, Tick and It's Gone."

Photography provided by Leif Carlson and Casey Hauser