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Maryland Young Writers' Contest Winners Announced

Baltimore's Child and CityLit Project are proud to announce the winners of the first annual Maryland Young Writers' Contest.  Nearly 400 entries were submitted from around the state in both prose and poetry categories across high school, middle school, and elementary school age groups.  First, second, and third place winners for each age group are listed below.

All winners were acknowledged in the May issue of Baltimore's Child and receive a congratulatory certificate in the mail.  In addition, several writers elected to read his or her winning piece at CityLit Festival, Baltimore's premiere public event in celebration of literature.  First Place winners had their complete winning submission published in Baltimore's Child and received free registration to the Maryland Writing Project's Student Writers' Workshop Summer Program.

At right, Zaynab Gholston, 10, reads her short story "Petunias," which won second place in the Elementary School Prose category.



#1 Alley Art Gallery by Emily Blackner
Perry Hall High School (Age 16, Grade 11)

#2 Cat and Mouse by Derek Siegel
Towson High School (Age 15, Grade 10)

#3 Listening Is Part of Healing by Dominique L. Kunciw
Worcester Preparatory School (Age 17, Grade 12)


#1 I Am by Larry D. Tucker, Jr.
Edgewood High School (Age 18, Grade 12)

#2 To the Little Boy at the Bus Stop I Pass Every Morning by Emma Savannah Fesperman
Towson High School (Age 16, Grade 12)

#3 Out Bound by Marisa Balatico
Baltimore School for the Arts (Age 14, Grade 9)


#1 Untitled/Jerry Character by Samantha Thomas
Brunswick Middle School (Age 13, Grade 8)

#2 The Tarasque: A Mummers Play for the Winter Solstice by Megan Philippi
The Park School of Baltimore (Age 13, Grade 7)

#3 Untitled/Lissy Character by Jamie Prendergast
Brunswick Middle School (Age 14, Grade 8)


#1 The “It” Poem by Olivia Goldstein
Bel Air Middle School (Age 13, Grade 7)

#2 Swing by Eva L. Schneiderman
The Park School of Baltimore (Age 11, Grade 6)

#3 Sunset on Assateague by Jamie Welch
Worcester Preparatory School (Age 13, Grade 7)


#1 Magenta Wrangler by Kayli Balin
Rodgers Forge Elementary School (Age 10, Grade 5)

#2 Petunias by Zaynab Gholston
Home Schooled (Age 10, Grade 5)

#3 My Strega Nonna by Anjali Clara Bucci
Cromwell Valley Elementary School (Age 9, Grade 4)


#1 The Edge of the World by Ishaan Dey
Hollifield Station Elementary School (Age 9, Grade 3)

#2 Winter Dreams by Sierra Bell Pasch
Home Schooled (Age 10, Grade 5)

#3 I Love Me by Azemiah Kincheloe
Leith Walk Elementary School (Age 9, Grade 4)


Elissa Brent Weissman is the author of two novels for 8-12-year olds, Standing for Socks and The Trouble with Mark Hopper.  She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and the Roehampton University Children's Literature program.  A member of the CityLit Project board of directors, Weissman has taught writing to children, teens, and adults in Baltimore, New York, and London. 


Julie Fisher is the founder of She thinks Baltimore's poetry scene is outstanding, and considers the practice of writing poetry somewhere between self involvement and a spiritual exercise. Her work has been published in Baltimore Sun, Attic, Manorborn, Octopus Dreams Anthology One and, very shortly, in an anthology by Goldfish Press to benefit Heifer International.  

Congratulations to all of this year's winners.  The Maryland Young Writers' Contest was so well received that another contest will be held later this year.  Keep an eye out for it and spread the word.

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