Arts and Entertainment

Young Whidbey Island writers celebrated

The Whidbey Island Writers Association recently announced the winners of the 2012 Celebrate Writing Contest for students. The young writers were honored last week at the Coupeville Library by contest coordinators Teresa McElhinny and Margaret Bendet.

The winning writers include Annabelle Schollen, Evan Suzuki, Zachary Johnson, Marissa Barber, James Mayne, Monica Dela Cruz, Katyrose Jordan, Margeaux Scholz, Max Cassee, Zach Comfort, Hannah McConnaughey, Amelia Weeks, Lawrence Javelo, Mason Velez, Connie Buckley, Bayley Gochanour, Adah Barenburg, Silas Batiste, Roman Jiles, Kelly Gruenwald, Jessica Johnson, Gabrielle Bryan, Antonia Knox, Kari Hustad, Kyrell Broyles and Marisa Etzell.

Genres for the winning entries included non-fiction, fiction/memoir and poetry. Double awards for a single entry in both Whidbey Reads and their genre went to Suzuki and Johnson. McConnaughey submitted an entry for each genre and won first place in both fiction/memoir and non-fiction categories and second place in the poetry category for her grade division.

The contest is open to all island students in grades three through 12 with divisions for grades 3 to 5, grades 6 to 8, and grades 9 to 12. There was an additional opportunity to win an award if topics related to nature, birds, or the environment, as an adjunct to the libraries’ series of programs around this year’s Whidbey Reads selection, “The Crow Planet” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt.

There were 187 entries this year, from which 24 judges selected 28 winning entries. The winners are students at Broadview Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, and Oak Harbor High schools in Oak Harbor; Coupeville Elementary and Coupeville High schools in Coupeville; Whidbey Island Academy, Whidbey Island Waldorf School, Langley Middle School and South Whidbey High School on the South End; and Columbia Virtual Academy (homeschooled in Freeland).

All the winners will receive a pencil pouch containing gift certificates or coupons generously donated by 24 various merchants from all across the island, and an anthology of local authors, which will include all the winning entries. In addition, one winner in each age division received the $25 Whidbey Reads cash prize; the first place winners in each genre and age division received a $25 cash prize; and the second place winners received a $10 cash prize.

In addition to the anthology, select entries will be posted on the Whidbey Island Writers Association website at, in the next issue of Soundings Review and in the SWHS publication The Chameleon.


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