Local youth earn accolades in 14th annual Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest

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To recognize and encourage the talents of literary artists, the Arts Council of Westerville, the Westerville Public Library, and ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion newspaper invited writers of all ages to be a part of the Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest. The contest calls upon writers to share their works and is conducted as part of the annual celebration of the arts in Westerville during April. This is the 14th year for the contest.

Beginning in January, writers submitted their entries to artscouncilwesterville@gmail.com according to five categories arranged by age or grade in school: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12 and Adults ages 18 and older. The submissions were required to be original works of 800 words or less. Any genre was eligible: poetry, free verse, short story and others. This year, writers turned in 178 entries. The winners were informed April 2.

First place winners in each category will have the honor of seeing their entry published in an issue of ThisWeek Westerville newspaper. First-, second-, third-place and honorable mention entries in each age category will be published online at www.ThisWeekNews.com/Westerville. Because all approved entries are printed in a compilation book, each writer becomes a published author. The 20 winners receive a complimentary copy of the book thanks to the support of the Friends of the Westerville Public Library. A copy is purchased by the library and made available for checkout.

Normally, finalists and their families gather at a reception in April to find out how they placed in the contest, receive their awards, read aloud their works and have their photos taken for publication by the newspaper. This year, each finalist provided a personal photo for the newspaper



(Schools noted for winning Westerville City School District students)


Category: Grades K-2

1st Place: Alice Schott, “How to Make a Friend” (Mark Twain)

2nd Place: Camden Mercurio, “Mario’s Awesome, Super Cool, Epic, and Original Book!” (Hanby)

3rd Place:  Lucy Walk, “The Bat and the Cat” (Pointview)                

Honorable Mention: Jacky Herbert, “The Electronic” (Whittier)                                                          

Category: Grades 3-5

1st Place: Hallie Parker, “The Mystery at Lakeside Manor” (Annehurst)                               

2nd Place: Katie Ann Bush, “The Revolutionary Time Shift”                                                          

3rd Place: Daniel Guevara, “The Triangle” (Fouse)                                                               

Honorable Mention: Rylee Horjus, “Mermaid’s Nightmare” (Huber Ridge)

Category: Grades 6-8

1st Place: Olivia Wood, “The House was Home”                                                                               

2nd Place: Daria Lesmerises, “The Statue” (Genoa)                                                                         

3rd Place: Aziz Bah, “Fire Fire!!”                                                                                                       

Honorable Mention: Claire Kester, “My Hair”                                                                                              

Category: Grades 9-12

1st Place:  Micaiah Vinson, “Paper Boats”                                                                                                    

2nd Place: Elisa Thompson, “The Archeologist” (Westerville North)             

3rd Place: Amanda Hurt, “Seen and Unseen” (Westerville Central)                                                 

Honorable Mention: Cori Bohan, “The Art of the I Can” (Westerville North)                                              

Category: Adults Ages 18 & up

1st Place: Kim Freeman, “Alma’s Walk”                                                                                                          

2nd Place: Hannah Haines, “When the South Wind Blows”                                                                          

3rd Place: Alyssa Chivington, “The Flight Attendant”                                                                                 

Honorable Mention: Isabel Berrios-Brown, “La Noche de San Juan”