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15 April 2005

JSU Writers' Club Presents Awards at Kitty Stone Elementary

Kitty Stone Elementary's winners of the JSU Writers' Club descriptive fiction contest include Caleb McFall, front row, far left, first place winner, and Stephanie Onyekwere, front row, center, second place. Looking on are Kitty Kirby, reading coach at Kitty Stone, front row, far right, and, on the back row, from left, Larry Welch, Writers' Club contest coordinator; Jennifer Bacchas, Writers' Club member; and Randy Wilson, president of the JSU Writers' Club. (David Howell Photo)

Kitty Stone Elementary School recently held a descriptive fiction writing contest sponsored by the Jacksonville State University Writers' Club .

Caleb McFall received first place for his submission, "Darkness Doesn't Last Forever;" Stephanie Onyekwere received second place for her entry, "My Mystery Object;" Savannah Jones received third place for her submission, "Sweet Mystery;" and Chelsey Miranda received fourth place for her piece, "My Investigation."

"This was outstanding," said Caleb McFall, winner of the contest. "I was shocked when they announced my name as the winner."

Plaques and a cash prizes were awarded to the top four winners, and a Certificate of Achievement for honorable mention was presented to the other five finalists. The additional 15 submissions received certificates of appreciation for their participation.

The event was held in conjunction with the National Reading Week program. Participants were invited to write a descriptive narrative of about 300 words about a Hershey's Kiss. Students were also encouraged to use a thesaurus while writing their narratives.

"We are always interested in improving our student's writing skills and creativity," said Kitty Kirby, reading coach for KSES. "When the idea for a writing contest was first presented to us by the JSU Writers' Club , we immediately said 'Yes!'"

Larry Welch, Writers' Club contest coordinator, said, "Our club is always looking for ways to promote literacy and opportunities for the production of creative writing. When Randy Wilson, our Club's president, first suggested the contest, the rest of the club immediately adopted the proposal."

Participation in the event was voluntary for all fifth and sixth graders. Numerous submissions were received.

"I think all the students that participated in the event really enjoyed writing their narratives," said Ms. Kirby "It was fun for them because they could be creative in their own unique way."

According to Mr. Welch, "One of the requirements was that each submission had to be the original work of each respective student without any assistance other than the thesaurus." Nine of the 24 submissions were selected as finalist.

"I thought all the submissions we received were excellent." Said Jamie Jensen, Writers' Club member and judge of the contest. "It was a real joy to read them."

Katie Morris, a Writers' Club member and a judge of the contest, said, "It was hard to determine which entries were the most creative. They were all very creative."

The Writers' Club recently received a commitment from an anonymous donor to fund the annual event, which will ensure that the event will continue for several more years.

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