Note from the Editors: Spring 2024

Rebecca Colby and Sophie Rose Riopel

Hello readers!
These past few months, UTM has been busy hosting several contests for flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. The winners and finalists of these contests are published in this issue, Issue 6! We partnered with the Poetry Society of New Hampshire over the summer for the Charles Simic Tribute Poetry Contest, judged by our Editor-in-Chief and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary. Teen author Samuel Samba (Nigeria) was the winner with “Language is a thankless service." Finalists for this contest were Emily Jarecke (Ohio, USA) and Xinyu Liang (China). This fall, UTM hosted a short fiction contest and a street poetry contest. 
In the short fiction contest, teen author Pamela Erhiakeme (Nigeria) placed first with their piece, “A Body Art Exhibit." Here's an excerpt from what contest judge Maryellen Groot (USA) had to say about Pamela Erhiakeme's story:
"She couldn’t describe love because she knew what it was; I couldn’t describe love because I didn’t know what it was,” writes the author of A Body Art Exhibit. This first-place winner expertly captures the manner in which trauma remains with us, not just on our bodies, but in our hearts and minds. Using strong, memorable dialogue and an impressive, sustained second-person narration combined with a rich-voiced first, they transport us directly into each pathos-driven scene to convey the heavy expectations placed on first-generation immigrants. The result is an extended conversation in which a haunting and inevitable question emerges: why? Fega’s mother, her abuser, understands this query but cannot confront it. The best she can do is offer a cup of water. This story poignantly depicts the experience of family trauma and how we are often closest to those who wound us most. Though hope for Fega may be waning at this story’s conclusion, it is notably present, and her voice remains ever-vibrant, rebellious, and full of admirable ferocity."
In our fiction contest, Asia Chey (South Korea) received second place for "Frensia" and Rue Huang (Pennsylvania, USA) rounded off our winners of the short fiction contest with their not-to-be-missed piece, “Woman Accidentally Joins Search Party Looking For Herself."
We also ran a brand-new kind of writing contest, inspired by Alexandria's encounter with contest judge, Javier Eye and his typewriter in a park in Madrid the summer of 2023. In our Street Poetry Contest, Kyo Lee (Canada) placed first with “Manic Pixie Dreams." Here's what contest judge Javier Eye (Spain) had t say about Kyo Lee's poem:
"I found it very attractive at first look, even before reading it. The way the author uses the spaces of the composition makes it appetizing. Rhyme is present, but it is a far cry from being repetitive,  unlike some classical poetry (with all due respect ). With 'Manic Pixie Dreams,' we are in front of a more imperfect rhyme, not a perfect chain of rhyme; this poem uses more than just the logical hemisphere of the brain. Art is something we do for connecting and making an effect in the external world; it must be a love gesture. So I appreciate that this poem had that destiny."
Two amazing writers also received recognition in the Street Poetry Contest. Avril Shakira Villar (Philippines) placed second with “Silent Verse," and Melinda Wang (California, USA) placed third with “Chicken and the Egg."
Thank you to our judges and partners, as well as all of the authors who submitted work! We are so happy to read your work.
We (managing editors Sophie Rose Riopel and Rebecca Colby) are proud to announce the publication of Issue 6 on behalf of all of our staff and authors. This issue includes a wide array of work from different teens across the world, their stories, their emotions, and their imagination. As always, we aim to promote youth voices and perspectives through literature. 
Thank you to all of our readers and supporters, as well as the authors who submitted their work. You are the foundation of our magazine, and we are grateful to you for taking a chance and submitting your work to UTM.
At Under the Madness, we are grateful for the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation as well as Salem State University for the amazing support that makes our work possible.
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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!