By: Anna Sheets
Every year the Young Writer’s competition is hosted by the board of education. For each age group, there are different word limits.
Ripley High School has four finalists in the school: seniors Ariel Dillion and Samaria Oiler, sophomore Sidney Sheets, and freshman McKayla Kemp. The two county finalists selected from Ripley High School were Oiler and Sheets, whose writing will be entered into the county contest against the two finalists from Ravenswood.
Sheets has won the young Writers’ competition on the county level two times prior.
“Winning this contest has encouraged me t continue doing what I love, and it has influenced me to think about a writing career in the future,” said Sheets.
Oiler has been writing since around the fourth grade. She wrote an entire novel that has yet to be finished and edited, but she says she would like to publish it eventually. A short year later, she won her first writing contest for a short story, and she has won four other writing contests with the Jackson County Public Library.
“Winning this contest feels almost monumental to me, especially since I plan to be an English major. It’s sort of validating because my parents are naturally worried how I’ll fare as an aspiring writer. It’s almost as if I have proved to them, if only slightly, that I am capable of becoming the writer I yearn to be,” Oiler said.
This is the first time in several years that Ravenswood High School has submitted anything to this competition, so we are hoping to prove our superiority as a school academically, in addition to our already having won the Hatchet.
The statewide winners of the competition will be announced in April, and those lucky few will go on to a workshop at Charleston University to speak to published authors from West Virginia and obtain a few professional opinions about their writing.