Students share their life stories

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Nissa Suggs accepts her prize for third place from Steven Henderson. Photo credit: Leamarie Edwards

BYU-Idaho students gathered on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. to listen to students read memoirs about their lives on stage in the Manwaring Center Little Theater for an event called The Yarn. Thirteen students were selected by their professors to showcase their writing talents while a group played jazzy music in between speakers. The students shared stories about drowning, failed relationships, families, love and much more.

After everyone had read, the audience voted for their favorite memoir. Then Stephen Henderson, a communication professor, handed out prizes bought from Deseret Industries to the top five writers. Bradley Sallee, the first place writer, gave a short speech of thanks and remarked on how well he thought everyone did.

“It’s so nice for students to get together outside of class, and it’s even nicer for them to enjoy some good writing together,” Henderson said.

Henderson informed the audience that this event was started because his grandmother cried listening to students’ memoirs on a visit to his home as he graded. He decided in 2017 that students’ stories deserved to be appreciated by more people.

Alex Holloway, Steven Henderson, Tendai Kumire, Riley Allen, Brinley Fowler, Lois Boydell and Smith Frost pose after The Yarn is over to commemorate the effort they expended to put the event on.
Alex Holloway, Steven Henderson, Tendai Kumire, Riley Allen, Brinley Fowler, Lois Boydell and Smith Frost pose after The Yarn is over to commemorate the effort they expended to put the event on. Photo credit: Leamarie Edwards

This semester, Tendai Kumire, Lois Boydell and Brinley Fowler from the events management class taught by communication professor Ward Hicks spent months planning this event and coordinating with Henderson. They had three musicians onstage the whole time to provide music during intervals as the audience got snacks or writers were being picked for prizes.

“The music is fantastic,” said Chloe Hudman, a freshman studying communication.

This was the first time The Yarn has been held in two years due to COVID-19 but it won’t be the last. The Communication Department plans to return to holding the event every semester from now on.