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Winners of the Poetry Contest for 2017


 

Local Students Win Poetry Prizes from Ligonier Valley Writers

Students from schools throughout western Pennsylvania were honored at Ligonier Valley Writers’ twenty-sixth annual Student Poetry Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 22, at the Barnes & Noble store in Greensburg.  The judges received more than 500 entries from school students and homeschoolers throughout western Pennsylvania.

Grades 4-6

The winners of the Paul Spencer Poetry Award for rhymed verse (sponsored by Kathleen and Paul S. Brittain) are Emma Burns of Ligonier Valley Middle School (first prize for "Plastered Smiles," Sierra LaPorta of Conemaugh Township Middle School (second prize for "The Little Plant") and Mara Myers, homeschooled (third prize for "My First Taste of Spring").

Winners of the Chestnut Ridge Literary Award for unrhymed verse (sponsored by Lou and Barbara Steiner) are Carson Powers of Valley School of Ligonier (first prize for "Outside These Walls"), Camden Gillner, also of Valley School of Ligonier (second prize for "Night Reads"), and Megan Glista of Ligonier Valley Middle School (third prize for "Hippopotamus").

Winners of the Hayden Savinda Memorial Award for haiku (sponsored by Ronald J. Shafer) are Kiersten Auman of Ligonier Valley Middle School (first prize for "Story"), Jensen Korber of Conemaugh Township Middle School (second prize for "The Apple") and Simeon Chappell of Ligonier Valley Middle School (third prize for "White-Tail Deer").

Grades 7-9

First-prize winner of the Highview Farm Award for traditional verse (sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey) is Brianna McDonough of Belle Vernon Area Middle School for "Shooting Stars," Leah Daniels of Belle Vernon Area Middle School won second prize for "A Shy Girl's Point of View," and Ryan Cameron of Southmoreland Middle School won third prize for "A Grand War."

Winners of the Shirey Poetry Award for free verse (also sponsored by Bruce and Sally Shirey) are Mara Shrader of Belle Vernon Area Middle School (first prize for "Work, He Would Say"), Alexia McCabe of Wendover Middle School (second prize for "Sunrise") and Savannah Lauzon of Belle Vernon Area Middle School (third prize for "Our Precious, Peaceful, Perfect Jungle").

Winners of the Ogden Nash Award for light humorous verse (sponsored by Anita Staub) are Jillian Butchki (first prize for "Writer's Block"), Hannah Ackinclose (second prize for "A Burst in Development"), and Lily Woodson (third prize for "The Impossible Goal"). All three students attend Belle Vernon Area Middle School.

Grades 10-12

In Grades 10-12, two students shared a remarkable sweep in all three categories.  Winners of the Dr. Len Roberts Memorial Award for traditional verse (sponsored by Ruth McDonald) are Faith McDowell (first prize for "Breathe") and Nicole Fratrich (second prize for "Friendship Is Like a Song").  Both students attend Ligonier Valley High School.  No third prize was awarded this year.

Winners of the Jane Robb Gallagher Award for free verse (sponsored by Judith Gallagher) are Nicole Fratrich (first prize for "Precious Candle") and Faith McDowell (second prize for "How Much Do We Remember?").  Both students attend Ligonier Valley High School.  No third prize was awarded this year.

Winners of the Marie Martin Memorial Award for romantic poetry (sponsored by Phil and Mary Lou Fleming) are Faith McDowell (first prize for "The Watch") and Nicole Fratrich (second prize for "Simply Sugar").  Both students attend Ligonier Valley High School.  No third prize was awarded this year.

McGough Awards: The Best of the Best

The Walter McGough Memorial Award is for the best of the best in each age group.  Winners are Mara Myers, a homeschooler, for "When I Was Young in Chincoteague" (grades 4-6), Gianna Laurita of Belle Vernon Area Middle School for "(Insert Title Here)" (grades 7-9) and Carla Frederick of Somerset Area High School for "Are You OK?" (grades 10-12).

The winning students performed their poems aloud to an audience of proud family members, teachers and others.  These talented young writers received ribbons, booklets containing all the winning poems, and cash prizes (which most of them promptly spent on books).  Special congratulations to Faith McDowell and Nicole Fratrich, who won three awards each this year.  Faith has won every year since 2013, including the McGough in 2013.  Congratulations also to Mara Myers, who won two awards.  Several other students are repeat winners.