Members of the Lincoln Academy Honors English Class read excerpts from their short stories at the 7th Annual Bard Short Story Coffee House on March 27. From left: Alton Coolidge, Conrad Kortemeier, Evelyn White, Sage Kosky, and Sonny Cumming

By Olivia Stiles ’22

On the night of March 27th of 2019, the Dining Commons at Lincoln Academy was lit up with elegant decorations to set the mood for the sophisticated short stories to be read by the freshman Honors English students taught by Ms. Patti Sims. While some stories were about happier instances such as dancing and sticking up for yourself, others touched on subjects like death and isolation. Wednesday night was the 7th Annual Bard House Short Story Coffee Hour and it was one of the most powerful events yet.

Ninth graders Cedar Cannon, Will Sherrill, and Dominic Civittolo participated in the SHort Story Coffee House.

Ninth graders Cedar Cannon, Will Sherrill, and Dominic Civittolo participated in the Short Story Coffee House.

Alton Coolidge and his crew were in charge of the snacks and refreshments for the evening. People attending the Coffee Hour could help themselves to sparkling water and lemonade, as well as various flavors of tea. The snacks varied from tortilla chips and guacamole to vanilla and chocolate cupcakes to spicy wontons, which happened to be one of the most popular choices on the menu. Visitors could help themselves to whatever they liked before, after, and in between the teaser stories. A huge thank you goes out to the Lincoln Academy Kitchen Staff for allowing the class the use of their coffee, creamer, and stirs for the night.

short story marina

Marina McManus reads her short story “An Ailing Seaside” while Master of Ceremonies Andrew Lyndaker (left) looks on.

Andrew Lyndaker was the Master of Ceremony for the night, and many parents commented on how funny and entertaining they thought he was whilst introducing each of the readers for the night. One parent said that he was “extremely witty” and “didn’t fail to make the audience laugh.” Everyone can agree that having Andrew speak to everyone before and after each teaser was a wonderful addition to the already great night that made it even better. He also read a very impressive excerpt from his story that was titled “The Ridge.”

The chair of the crew in charge of designing and printing the programs was Addie Brinkler, who also read a very thought-provoking teaser of her story titled “Involuntary Manslaughter.” The crew in charge of design was led by Jazmine Balducci, who read perhaps one of the strongest short story teasers, named “Drunk Words are Sober Thoughts.” The rest of the design crew decorated the stunning banner that was put up behind the speakers. The banner has a medieval theme to it, and creatively has “story” written on it in over twenty different languages. Thank you to the art department for providing paints, paint brushes, markers, and other various supplies.

Casey Nelson and her crew were in charge of the decoration of the Dining Commons. “Beforehand, I was nervous because we seemed to have so much left, but we had a time limit. We had all the decorations divided and ready to make it easier, plus help from a few other people,” Nelson said when commenting on the preparation for the night. “After it was all done, it looked really good. Of course there weren’t too many decorations, but the lights added a cute touch and the banner behind us was beautiful.” White Christmas lights circled the columns going up the ceiling, and burned paper was exquisitely placed above the doorway into the Commons to give the room an even more elegant look. Everyone in the freshman Honors English class would like to thank Ms. Sims for buying very magnificent flowers that were placed in vases on a few of the tables, making the room look even lovelier. The freshman class would also like to personally thank Mr. Mess for allowing everyone to borrow his stools.

Olivia Stiles coffee house

The author, Olivia Stiles, reading from her short story at the Bard Short Story Coffee House.

All of the stories received lengthy applause afterwards and it seemed as though everyone in the audience was impressed with how well each of the students wrote. The stories read that night were “polished and professional, but dark,” said Ken Williams, an English teacher at Nobleboro Central School who taught some of the current ninth graders. Many, if not all, of the writers were very nervous to read their pieces in front of an audience, but all of the attendees were very supportive and seemed to enjoy the night just as much as the students did. It’s safe to safe that everyone at the event was very proud of their friends or family members, and that it was a great decision to be present at the 7th Annual Bard House Short Story Coffee Hour.

Olivia Stiles is a ninth grader and member of the Honors English 1 Class that hosted the 7th Annual Bard Short Story Coffee House on March 27.