| About Katherine Yu
If the unusual short story that captured first place in this year's teen category leaves readers feeling they've taken a stroll through someone's mind, it's no mistake.
Author Katherine Yu calls her narrative approach the "field guide" method, and her "How to Solve a Rubik's Cube" is nothing short of a vivid journey through an encounter between person and puzzle.
For Yu, a 14-year-old Gunn High School freshman, winning the competition was a psychological trip in itself.
"I was really surprised. I didn't think the topic was that interesting. It wasn't very focused," she said.
The story took three weeks to write.
"I started with the steps for learning how to solve it. And then I made it a story over days," she said.
Yu didn't base her writing solely on her own experience with the cube.
"I watched other people try to solve it," she said. Some people thought that if they could make all the squares on one side of the cube to match, the whole puzzle would be solved.
"They'd get really surprised when it didn't work," said Yu, whose own best time at figuring out the cube is a scant two minutes.
To develop the final story, Yu added clues and scientific terminology.
Yu learned the field-guide technique this past summer, as a creative non-fiction student at the Center for Talented Youth at The John Hopkins University. She also studied chemistry.
When not writing creative non-fiction, Yu enjoys playing club soccer and the viola. Her favorite book is "Catcher in the Rye."
Might more writing be part of Yu's future career? Perhaps.
"I like so many things; it's hard to choose," she said.
But one thing she admits to seeing herself doing is science.
Mr. Rubik would be proud.