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W.Va. Department of Education Honors Young Writers

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May 09, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Hundreds of aspiring writers were honored Friday during the 2014 Young Writers Day at the University of Charleston. The annual statewide competition recognizes and encourages writing excellence from first grade through high school.

"Writing is one of the most important skills for academic and professional success," West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares stated. "As we prepare students, clear communication through writing is more important than ever."

Paul Epstein, Director of the West Virginia Young Writers Contest said, "As an affiliate of the National Writing Project, we are dedicated to encouraging writing in all subject areas and throughout the educational lives of all West Virginians."

The following students were the first place winners at the state level:

  • 1-2 Grade: Alayna Garst, 2nd grade, Williamstown Elementary, Wood County
  • 3-4 Grade: Sawyer Hinton, 3rd grade, Lenore Pre-K-8, Mingo County
  • 5-6 Grade: Emilee Ellison, 5th grade, Greenmont Elementary, Wood County
  • 7-8 Grade: Carmen Gutierrez, 8th grade, Mountaineer Middle, Monongalia County
  • 9-10 Grade: Georgia Beatty, 9th grade, Weir High, Hancock County
  • 11-12 Grade: Madison Martin, 11th grade, Petersburg High, Grant County

John Lilly, editor of Goldenseal Magazine and award winning singer-songwriter presented a keynote address and led a writing workshop. The day's events also included workshops by other authors from the region.

The contest is funded through an allocation in the state budget to Marshall University for the writing project, and supported by the WVDE, Marshall University Graduate College of Education and Professional Development, and the University of Charleston with additional assistance from Mountain State Press.

For more information contact Paul Epstein, Director, West Virginia Young Writers Contest at pepstein@suddenlink.net or 304-343-5074.

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