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2012 Youth Writing Contest Winners


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

Honorable Mentions:

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

Honorable Mentions:

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

Honorable Mentions:

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

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