By: Faythe Maston
Within our blossoming state, we are nurturing some of the greatest young writers of tomorrow. To help discover these writers, the West Virginia Young Writers’ Contest is held. Writers from every corner of the state compete for a chance of fame and fortune and the ability to showcase their talent. After the county winners were announced, they are invited to a workshop to improve their writing. These workshops include lectures from several famous West Virginia authors.
The day of recognition will be held at the University of Charleston May 24. Starting at nine o’clock, participants will be welcomed to the event in Riggleman Hall, followed by a keynote address by Ron Sowell, a prominent WV musician. Workshops will begin around ten o’clock with teachers such as Sowell for grades 7-9, and Marc Harshman for grades 10-12.
“I’m looking forward to the writing workshop because, before, I was shone many writing techniques that have helped my writing style,” said Jared Casto, the eleventh grade winner.
An awards ceremony will end the day to present trophies to all state-level winners and allow them to read their stories. The first place winners will be awarded $100, followed by 2nd with $50, and 3rd place with $25.
The winners of the contest were decided through a long, grueling review process to find the best of the best writers throughout West Virginia. This year, the Jackson County winners are Faythe Maston in the 9th-10th grade division and Jared Casto in the 11th-12th grade division. These winners were first decided by a school- wide competition, then through a county and a regional contest, with the finalists competing to become the winner in the state division. Writers were judged on multiple factors such as punctuation, imagery, and overall plot.
“I was very hopeful that I was going to win and was very happy when I won,” said Casto.
So far, the workshop promises to be an interesting and wonderful opportunity to help increase the writing parameters and help teach many values and tricks to writing an excellent story or paper.