‘Back in Person’ as YA Winners Announced

Salisbury, Md. – The joy of coming together in celebration occurred at The Salisbury School as finalists in the Eastern Shore Literacy Association’s (ESLA) annual Young Authors’ Contest gathered for an evening filled smiles and awards. After a one-year hiatus, finalists who finished in the top three in their respective category, poetry or short story, and grade level got a chance to walk across the stage.

“It’s felt like forever since our last face-to-face event,” Brian Cook, co-chair, explained. “With COVID restrictions always changing, we were unsure whether we were going to be able to host this year’s event. We are grateful to the hospitality of The Salisbury School for all they have done to support this event through the years, but especially this year as it’s our first year back face-to-face.”

Author Claudia Friddell greeted students and shared about her challenges as a writer during her keynote.

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 May.

Local winners included the following students:

Grade CategoryPlaceNameTitleSchool
Grade 1 Poetry1Jonas GiskaWavesBuckingham Elementary
 2Samuel BowmanMoonThe Salisbury School
 3Cole ParsonsBlueThe Salisbury School
Grade 1 SS1Carter JusticeWe Had Our Day at the PoolOcean City Elementary
 2Madison WilsonThe Three Lost KittensThe Salisbury School
 3Rhett GeigerThe Test of the Dragon GemOcean City Elementary
Grade 2 Poetry1Charlize Nayla DamouniMy Colorful Family TreeWorcester Preparatory School
 2Geoffrey SillsMe and My Pet CrocodileSnow Hill Elementary
 3Rylin MoyerThe SnakeSnow Hill Elementary
Grade 2 SS1Neil MurarkaLast LeafThe Salisbury School
 2Alexander PopeOne Leaf AloneThe Salisbury School
 3Grant MessnerBok Bok ChickenWorcester Preparatory School
Grade 3 Poetry1Serena JaoudeSpace PlaceWorcester Preparatory School
 2Ally GrayWanna Be a CowgirlNorth Salisbury Elementary
 3Claire HakeemDeep Dark DreamNorth Salisbury Elementary
Grade 3 SS1Rodolphe CrevecoeurSchool ApocalypseWorcester Preparatory School
 2Will PellingerNinjasBuckingham Elementary School
 3-tieAubrey WomerMy Beautiful YardWillards Elementary School
 3-tieDarshan JothivelSweet DreamsNorth Salisbury Elementary
Grade 4 Poetry1Aubrey FritschleSea WingsThe Salisbury School
 2Colette CampbellWaking UpThe Salisbury School
 3Matthew Kuna-NetoBaseball BatThe Salisbury School
Grade 4 SS1Caroline AucheyHoliday GiftThe Salisbury School
 2Estelle Ashby DamouniBreathe AgainWorcester Preparatory School
 3Anissa DemoLixxie’s Bad Hair DayOcean City Elementary
Grade 5 Poetry1DD PopeThe BookThe Salisbury School
 2Isobel E. PeggThe CircleNorth Salisbury Elementary
 3Elodie BoundsMy Sad Lost PoemThe Salisbury School
Grade 5 SS1Elias BaldridgeTrouble With ToothpasteBerlin Intermediate School
 2-tieBrynlee A. WatersA Day With My ElfBerlin Intermediate School
 2-tieRuby M. LudwickMysterious Cottage on Cliff EerieSt. Francis De Sales Catholic School
 3-tieEllie WellsGotcha!Berlin Intermediate School
 3-tieReid MilesThe Witness of the Main in the Red CoatDeal Island School
Grade 6 Poetry1Ellie PhillipsIntricate FallWorcester Preparatory School
 2-tieSkyla MillerThe ThreadBerlin Intermediate School
 2-tieHarper HalfpapThe WatcherSt. Francis De Sales Catholic School
 3-tieJoshua TerreroBest Trip EverSt. Francis De Sales Catholic School
 3-tieStefan MichevThe RainBerlin Intermediate School
Grade 6 SS1Catrina DonmoyerShadowBerlin Intermediate School
 2Aberle BuntingOllie the Octopus “Not weird, UNIQUEBerlin Intermediate School
 3-tieMiralena SmithChains EndHomeschool
 3-tiePaul KraeuterMountain AdventureHomeschool
Grade 7 Poetry1Libby DonowayWill I Ever See TomorrowThe Salisbury School
 2Amaya SanchezSummer RainSt. Francis De Sales Catholic School
 3Aaliyah McKenzieFalse GuiltSomerset Intermediate
Grade 7 SS1Kalen LinFliehenPocomoke Middle
 2Conan GeigerUnderworld in the SkyStephen Decatur Middle
 3-tieSydney Rebekah ParkerI Can Remember When Starting Middle SchoolWorcester Preparatory School
 3-tieLily SperryThe Vast OceanStephen Decatur Middle School
Grade 8 Poetry1Marina FarlowSilenceStephen Decatur Middle School
 2Adelaide Hope DawkinsDancing LightsStephen Decatur Middle School
 3Gracie JohnsonShe Misses ItSt. Francis De Sales Catholic School
Grade 8 SS1Ayla YonkerThis CloseWorcester Preparatory School
 2Leah Rodriguez-GarciaThe BullSt. Francis De Sales Catholic School
 3Bella MasoneGolden HandThe Salisbury School
Grade 9 Poetry1  Jackson FernleyBlessed Behind Clouded WindowsWorcester Preparatory School
 2Diva ShresthaLiving PurposeJames M. Bennett High
 3Lydra SchwartzUntitled PoemWorcester Preparatory School
Grade 9 SS1Emmalyn FettersOnline LoveStephen Decatur High
 2Allen ZhangFull CircleWorcester Preparatory School
 3Megan MitchellThe English ProjectJames M. Bennett High
Grade 10 Poetry1Abbi WeeksThe CardinalStephen Decatur High
 2Emily O’BrienThe MoonThe Salisbury School
 3-tieSloane GouldAtlasSnow Hill High
 3-tieHannah Bree CampbellSubconsciousStephen Decatur High
Grade 10 SS1Hannah Bree CampbellThe Only Earthly Thing More Powerful than Life is DeathStephen Decatur High
 2Abbi WeeksDot & WormyStephen Decatur High
 3Larissa FurnissToo Far GoneJames M. Bennett High
Grade 11 Poetry1Jessica BeckHeart of a LionStephen Decatur High
 2Kathy ZhangI Want to FlyWorcester Preparatory School
 3Madelyn GrinnanI, Too Have AnxietyStephen Decatur High
Grade 11 SS1Emily LeonEye ContactThe Salisbury School
 2Kylie RaffensbergerEmpty HouseStephen Decatur High
 3Mia StubblebineOlder Bros ProtectorStephen Decatur High
Grade 12 Poetry1Lindsay Birckhead-MortonChanges in DesignSnow Hill High
 2Katie MitchellThings We RememberJames M. Bennett High
Grade 12 SS1Psalm GordubeWrapped Around His FingertipsPocomoke High
 2Ryder London MyrickMountainThe Salisbury School
 3Noelgens JeuneUnwanted LoveJames M. Bennett High

**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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