Finalists Named in annual Young Authors’ Contest

“As we moved back to face-to-face learning from being mostly virtual last year, we were nervous whether schools would place an emphasis on the contest this year,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Chair Dr. Brian Cook explained as entries came in from 24 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.”

Salisbury, Md. – Talented students writers continue to shine showcasing a plethora of descriptive language, rhyme schemes, and emotions towards social issues 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 2022 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.

ESLA is looking forward to gathering face-to-face for this year’s awards ceremony slated for March 30, 2022 at 6:30pm at The Salisbury School. Author Claudia Friddell will be the keynote speaker and have books available for purchase following the ceremony.

“We are excited to be coming together to celebrate our talented authors as it’s a very special evening for our finalists,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Co-Chair Lizanne Wallace stated. “However, we are going to need to limit our ceremony to the finalists and two guests. We know this may be disappointing to some, but we want to stay on the side of caution with the amount of people we bring together.

The winning writings of each student will be featured in a digital anthology that will be available online in April. 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 – Samuel Bowman (The Salisbury School); Jonas Giska (Buckingham Elementary); Cole Parsons (The Salisbury School).

Grade 1, Short Story – Rhett Geiger (Ocean City Elementary); Carter Justice (Ocean City Elementary); Madison Wilson (The Salisbury School).

Grade 2, Poetry – Charlize Nayla Damouni (Worcester Preparatory); Rylin Moyer (Snow Hill Elementary); Geoffrey Sills (Snow Hill Elementary).

Grade 2, Short Story – Grant Messner (Worcester Preparatory); Neil Murarka (The Salisbury School); Alexander Pope (The Salisbury School).

Grade 3, Poetry – Ally Gray (North Salisbury Elementary); Claire Hakeem (North Salisbury Elementary); Serena Jaoude (Worcester Preparatory).

**Grade 3, Short Story – Rodolphe Crevecoeur (Worcester Preparatory); Darshan Jothivel (North Salisbury Elementary); Will Pellinger (Buckingham Elementary); Aubrey Womer (Willards Elementary).

Grade 4, Poetry – Colette Campbell (The Salisbury School); Aubrey Fritschle (The Salisbury School); Matthew Kuna-Neto (The Salisbury School).

Grade 4, Short Story – Caroline Auchey (The Salisbury School); Estelle Ashby Damouni (Worcester Preparatory); Anissa Demo (Ocean City Elementary).

Grade 5, Poetry – Elodie Bounds (The Salisbury School); Isobel E. Pegg (North Salisbury Elementary); DD Pope (The Salisbury School).

**Grade 5, Short Story – Elias Baldridge (Berlin Intermediate); Ruby M. Ludwick (St. Francis De Sales Catholic); Reid Miles (Deal Island Elementary); Brynlee A. Waters (Berlin Intermediate); Ellie Wells (Berlin Intermediate).

**Grade 6, Poetry – Harper Halfpap (St. Francis De Sales Catholic); Stefan Michev (Berlin Intermediate); Ellie Phillips (Worcester Preparatory); Skyla Miller (Berlin Intermediate); Joshua Terrero (St. Francis De Sales Catholic).

**Grade 6, Short Story – Aberle Bunting (Berlin Intermediate); Catrina Donmoyer (Berlin Intermediate); Paul Kraeuter (Homeschool); Miralena Smith (Homeschool)

Grade 7, Poetry – Libby Donoway (The Salisbury School); Aaliyah McKenzie (Somerset Intermediate); Amaya Sanchez (St. Francis De Sales Catholic).

**Grade 7, Short Story – Conan Geiger (Stephen Decatur Middle); Kalen Lin (Pocomoke Middle); Sydney Rebekah Parker (Worcester Preparatory); Lily Sperry (Stephen Decatur Middle)

Grade 8, Poetry – Adelaide Hope Dawkins (Stephen Decatur Middle); Marina Farlow (Stephen Decatur Middle); Gracie Johnson (St. Francis De Sales Catholic).

Grade 8, Short Story – Bella Masone (The Salisbury School); Leah Rodriguez-Garcia (St. Francis De Sales Catholic); Ayla Yonker (Worcester Preparatory).

Grade 9, Poetry – Jackson Fernley (Worcester Preparatory); Lydra Schwartz (Worcester Preparatory); Diva Shrestha (James M. Bennett High).

Grade 9, Short Story – Emmalyn Fetters (Stephen Decatur High); Megan Mitchell (James M. Bennett High); Allen Zhang (Worcester Preparatory).

**Grade 10, Poetry – Hannah Bree Campbell (Stephen Decatur High); Sloane Gould (Snow Hill High); Emily O’Brien (The Salisbury School); Abbi Weeks (Stephen Decatur High).

Grade 10, Short Story – Larissa Furniss (James M. Bennett High); Hannah Bree Campbell (Stephen Decatur High); Abbi Weeks (Stephen Decatur High).

Grade 11, Poetry – Jessica Beck (Stephen Decatur High); Madelyn Grinnan (Stephen Decatur High); Kathy Zhang (Worcester Preparatory).

Grade 11, Short Story – Emily Leon (The Salisbury School); Kylie Raffensberger (Stephen Decatur High); Mia Stubblebine (Stephen Decatur High).

*Grade 12, Poetry – Lindsay Birckhead-Morton (Snow Hill High); Katie Mitchell (James M. Bennett High).

Grade 12, Short Story – Psalm Gordube (Pocomoke High); Noelgens Jeune (James M. Bennett High); Ryder London Myrick (The Salisbury School).

*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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