WCPS Students Named Finalists in 2018 Young Authors’ Contest
Celebrating 23 Young Authors' Contest Finalists from Wicomico Schools! Reception April 19
Posted on 01/24/2018

After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Reading Council (ESRC) is proud to announce its finalists in the 2018 Young Authors’ Contest. Finalists are individuals who have finished in the top three in their respective category – poetry or short story – and grade level. Each finalist in grades 2-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method.

“This year was one of our largest contests in recent years,” said ESRC President Lizanne Wallace, with entries coming from 28 different public and private schools. “We are blessed to have so many talented writers submit their work. It was very difficult to determine finalists in each of the categories because there were so many amazing pieces. It was a pleasure scoring entries when they are written this well.”

Finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central office personnel are now invited to take part in the Young Authors’ Awards Reception in conjunction with the Children’s Literature Festival at Salisbury University at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 19 in the Wicomico Room located in the Guerrieri Student Union.

 “Our goal is to build anticipation for each of our finalists and get everyone here to Salisbury University to celebrate student writing. The [Reading] Council wants to make this evening the Grammys of writing for our students,” Young Authors’ Contest co-chair Dr. Brian Cook explained. This is the first year of notifying individuals of finalist status ahead of time, then announcing final placement at the April reception. “This is the night where we place student authors on a pedestal for their exemplary writing ability.”

The winning work of each student will be featured in the contest’s anthology, and an anthology will be given to each finalist. Electronic versions of the anthology will be available as well.

Students from Wicomico County Public Schools who earned finalist status are listed below, alphabetically by last name in each grade and category. The order shown below does not reflect the placement where student authors finished in the contest. For each grade level and category, there are a total of three finalists. Congratulations to all!


Young Authors’ Finalists from Wicomico County Public Schools:

Grade 3, Poetry – Lucas Swenson, North Salisbury Elementary; Anson Todd, Northwestern Elementary

Grade 3, Short Story – Mason Catellier, North Salisbury Elementary; Luna Tapia-Martinez, Delmar Elementary

Grade 4, Poetry – Katlyn Hornsby, North Salisbury Elementary

Grade 4, Short Story –Maddi Luffman, Pittsville Elementary and Middle

Grade 6, Short Story – Richard Godwin, Salisbury Middle; Allie Jimmerson, Bennett Middle; Cameron Mason, Bennett Middle

Grade 7, Poetry – Aidan Todd, Mardela Middle and High

Grade 7, Short Story – Hayley Burnside, Wicomico Middle

Grade 8, Poetry – Gracie Bounds, Bennett Middle

Grade 9, Short Story – Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High

Grade 10, Poetry – Ki’Aira Dashiell, James M. Bennett High; Sophia Peters, James M. Bennett High

Grade 10, Short Story – William Taylor III, James M. Bennett High

Grade 11, Short Story – Lucy Adelizzi, James M. Bennett High; Zoe Bradshaw, Mardela Middle and High; Allison Warrington, James M. Bennett High.

Grade 12, Poetry – Molly Forsythe, James M. Bennett High; Rachael Walker, Wicomico High.

Grade 12, Short Story – Jayden Overton-O’Hara, James M. Bennett High; Maddy Sherwood, James M. Bennett High


About the Eastern Shore Reading Council:  The Eastern Shore Reading Council is a nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the level of literacy in the lower three counties (Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  It promotes quality literacy instruction by: supporting the mission of the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council and International Literacy Association, disseminating best literacy practices to educators and parents, advocating for literacy issues through legislation and collaborating with educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses. The group is active in the Lower Eastern Shore communities supporting literacy initiatives and individuals who have sparked a passion for reading. The group is made up primarily of K-12 educators (both current and retired) from public and private schools across Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore as well as individuals active in the higher education community.