Finalists Named in annual Young Authors’ Contest

Finalist PostcardSalisbury, Md. – Talented students writers continue to shine showcasing a plethora of descriptive language, rhyme schemes, and emotions towards social issue current in today’s society in the Eastern Shore Literacy Association’s (ESLA) annual Young Authors’ Contest. After hours of scoring and deliberating on the talented student artifacts, ESLA is proud to announce its finalist in the 2021 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.

“Being most of our local schools transitioned to virtual learning, we were very nervous as to whether students would continue to submit entries at the same volume as the past,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Chair Dr. Brian Cook explained as entries came in from 22 different schools, public, private, and homeschools. “We have been fortunate to have been laying the groundwork for many years improving the elements of the contest where many of our students and teachers are geared towards supporting the Young Authors’ Contest year in year out. It made a huge difference as many of our regular teachers continued supporting the contest through the pandemic, but we also found a lot of different schools submitting entries as well this year, which speaks volumes about prestige about the contest.

As expected, finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central officer personnel will be experiencing a different type of awards ceremony this year to support the safety of all involved.

“We are disappointed we cannot come together at Salisbury University like past years because it is a very special evening for our finalists. Walking the grounds of historic Holloway Hall and students hearing their name as they are called to walk across the stage to get their award and photograph taken is fantastic experiences for our young writers,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Co-Chair Lizanne Wallace stated about past award ceremonies. “Many families and school personnel have given us high compliments and told us how impactful the experience has been for their students.”

In support of local health department guidelines, the Young Authors’ Contest will not be coming together in a large group setting to present the awards. Instead, the traditional finalist postcards will be sent to finalists and awards will be delivered to school principals in late-February. ESLA will communicate with school principals asking them to handout student awards the best manner they see fit.

The winning work of each student will be featured in a digital anthology that will be available online in March. 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

Local winners included the following students:

*Grade 1, Poetry – Charlize Nayla Damouni (Worcester Preparatory); Juniper Negrete (Ocean City Elementary).

Grade 1, Short Story – Isabella Brueckner (Worcester Preparatory); Connor Davidson (The Salisbury School); Brayden Wood (The Salisbury School).

*Grade 2, Poetry – Serena Jaoude (Worcester Preparatory)

Grade 2, Short Story – Madelyn A. Bobenko (Worcester Preparatory); Ella Goebel (The Salisbury School); Ananya Patel (The Salisbury School)

Grade 3, Poetry – Arden Catron (Homeschool); Lea Jaoude (Worcester Preparatory); Samantha G. Martinenza (North Salisbury Elementary).

Grade 3, Short Story – Reese Bradford (Glen Avenue); Jeremy Quan (North Salisbury Elementary); Grace Wheately (Deal Island Elementary)

Grade 4, Poetry – Adam Burgman (The Salisbury School); Ari Clin (The Salisbury School); Lily Gilchrist (The Salisbury School)

Grade 4, Short Story – Elias Baldridge (Ocean City Elementary); Addison Gibbs (The Salisbury School); Brynlee Waters (Ocean City Elementary).

Grade 5, Poetry – Ewan Catron (Homeschool); Nathan LesCallet (Deal Island Elementary); Ellie Phillips (Worcester Preparatory)

Grade 5, Short Story – Monica Echard (Deal Island Elementary); Ryan Shipp (Worcester Prep); Rani Yonker (Worcester Preparatory).

*Grade 6, Poetry – Gabriella Damouni (Worcester Preparatory); Macy Rae Miles (Somerset Intermediate).

**Grade 6, Short Story – Chloe Gilchrist (The Salisbury School); Mia Jaoude (Worcester Preparatory); Charlotte Malone (Salisbury Middle); Ruby Manos (Berlin Intermediate).

Grade 7, Poetry – Adelaide Hope Dawkins (Stephen Decatur Middle); Marina Farlow (Stephen Decatur Middle); Abigail Saulitis (Salisbury Middle); Savvy Aralyn Wertz (Snow Hill Middle).

Grade 7, Short Story – Jude Roger Damouni (Worcester Prep); Allie Suarezapecheche (Snow Hill Middle); Savvy Aralyn Wertz (Snow Hill Middle).

Grade 8, Poetry – Alana Duffy (Bennett Middle); Ziann Franklin (Pocomoke Middle); Johanna Hallman (Stephen Decatur Middle); Jessica Thomas (Bennett Middle).

Grade 8, Short Story – Brooke C. Berquist (Stephen Decatur Middle); Landon Schul (Worcester Preparatory); Carter Sollars (Bennett Middle).

Grade 9, Poetry – Daniela Carrasco (Stephen Decatur High); Sara Freih (Worcester Preparatory); Fiora Hogan (The Salisbury School); Madilyn Nechay (Worcester Preparatory).

Grade 9, Short Story – Hannah Bree Campbell (Stephen Decatur High); Sloane Gould (Snow Hill High); Logan Oluvic (Salisbury Christian); Mariah Robertson (The Salisbury School).

Grade 10, Poetry – Brendon Dunne (Snow Hill High); Anahi Enriquez-Moreno (Pocomoke High); Emily Garlock (James M. Bennett High).

Grade 10, Short Story – Breanne Ferguson (Stephen Decatur High); Henna Parmar (James M. Bennett High); Merin Thomas (James M. Bennett High).

Grade 11, Poetry –Cristina Avanessian (James M. Bennett High); Maya Matava (James M. Bennett High); Lillee Covington (Snow Hill High).

Grade 11, Short Story – Shannon Cottingham (Mardela Middle & High); Rosy Gao (James M. Bennett High); Jake Gillespie (Stephen Decatur High); Katie Mitchell (James M. Bennett High)

Grade 12, Poetry – Lanie Gladding (Pocomoke High); Sophia Smith (James M. Bennett High); Lydia Woodley (Stephen Decatur High)

*Grade 12, Short Story – Lydia Woodley (Stephen Decatur High).

*Indicates category did not have three finalists.

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

About the Eastern Shore Literacy Association

ESLA is a non-profit organization that supports Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties with the purpose of promoting a literate society by bringing together a network of people dedicated to sharing knowledge and information about literacy through programs and services. ESLA, is an affiliate of the State of Maryland Literacy Association (SoMLA), a leading literacy organization in Maryland comprised of over 1,500 members in 17 active chapters.


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