W.Va. Department of Education to Honor Budding Writers

April 30, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. _ About 330 budding authors will be honored by the West Virginia Department of Education on Young Writers Celebration Day 2007.  

The writers, who competed in the 24th annual Young Writers Contest, will be recognized May 11 at the University of Charleston’s Riggleman Hall beginning at 9 a.m. This statewide competition recognizes and encourages writing excellence by West Virginia’s best and brightest students – from kindergartners to high school seniors.  

“Writing is one of the most important skills for academic and professional success,” West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine said. “As we prepare students for the 21st century, clear communication through writing is more important than ever for future success.”  

West Virginia author Belinda Anderson will deliver the keynote address. Her first collection of award-winning short stories, The Well Ain’t Dry Yet, was published in 2001 by Mountain State Press. Her second collection of short stories, The Bingo Cheaters, was published by Mountain State Press in 2006.  

The day’s events include the awarding of a $750 Barbara W. Walters Scholarship to a high school senior as well as recognition of county and state winners. Twenty digital cameras also will be given away. Workshops will be conducted by Anderson and fellow West Virginia authors Colleen Anderson, Sarah Sullivan and Kirk Judd. About 800 parents, teachers and students are expected to attend.  

The Young Writers Contest is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Writing Project, which is part of the effort to improve writing in America. Through its professional development model, the Writing Project builds the leadership, programs and research needed for teachers to help their students become successful writers and learners.  

For more information, contact Terry L. Reale, English/language arts coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-5325, extension 53274 or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.  

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