Commissioner joins Governor to present Young Writer of Year awards

AUGUSTA – Three high school students have been chosen as the winners of the Maine Community College System’s “A Journey into Writing” contest and named 2012 Governor’s Young Writers of the Year. They are: Amanda Dickey and Brianna Housman, both juniors at Searsport District High School, and Gaelyn Lindauer, a junior at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. The contest is open to all high school juniors and home-schooled students of the same age.

The three students were each presented with an award and a $2,500 check by Governor Paul LePage in a ceremony at the State House today. Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen and MCCS President John Fitzsimmons joined the Governor in presenting the awards.

“Your creativity and the quality of your work are proof that Maine’s proud literary tradition is alive and well,” said Governor LePage in honoring this year’s winners.  “You represent the best of Maine, and I’m honored to name you Governor’s Young Writers of the Year.”

Dickey won for her short story “No One to Hear Her”; Housman won for her short story “She Fell”; and Lindauer won for her poem “The Bottle.” The judges for the eighth annual contest were noted Maine authors Susan Kenney, Bill Roorbach and Lewis Robinson. The contest is generously supported by U.S. Cellular, which has provided $70,000 in prize money to contest finalists since the program was established in 2005.

In all, six finalists were chosen from 151 entries in this year’s contest, representing 45 Maine high schools. The three other finalists included Alex Lurie, of Brooks, a junior at Mount View High School in Thorndike; Olivia Dubois, a junior at Old Orchard Beach High School; and James Austin, of Farmingdale, a junior at Hall-Dale High School. These three students will each receive a plaque and a check for $500.

“We are very proud that this contest promotes excellence in writing,” said President Fitzsimmons at the awards ceremony. “Over the past eight years, more than 1,800 Maine high school students have shared their work with us. It’s a thrill to know that the contest has generated interest in creative writing and encouraged students to perfect their writing.”

To enter the contest, students submit a short story, essay or poem of up to 1,500 words.  More information about the contest, including this year’s top six entries, is available at mccs.me.edu.

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