San Diego teen's essay wins prestigious writing award

Essay 'Abyss' chronicles teen's struggles

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego 13-year-old is headed to New York City to accept a prestigious writing award once won by young literary giants like Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike.

U-T San Diego reports Maya Little-Sana's disquieting but hopeful memoir essay has earned her a National Scholastic Art and Writing Award.

The essay, titled "Abyss," chronicles the teen's struggle to find happiness despite dealing with depression, anorexia, bullying and self-mutilation.

Little-Sana chronicles in harrowing detail the despair that drove her to attempt suicide, and the girls she met in counseling who taught her how to cut herself with razors, leaving her limbs marred with scars.

More than 230,000 applicants from grades 7 to 12 submitted work in 28 categories, with about 1,600 earning the Gold Medal nationally.

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