Brooklyn Saternow, a student at Oswego High School, was selected as winner of the 2022 Subnivean New Writers Awards competition offered by SUNY Oswego’s internationally-known literary magazine.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Saternow said upon learning she had won and will be published in Subnivean this year.

Subnivean is read around the globe and generally publishes more experienced authors.

“Our readership is around 17,800 individuals now—and we’ve received manuscripts from writers living in 58 countries,” said English and creative writing faculty member Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, who created the magazine for her undergraduates to staff. “These awards expose my students to fresh, new voices. It was a treat for us to read poems and stories by local high-schoolers, since most of the writers we publish are already established and many have won significant awards — recently, we received a submission from a Pulitzer Prize nominee.”

Five finalists were named in the competition. In addition to Saternow, finalists included Katie Niederhoff from Liverpool, Flora Mei from Jamesville, and Rafael Jennings and Aarohi Rastogi, both from Syracuse. All five teens won mentorship, editing support, blurbs about their writing (for college applications) and the chance to be featured readers at an April event on SUNY Oswego’s campus.

Saternow also won a gift certificate to a bookstore and a $1,000 scholarship to attend SUNY Oswego as an English or creative writing major, thanks in part to the generosity of the Subnivean Endowed Fund at SUNY Oswego.

“Subnivean’s undergraduate staff was blown away by the quality of all five finalists’ writing,” Frazier said, “and moved by Brooklyn Saternow’s scholarship statement, which noted that she wanted her mother to be at ease with her decision to pursue creative writing, not struggle to make ends meet because of it. This resonated with my students, underscoring the importance of community support for any writer.”

Beyond financial support, the competition is also about boosting young writers’ skills and confidence. “Being a finalist in the Subnivean New Writers Awards and portraying the history of my origin through poetry has given me a sense of great achievement and pride,” said Rastogi, who wrote about India's 1947 separation, which also separated many families.

Finalists Jennings and Niederhoff agreed. "Writing gives us a way to share ourselves with the world, to shine through words,” Niederhoff said.

“Being a finalist is a gift I am extremely grateful for, that has brought my writing more life,” Jennings added.

Subnivean hopes to offer the New Writers Awards yearly, spotlighting and supporting young writers from the seven Central New York counties where so many SUNY Oswego students, alums, faculty and staff live.

To learn more about Subnivean, visit the magazine online.