WKU English Department Recognizes Winners of the 2020-21 High School Writing Contests
- Joseph Shoulders
- Tuesday, February 16th, 2021
On Saturday, February 13, the WKU English Department hosted an awards ceremony for the fourth annual High School Writing Contests via Zoom. In the fall, the department invited Kentucky high school students to submit responses to prompts in three categories—Composition, Creative Writing, and Literature. WKU English Department faculty evaluated several dozen submissions and selected ten finalists in each category. The finalists and their teachers and families were welcomed to the ceremony, and over 50 people were in attendance. During the event, three winners were announced for each category. The winners received a cash prize and will receive a scholarship if they major or minor in English at WKU.
Department Head Dr. Alison Langdon began the event by welcoming the students and their teachers. She explained that the purpose of the contests is to demonstrate the scope of English studies throughout the region and to promote the WKU English Department. She invited senior and English Office worker Bailey Cooke to discuss how the department has impacted her life. Cooke explained that her English classes have improved her communication skills so she can adapt to digital workspaces. She also expressed that literature conveys others’ messages and experiences. “Being an English major has proven that we need to read more than just what we relate to,” Cooke said. “I want to be able to relate and interconnect with everyone.”
Dr. Langdon then recognized the contests’ finalists and their teachers. She stressed the value of high school English teachers and explained that many English majors can trace their passions to these teachers.
Preceding the announcement of the winners, Dr. Cheryl Hopkins read her poem “On Origins,” which was published in the “Third Stone” journal. The poem was the subject of analysis for the Literature contest.
The winners were announced by WKU English professors Dr. Dan Liddle, Dr. Nancy Dinan, and Dr. Nikolai Endres representing the Professional Writing, Creative Writing, and Literature concentrations respectively.
The winners of the Composition contest were Naomi Hollans from Sumner County High School in 1st place, Emme Thurston from Sumner County High School in 2nd place, and Lavery Hughes from Barren County High School in 3rd place.
The winners of the Creative Writing contest were Madison Dunne from Elizabeth High School in 1st place, Xiayo Pan from Bowling Green High School in 2nd place, and Shelby Peak from Union County High School in 3rd place.
The winners of the Literature contest were Raquel Bonham from Bowling Green High School in 1st place, Avery Duvall from Bowling Green High School in 2nd place, and Anna Neal from Bowling Green High School in 3rd place.