October 19, 2017
School & Youth
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  • Belvedere Elementary School student Stella Keeney earned first place for fourth grade short story in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
    Photos by Rian Oliver
    Belvedere Elementary School student Stella Keeney earned first place for fourth grade short story in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
  • Folger McKinsey Elementary School student Griffin Hopper earned first place for third grade short story in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
    Photos by Rian Oliver
    Folger McKinsey Elementary School student Griffin Hopper earned first place for third grade short story in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
  • Folger McKinsey Elementary School student Meera Carey won first place for third grade poetry in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
    Photos by Rian Oliver
    Folger McKinsey Elementary School student Meera Carey won first place for third grade poetry in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
  • Shipley’s Choice Elementary School student Sophia Procaccini won second place for fourth grade short story in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.
    Photos by Rian Oliver
    Shipley’s Choice Elementary School student Sophia Procaccini won second place for fourth grade short story in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors Contest.

Writers Pen Winning Stories And Poems For The Young Authors Contest

Rian Oliver
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March 7, 2017

Several area students recently earned awards in the Anne Arundel County Reading Council’s Young Authors contest. The elementary contest was for children in grades two through five. Students were awarded first- and second-place prizes for their original stories and poems. A panel of teachers and reading council members determined the winners. Entries were judged based on creativity and appropriate use of language.

Unsuspecting Belvedere Elementary School fourth-grader Stella Keeney learned of her award during a surprise broadcast over the morning announcements. “I was very excited,” she recalled.

Stella wrote a fable that explained why a lion doesn’t have a unique pattern like other wildcats. The 9-year-old’s clever tale earned her first place in the short story category for grade four. Stella’s writing is inspired by some of her favorite authors, including Beverly Cleary and J.K. Rowling.

An avid writer, Stella is already contemplating her next project. “I’m thinking about writing a series of books called ‘The Topsy Turvy House and How to Get Out,’” she said. She hopes to one day have a career as a writer and a Disney cartoonist.

At Shipley’s Choice Elementary School, fourth-grader Sophia Procaccini earned second place in the short story category for the second consecutive year. Her story, “The Big Oversight,” tells of a family who discover that their new neighbor isn’t as scary as she seems. The moral of the story, Sophia explained, was “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.”

Sophia, who is known to write so much at home that her parents have had to increase their computer’s memory space, said she loves to write because it’s fun and she has a lot of ideas stored up in her head. Some of her favorite young adult writers include Jeff Kinney, Rachel Russel and R.J. Palacio. Sophia aspires to eventually write and illustrate books of her own.

At Folger McKinsey Elementary School, third-grader Griffin Hopper earned first place for grade three with his short story about a wizard. “It was about a wizard who took a boy in exchange for his parents’ lives,” Griffin explained. “It started with a dark beginning but had a happy ending.”

Griffin likes to write fiction, including science fiction, historical fiction, fantasies and mysteries. He also cited J.K. Rowling, who wrote the “Harry Potter” series, and Brian Selznick, as a few of his favorite writers. Griffin’s next undertaking is a speech he is working on in school. “It’s about my dad and why he is a noteworthy person,” he explained.

Another Folger McKinsey third-grader, Meera Carey, was thrilled to learn her poem won first place in the grade three poetry category. Meera said she celebrated the news of her award by “jumping up and down on the couch.” The 8-year-old’s poem was about winter. The young writer selected her topic while wishing it would snow on a cold winter day. “I thought about what it would look like if it were snowing and wrote about it,” she recalled. Meera, who likes writing fiction, is also working on a speech about her brother. She’s a fan of books by Meg Cabot and Adam Gidwitz.

The elementary students’ accomplishments will be honored during a reception hosted by the Anne Arundel County Reading Council on March 23.


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