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Congratulations to the 2019 Young Author's Contest Finalists

After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Literacy Association is proud to announce the finalists in the 2019 Young Authors’ Contest, including many from Wicomico County Public Schools.

Finalists are individuals who have finished in the top three in their respective category – poetry or short story – and grade level. Each finalist in grades 2-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method. The winning work of each student will be featured in the contest’s anthology, and an anthology will be given to each finalist. Electronic versions of the anthology will be available as well.

“We continue to get high quality of entries year in and year out,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Chair Brian Cook explained as entries came in from 20 different schools, public, private, and homeschools. “We are fortunate to have so many talented writers submit their work. It is getting more difficult each year determining finalist because the quality of writing continually goes up from our area students.”

Finalists and their families, teachers, school administrators, and central office personnel are now invited to take part in the Young Authors’ Awards Reception in Holloway Hall Auditorium at Salisbury University at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. Winners in each category will be announced that night.

“We hope to continue the tradition we started last year of building anticipation in each of our finalist and get everyone here to Salisbury University to celebrate student writing. We feel last year’s turnout was topnotch, and we want to continue making this evening the Grammy’s of writing for our students,” Young Authors’ Contest co-chair Lizanne Wallace explained. “This is the night where we place student authors on a pedestal for their exemplary writing ability.”

Students from Wicomico County Public Schools who earned finalist status are listed below, alphabetically by last name in each grade and category. The order shown below does not reflect the placement where student authors finished in the contest. For each grade level and category, there are up to three finalists. Congratulations to all!


Young Authors’ Finalists from Wicomico County Public Schools:


Grade 2, Poetry – Trevor Langton, Glen Avenue Elementary; Bre’ara Thompson, Glen Avenue Elementary; Kayleigh Webster, Glen Avenue Elementary


Grade 3, Short Story – Macaulley Jimmerson, North Salisbury Elementary


Grade 4, Poetry – Peyton Davis, North Salisbury Elementary

Grade 4, Short Story –Miles Cox, Northwestern Elementary; Peter Jin, North Salisbury Elementary; Carley Malone, North Salisbury Elementary


Grade 6, Poetry – Megan Mitchell, Bennett Middle; Diva Shrestha, Salisbury Middle

Grade 6, Short Story – Ava Baer, Mardela Middle and High; Megan Mitchell, Bennett Middle; Trezure Trader, Salisbury Middle


Grade 9, Short Story – Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High; Jenna Smith, James M. Bennett High; Madeline Umsted, Mardela Middle and High


Grade 10, Poetry – Briden Edney, James M. Bennett High

Grade 10, Short Story – Simon Lewis, James M. Bennett High; Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High


Grade 11, Poetry – Sophia Peters, James M. Bennett High; Madison Synowiec, James M. Bennett High

Grade 11, Short Story – Daniel Cruz, James M. Bennett High; Ted Hirsch, James M. Bennett High


Grade 12, Short Story – Zoe Michelle Bradshaw, Mardela Middle and High


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.