Beau Donovan

Seventh-grader Beau Donovan won the contest with his horror story about butter. 

It started as an extra-credit assignment at Ingleside Middle School. Mr. Clauss’ seventh grade class had an opportunity to write a short story for the Behind the Vision Contest – and Beau Donovan took the opportunity. He’s now a published author. 

Beau won first place in the short story category for Behind the Vision’s 2021-2022 The Next Generation: Middle School and High School Contest – and his piece is published in a book of the same name, now available on Amazon.

According to his family, Beau comes from a long lineage of writers, including Robert Burns and Olive Ann Burns. Robert Burns was a famous Scottish poet and lyricist, most known for writing “Auld Land Syne,” the famous song typically sung on New Year’s Day. Olive Ann Burns, who sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Amy Larking, penned the famous novel Cold Sassy Tree, published in 1984. Beau hopes to publish his own book someday and continue his family’s writing legacy.

“It feels great,” Beau said in response to winning the writing contest. “Just the idea of being in a published book is crazy to me.”

With the help and encouragement of his English teacher and his parents, Beau entered the contest with a short piece called “Butter,” a uniquely creative horror story centered around the dairy product as the main protagonist. The story stood out and landed him first place. 

“I did it for the extra credit,” Beau added. “I wasn’t expecting to win.”

Behind the Vision was founded by Christopher Moreton to give aspiring writers the ability to expand outside of their comfort zones and offer an opportunity to get published. 

“I hope that Behind the Vision can serve as an ally to the writing community and give writers across the nation new opportunities,” Moreton said. 

Behind the Vision is for writers of all ages, but Beau’s contest was strictly for middle and high school students. There were four categories: romance, sci-fi, mystery and horror.  

“It is a major point of pride for our school,” Principal Junior Michael said. “One of the reasons we celebrate Beau’s achievement is because it serves as an example for our entire campus, and I am confident his teachers have greatly impacted Beau’s writing ability.”

Michael added that Mr. Clauss was responsible for Beau’s recognition from the school. 

“Mr. Clauss works with Beau and the rest of the students to instill the passion he has for reading, writing and all things literature,” Michael said. 

Beau was also recognized at one of the recent SUSD Governing Board meetings. He was joined by Michael, Mr. Clauss, and his family to celebrate his accomplishment during the meeting.