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WCPS Students Named Finalists in 2020 Young Authors’ Contest

Young Authors' Contest Finalists


After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Literacy Association (ESLA) is proud to announce the finalists in the 2020 Young Authors’ Contest, including 29 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. (In a few cases a category has more than three finalists for a grade level, or fewer, as noted.) Students in grades 1-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method to determine finalists.

“We continue to get high quality of entries year in and year out,” ESLA Young Authors’ Contest Chair Brian Cook explained. Entries came from 24 different schools – public, private and home school. “We are fortunate to have many of our Eastern Shore schools putting an emphasis on student writing. Both the students’ and teachers’ efforts are making it more and more difficult each year to determine finalists because the quality of writing continually gets better.”

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. Wednesday, March 4. Winners in each category will be announced that night. 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 hope to continue the tradition we started last year of building anticipation in each of our finalists and get everyone here to Salisbury University to celebrate student writing. We feel last year’s turnout to Holloway Hall 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 are finalists 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, and does not list winners from outside Wicomico County Public Schools. Congratulations to all!


Young Authors’ 2020 Finalists from Wicomico County Public Schools:


Grade 2, Poetry –La’nya Randall, Glen Avenue Elementary

Grade 2, Short Story – Montane Kilgoe, Glen Avenue Elementary


Grade 3, Poetry – Callan Bergquist, North Salisbury Elementary; London Noelle Morton, North Salisbury Elementary; Jackson Reddish, North Salisbury Elementary

Grade 3, Short Story – Yamose Alazy, Delmar Elementary


**Grade 4, Poetry –Trezdon Santos, North Salisbury Elementary; Cooper Senter, North Salisbury Elementary; Avery Wiltbank, North Salisbury Elementary

Grade 4, Short Story – Reed Luppens, North Salisbury Elementary


Grade 5, Poetry – Peyton Davis, North Salisbury Elementary; Karsyn Pete, North Salisbury Elementary.

**Grade 5, Short Story – Peter Jin, North Salisbury Elementary; Charlotte Malone, North Salisbury Elementary; Madison Wheeler, Pittsville Elementary and Middle


Grade 6, Poetry – Alex Catlin, Salisbury Middle; Hannah Taylor, Salisbury Middle

Grade 6, Short Story – Charles Williams, Salisbury Middle


Grade 7, Poetry – Diva Shrestha, Salisbury Middle

Grade 7, Short Story – Ava Baer, Mardela Middle and High


Grade 8, Short Story – Ella Vilmar, Bennett Middle


Grade 9, Poetry – Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High


Grade 10, Poetry – Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High

**Grade 10, Short Story – Shannon Cottingham, Mardela Middle and High; Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High; Madeline Umsted, Mardela Middle and High


Grade 11, Short Story – Jenny Chen, James M. Bennett High; Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High


*Grade 12, Short Story – Mulan Bell, James M. Bennett High


*Indicates category did not have three finalists.

**Indicates category had a tie resulting in more than three finalists.


Eastern Shore Literacy Association Announcement with All 2020 Finalists


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.