Finalists Named in Young Authors’ Contest

Salisbury, Md. – After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Reading Council (ESRC) is proud to announce its finalist in the 2018 Young Authors’ Contest. Finalists are individuals who have finished in the top three in their respective category, poetry or short story, and grade level. Each finalist in grades 2-12 submitted an original writing artifact that judged using a blind scoring method.

“This year was one of our largest contests in recent years,” ESRC President Lizanne Wallace explained as entries came in from 28 different schools, public and private. “We are blessed to have so many talented writers submit their work. It was very difficult to determine finalists in each of the categories because there were so many amazing pieces. It was a pleasure scoring entries when they are written this well.”

Finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central officer personnel are now invited to take part in the Young Authors’ Awards Reception in conjunction with the Children’s Literature Festival at Salisbury University on April 19th at 6pm in the Wicomico Room located in the Guerrier Student Union.

“Our goal is to build anticipation for each of our finalist and get everyone here to Salisbury University to celebrate student writing. The [Reading] Council wants to make this evening the Grammy’s of writing for our students,” Young Authors’ Contest co-chair Dr. Brian Cook explained as this is the first year only notifying individuals of finalist status. “This is the night where we place student authors on a pedestal for their exemplary writing ability.”

The winning work of each student will be featured in the contest’s anthology and one will be given to each finalist. Electronic versions of the anthology will be available as well.

Individuals earning finalist status are listed alphabetically by last name in each grade and category. The order shown below does not reflect the placement where student authors finished in the contest.

  • Grade 2, Poetry – Chloe Holland, Ocean City Elementary; Ben Rafinski, Worcester Prep; Benjamin Williams, Ocean City Elementary.
  • Grade 2, Short Story – Emilia McGrew, The Salisbury School; Scarlett Shimko, Worcester Prep; Rani Yonker, Worcester Prep.
  • Grade 3, Poetry – Araya Harrison, Holly Grove Christian; Lucas Swenson, North Salisbury Elementary; Anson Todd, Northwestern Elementary.
  • Grade 3, Short Story – Todd Bao, Pocomoke Elementary; Mason Catellier, North Salisbury Elementary; Luna Tapia-Martinez, Delmar Elementary.
  • Grade 4, Poetry – Katlyn Hornsby, North Salisbury Elementary; Alice Terill, The Salisbury School; Savannah Wertz, Snow Hill Middle.
  • Grade 4, Short Story – Caleb Loring, Berlin Intermediate; Maddi Luffman, Pittsville Elementary & Middle; Ayla Yonker, Worcester Prep.
  • Grade 5, Poetry – Jaidan Davis, Pocomoke Middle; Oscar Gil Leyva, Deal Island Elementary; Isaian Parker, Deal Island Elementary.
  • Grade 5, Short Story – Emaan Ehtasham, Worcester Pre; Ava O’Neal, Salisbury Christian; Jillian Watson, Salisbury Christian.
  • Grade 6, Poetry – Ethan Justice, Berlin Intermediate; Pim Noparat, Berlin Intermediate; Bree Peters, The Salisbury School.
  • Grade 6, Short Story – Richard Godwin, Salisbury Middle; Allie Jimmerson, Bennett Middle; Cameron Mason, Bennett Middle.  
  • Grade 7, Poetry – Benjamin O’Brien, The Salisbury School; Grace Pettitt, The Salisbury School; Aidan Todd, Mardela Middle & High.
  • Grade 7, Short Story – Hayley Burnside, Wicomico Middle; Jack Greenwood, Stephen Decatur Middle; Morgan Schoch, Worcester Prep.
  • Grade 8, Poetry – Gracie Bounds, Bennett Middle; Andrea Harmon, Washington High & Academy; Kiersen Thorne, Stephen Decatur Middle.
  • Grade 8, Short Story – Nicholas Benton, The Salisbury School; Myra Cropper, Worcester Prep; Kendahl Parsons, Stephen Decatur Middle.
  • Grade 9, Poetry – Raekiya Beckett, Pocomoke High; Kat McCormick, Worcester Prep; Hanna Perdue, Worcester Prep.
  • Grade 9, Short Story – Alexa Hall, Pocomoke High; Arusa Islam, Stephen Decatur High; Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High.
  • Grade 10, Poetry – Ki’Aira Dashiell, James M. Bennett High; Sophia Peters, James M. Bennett High; Devin Wallace, Worcester Pre.
  • Grade 10, Short Story – Mikayla Denault, Stephen Decatur High; Quinn McColgan, Worcester Prep; William Taylor III, James M. Bennett High.
  • Grade 11, Poetry – Eunice Huesca, Stephen Decatur High; Allison Hunter, Stephen Decatur High, Emily Malinowski, Stephen Decatur High.
  • Grade 11, Short Story – Lucy Adelizzi, James M. Bennett High; Zoe Bradshaw, Mardela Middle & High; Allison Warrington, James M. Bennett High.
  • Grade 12, Poetry – Molly Forsythe, James M. Bennett High; Camryn Sofronski, Worcester Prep; Rachael Walker, Wicomico High.
  • Grade 12, Short Story – Jayden Overton-O’Hara, James M. Bennett High; Maddy Sherwood, James M. Bennett High; Devin Thompson, Pocomoke High.


About Eastern Shore Reading Council

Eastern Shore Reading Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the level of literacy in the lower three counties (Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  It promotes quality literacy instruction by: supporting the mission of the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council and International Literacy Association, disseminating best literacy practices to educators and parents, advocating for literacy issues through legislation and collaborating with educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses.

The group is active in the Lower Eastern Shore communities supporting literacy initiatives and individuals who have sparked a passion for reading. The group is made up primarily of K-12 educators (both current and retired) from public and private schools across Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore as well as individuals active in the higher education community

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