Sassafras members celebrate with winning Youth writers. See winning works here.
BY B. JOAN WILSON
Parents, teachers, relatives, and local writers watched as eleven young writers received awards for their winning entries in the Sassafras Literary Exchange Youth Writing Contest on Wednesday evening at the Pickens County Library. The high quality of the entries resulted in an unprecedented three way tie for third place and five honorable mentions.
A panel of nine judges selected the eleven winners from more than 250 entries that were submitted by students attending Jasper Middle School, Pickens County Middle School, Pickens County High School, and Wildwood Christian Academy. The annual contest is open to all middle and high school students in Pickens County including home school students.
The winners are:
FIRST PLACE: GINNY MORRIS PICKENS COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
SECOND PLACE: KATY GUIDER WILDWOOD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
FIRST PLACE: JACKSON MELTON WILDWOOD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
SECOND PLACE: NINA DYKES PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
THIRD PLACE BAILEY STEWART JASPER MIDDLE SCHOOL
THIRD PLACE DILION SHELTON PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
THIRD PLACE: KATELEN BECK PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
LAURA HENKE PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
MCKENNA KEMP PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
DANIELLE O’DELL PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
GRACE TOPPER PICKENS COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
CAITLIN SHIPMAN JASPER MIDDLE SCHOOL
The theme for this year’s contest was “Being a Teen”. Alan Gibson, the emcee for the evening, asked members of the Sassafras Literary Exchange to share with the audience the moment as a teenager when he or she was influenced to become a writer. Those moments ranged from a classic movie that provided the motivation to become a playwright, to an English teacher who could foresee exciting new worlds for her students, to a picture of an opulent, royal room, to another picture of a sophisticated writer, to a lifetime of inspirational moments.
It was obvious to the judges that whatever the motivation these eleven winners, as well as many of the other entrants, are inspired and talented writers. All the members of the Sassafras Literary Exchange wish to thank the teachers and parents who encouraged students to pursue their writing interest through this contest and the Pickens County Library for providing a venue for the awards ceremony.
The winners were also given a year’s free membership in the Sassafras Literary Exchange.
The Sassafras Literary Exchange is a non-profit organization that promotes creative writing among its members and adults and young people throughout Pickens County. Both the Youth Writing Contest and the Adult Writing Contest are sponsored by the Sassafras Literary Exchange. All members of the audience were invited to attend one of the Sassafras Literary Exchange meetings that are held on the first Monday of each month at the Sharp Top Arts Association Building at 7:00 PM. The next regular meeting will be help on January 7, 2013. All meetings are open to the public.