By Joan Wilson
The Sassafras Literary Exchange Youth Writing Contest Awards presentation was held at the Pickens County Library on Tuesday, April 9, 2012. In addition to the recipients, the audience included parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, writers and local media. Pickens County Progress columnist, Alan Gibson, emceed the program. Members of the Sassafras Literary Exchange shared their personal school experiences and made award presentations.
This year’s theme was The Compassionate Classroom. Students of Jasper Middle School, Pickens Middle School and Pickens County High School were invited to submit poetry, non-fiction or fiction works that discussed compassion, empathy and kindness in a learning environment. Some chose to write about bullying, a current topic in many schools, and how it can be addressed through caring.
The judges found most of the more than 300 entries to be creative, thoughtful and well written.
Sassafras Literary Exchange members wish to thank the teachers and school administrators who provided valuable support to this years Youth Writing Contest. Their help and encouragement of the students was reflected in the high volume and quality of the entries received.
The Sassafras Literary Exchange is a 30-year-old organization dedicated to nurturing young writers and enhancing the writing skills of its members. Sassafras members sponsor the Youth Writing Contest each spring and the Adult Writing Contest each fall.
Sassafras Literary Exchange meetings are held at the Sharptop Arts Association Building at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month and are open to beginning writers and those seasoned in the craft. Attend one of their meetings. See what the Exchange is all about.
2012 Youth Writing Contest Winners
First-Place = A Friend is Forever- by Macy Gallagher of PCMS
Second Place = The Envious Classroom – by Joseph Meaders of PCMS
Third Place = The Life Changing Story – by Shelby Whitehill of Jasper Middle School
Compassion – by Katelean Beck of PCMS
Compassion – Dedicated to Rachel Scott – by Meghan Durham
Compassion in the Classroom – by Ethan Turner of PCMS
Bullying- by Joseph Angelisont of JMS The Classroom: A Haven for Compassion – by Adam John Ward of Wildwood Christian Academy
First Place = I Was A School Bully – By Andres Torres of PCMS
Second Place = Kyle and Jasmine – by Dalton Crowe of PCMS
Third Place = Rage by Kelsey Essig of JMS
We are all Human – Emily McNair of PCMS
Young Doctor – by Jackson Leake of PCMS
Devyn – Alexis Swofford of PCMS
My Good Deed – by Stephen Jordan of PCMS
An Act of Kindness – by Maddi Adams of PCMS
High School First Place = The Impractical Mission – by Emily Wheeler of PCHS
Middle School First Place = Never Again – by Mallory Wheeler of JMS
Middle School Second Place = One Act of Kindness – by Aileen Maddux of JMS
Middle School Third Place = The Compassionate Classroom – by Kaitlen Redman of JMS
New – by Baylee Jordan of JMS
Excitement – by Ariel Hayes of PCMS
The Girl on the Bus – by Sierra Stanfield of JMS
Original Masterpiece –by Madeline Pool of PCMS