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Wicomico Students Named Winners in 2021 Young Authors’ Contest

Wicomico County Public Schools is proud to congratulate the WCPS students who are winners in the Eastern Shore Literacy Association’s 2021 Young Authors’ Contest.

Students in grades 1-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method to determine finalists. Finalists are individuals who have finished in the top three in their respective category – poetry or short story – and grade level. Wicomico’s list of winners includes 17 students from six schools of Wicomico County Public Schools.

First-place winners are sent on to the state contest for judging, and Wicomico Schools had five 1st-Place winners. Jeremy Quan of North Salisbury Elementary placed 2nd at the state level for Grade 3 Short Story.

Congratulations to all!


Young Authors’ 2021 Winners from Wicomico County Public Schools

Grade 3, Poetry – Samantha G. Martinenza, North Salisbury Elementary, 2nd Place

Grade 3, Short Story – Jeremy Quan, North Salisbury Elementary, 1st Place (and 2nd place at state level); Reese Bradford, Glen Avenue Elementary, 3rd Place

Grade 6, Short Story – Charlotte Malone, Salisbury Middle, 3rd Place

Grade 7, Poetry – Abigail Saulitis, Salisbury Middle, 2nd Place tie

Grade 8, Poetry – Jessica Thomas, Bennett Middle, 2nd Place; Alana Duffy, Bennett Middle; 3rd Place tie

Grade 8, Short Story – Carter Sollars, Bennett Middle, 3rd Place

Grade 10, Poetry – Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High, 1st Place

Grade 10, Short Story – Henna Parmar, James M. Bennett High, 1st Place; Merin Thomas, James M. Bennett High, 2nd Place

Grade 11, Poetry – Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High, 1st Place; Cristina Avanessian, James M. Bennett High, 2nd Place

Grade 11, Short Story – Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High, 1st Place; Shannon Cottingham, Mardela Middle and High, and Katie Mitchell, James M. Bennett High, both 3rd Place tie

Grade 12, Poetry – Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High, 2nd Place


Finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central office personnel will experience a different type of awards ceremony this year to support the safety of all involved.  In support of local health department guidelines, the Young Authors’ Contest will not be coming together in a large group setting to present the awards. Instead, the traditional finalist postcards were sent to finalists and awards were delivered to schools at the end of February. ESLA communicated with school principals asking them to hand out student awards the best manner they see fit. The winning work of each student will be featured in a digital anthology that will be available online in March.


About the Eastern Shore Literacy Association: Eastern Shore Literacy Association is a nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the level of literacy in the lower three counties (Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  It promotes quality literacy instruction by supporting the mission of the State of Maryland Literacy Association and International Literacy Association, disseminating best literacy practices to educators and parents, advocating for literacy issues through legislation, and collaborating with educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses. The group is active in the Lower Eastern Shore communities supporting literacy initiatives and individuals who have sparked a passion for reading. The group is made up primarily of K-12 educators (both current and retired) from public and private schools across Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore as well as individuals active in the higher education community.