Finalist Named in Young Authors’ Contest

Salisbury, Md. – After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Literacy Association (ESLA) is proud to announce its finalist in the 2020 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 1-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method.

“We continue to get high quality of entries year in and year out,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Chair Brian Cook explained as entries came in from 24 different schools, public, private, and homeschools. “We are fortunate to have many of our Eastern Shore schools putting an emphasis on student writing. Both the students and teachers’ efforts are making it more and more difficult each year to determine finalist because the quality of writing continually gets better.”

Finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central officer personnel are now invited to take part in the Young Authors’ Awards Reception at Salisbury University in the Holloway Hall Auditorium, located on the first floor, on March 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm.

“We hope to continue the tradition we started two years ago of building anticipation in each of our finalist and get everyone here to Salisbury University to celebrate student writing. We feel last year’s turnout in Holloway Hall was topnotch, and we want to continue making this evening the ‘Grammy’s of Writing’ for our students,” Young Authors’ Contest co-chair Lizanne Wallace explained. “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 1, Poetry –  Serena Jaoude, Worcester Preparatory.

*Grade 1, Short Story – Ava Gibbs, The Salisbury School; Luke Holder, The Salisbury School.

Grade 2, Poetry – Madeleine Cook, Pocomoke Elementary; La’nya Randall, Glen Avenue Elementary; Isabella Rice, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 2, Short Story – Montane Kilgoe, Glen Avenue Elementary; Lily Grace Kirby, Ocean City Elementary; Anna McCormack, Ocean City Elementary.

Grade 3, Poetry – Callan Bergquist, North Salisbury Elementary; London Noelle Morton, North Salisbury Elementary; Jackson Reddish, North Salisbury Elementary.

Grade 3, Short Story – Yamose Alazy, Delmar Elementary; Elias Baldridge, Ocean City Elementary; Ellie Wells, Buckingham Elementary.

**Grade 4, Poetry – Kinzie Bunting, Worcester Preparatory; Ellie Phillips, Worcester Preparatory; Trezdon Santos, North Salisbury Elementary; Cooper Senter, North Salisbury Elementary; Avery Wiltbank, North Salisbury Elementary.

Grade 4, Short Story – Reed Luppens, North Salisbury Elementary; Ben Rafinski, Worcester Preparatory; Ryan Shipp, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 5, Poetry – Peyton Davis, North Salisbury Elementary; Lucy Gibson, Deal Island Elementary; Karsyn Pete, North Salisbury Elementary.

**Grade 5, Short Story – Peter Jin, North Salisbury Elementary; Gavin Parks, Deal Island Elementary; Charlotte Malone, North Salisbury Elementary; Madison Wheeler, Pittsville Elementary.

Grade 6, Poetry – Alex Catlin, Salisbury Middle; Adelaide Hope Dawkins, Berlin Intermediate; Hannah Taylor, Salisbury Middle.

Grade 6, Short Story – Tyler Netting, Worcester Preparatory; Sydney Todorov, Worcester Preparatory; Charles Williams, Salisbury Middle.

Grade 7, Poetry – Johanna Hallman, Stephen Decatur Middle; Josephine Palmer, Stephen Decatur Middle; Diva Shrestha, Salisbury Middle.

Grade 7, Short Story – Ava Baer, Mardela Middle and High School; Sierra Merritt, Pocomoke Middle School; Landon Schul, Worcester Preparatory.

**Grade 8, Poetry – Josh Blume, Stephen Decatur Middle; Kaiden Bonbright, The Salisbury School; Tanner Ellis, Stephen Decatur Middle; Mia Lucinda Lovitt, Stephen Decatur Middle.

Grade 8, Short Story – Pim Noparat, Stephen Decatur Middle; Ella Vilmar, Bennett Middle; Abbi Weeks, Stephen Decatur Middle.

Grade 9, Poetry – Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High; Riley Moyer, Worcester Preparatory; Emily O’Brien, The Salisbury School.

Grade 9, Short Story – Jessica Beck, Stephen Decatur High; Emily Leon, The Salisbury School; Rory Pugh, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 10, Poetry – Brooke Phillips, Worcester Preparatory; Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High; Alexis Robertson, The Salisbury School.

**Grade 10, Short Story – Shannon Cottingham, Mardela Middle and High School; Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High; Jake Gillespie, Stephen Decatur High; Madeline Umsted, Mardela Middle & High.

Grade 11, Poetry – Ki-Jhae Bull, Pocomoke High; Waverly Choy, Worcester Preparatory; Hannah Perdue, Worcester Preparatory.

Grade 11, Short Story – Jenny Chen, James M. Bennett High; Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High; Lydia Woodley, Stephen Decatur High.

Grade 12, Poetry – Marvin Mason, Pocomoke High; Devin Wallace, Worcester Preparatory; Chloe Westbrook, Pocomoke High.

*Grade 12, Short Story – Mulan Bell, James M. Bennett High.

*Indicates category did not have three finalists.

**Indicates category had a tie resulting in more than three finalists.


About Eastern Shore Literacy Association

Eastern Shore Literacy Association 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 Literacy Association 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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