By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

State young author awards given to county kids



People Editor

Several Green River students brought home first place and honorable mention awards from the State Young Authors Competition.

“The results for Green River are excellent. Given our small population, to have that many representative winners and honorable mentions speaks volumes for the talent and dedication of our young authors.

This is a big deal,”  Fredrick “Steve” Schwartz, Sweetwater County School District No. 2 young author’s coordinator, said.

Each district has hundreds of entries, each county then narrows that down to 39 winners who advance to state. With 23 counties in the state, a total of 897 entries could be at state for the three categories -- fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Each grade, kindergarten through 12th grade, and category had a single state winner and two honorable mentions.

“For Sweetwater County to have six state winners and seven honorable mentions is impressive considering that’s out of those 897 entries, there are only 39 winners and 78 honorable mentions,” Schwartz said. “Sweetwater County knocked it out of the park. To take home 15 percent of the first place trophies and 9 percent of the honorable mentions puts us on, if not above, par for the rest of the state.”

The state entries were judged using the same rubric the districts and counties used, including ideas, conventions, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and presentation.

“By the time they reach the state level, most of the stories have been combed through for grammatical issues and syntax. However, that still can come into play in determining a winner since all of the stories at that level all have excellent and entertaining content,” Schwartz said. “Suffice it to say, I do not envy the judges at the state level. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be determine which story is more distinguished than another. I know it sounds trite, but they literally have to choose the best out of the best.”

To Schwartz, this competition is more important than an award a child may receive because they are learning a life skill.

Writing is critical to becoming a good reader and it is the primary basis upon which a person’s work, learning and intellect will be judged. It is a type of a tool that equips people for good communication and thinking skills. Writing also enables people to express, explain and refine their ideas in a visible and permanent way. Writing is also used as a way for people to understand themselves, entertain others or preserve ideas and memories.

“Writing is one of the few things in life that is truly unlimited, and once we think the limits are met, some young budding author out there obliterates that perceived barrier and sets the bar even higher encouraging others to do the same,” Schwartz said. “A true author is never complacent, and is ever endeavoring to push their creativity beyond the status quo.” 

The student who took first place at the state competition will be recognized at the State Literacy Conference in September.

Sweetwater County results

First Place

Madelyn Cantu, “I Love My Clothes!,” first grade, nonfiction, Truman Elementary, Green River

Yuliza Vicencio-Delgadillo, “The Bloody Nose Situation,” second grade, nonfiction, Westridge Elementary, Rock Springs

Daxton Taylor, “The Best Gift from Santa!,” third grade, nonfiction, Harrison Elementary, Green River

Lily Harris, “My Home, My Zoo,” fourth grade, poetry, Harrison Elementary, Green River

Ethan Guzmen, “My First Elk!,” sixth grade, nonfiction, Monroe Intermediate School, Green River

Katelyn Moorman, “The Parlous Nature of Unreciprocated Endearment,” 12th grade, poetry, Green River High School

Honorable Mention

Vivian Murray, “The Adventures of Miss Kitty and the Missing Cupcake,” second grade, fiction, Harrison Elementary, Green River

Shane Meats, “The Dark Beneath the City,” fifth grade, fiction, Pilot Butte Elementary, Rock Springs

MyKenzy Davis, “Scream YOUR Head OFF, Check UNDER the BED, Close THE Windows, SCARY Poems TO Tell IN the DARK!,” sixth grade, poetry, Eastside Elementary

Rebecah Winward, “Inside My Head,” ninth grade, poetry, Farson-Eden High School, Farson

Jesse Madsen, “The Pent-Up Emotions of a Growing Girl,” 10th grade, poetry, Farson-Eden High School, Farson

Ashlie Gold, “Bievenidos a Costa Rica!,” 10th grade, nonfiction, Green River High School

Sarah Kropf, “Sister, Mother, Friend,” 11th grade, poetry, Green River High School

Chloee Beardsley, “The End of the Beginning,” 12th grade, nonfiction, Green River High School

Katelyn Moorman, “The Origin of Everything, but Mainly Puddles,” 12th grade, fiction, Green River High School


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