The literary works of three young Bartow County writers have advanced to the final level of a statewide competition.
Second-grader Timmya Kinney from Kingston Elementary, eighth-grader Alicia Riley from Woodland Middle and 11th-grader Brianna Trotti from Woodland High won first place for their grade in the Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency district in the 2017-18 Young Georgia Authors writing competition and should find out in early May if they've been named the state winner for their grade level.
The contest, sponsored by the Georgia Language Arts Supervisors and the Georgia RESA Network, encourages public school students in grades K-12 to develop enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing while providing a context to celebrate their writing successes and recognizing student achievement in arts and academics.
Students could choose whatever topic they wanted in any genre — short stories, poetry, essays/literary criticism/analysis, journalism, academic/research reports, personal narratives or any other original work — for their entry, which had a 1,900-word limit.
“The Bartow County School System will be well-represented come April 20 when three phenomenally articulate students compete at the state level," Coordinator Dawn Brock said. "Good writing has logic and structure. Even at the second-grade level, we saw that with our children’s writing. Their ideas were well-thought-out and poignant. We hope they use that unique voice as they forge through school and life.”
State winners will be announced on the Georgia Department of Education's website in early May.
Timmya, 8, said she feels “so happy and proud" that her narrative writing titled “If I Were Trapped Inside a Snow Globe” was the second-grade winner at the RESA level.
"I couldn’t believe I won, but I was so happy that I did," she said. "I am proud of myself, and my mom, dad and teacher are, too.”
The daughter of Alicia Kinney and Timothy Dudley said she got the idea for her story "when we had our snow days."
"I found something in the snow that looked like a snow globe, then I just used my imagination," she said. "I made sure to use a lot of adjectives in my story because that’s what we’re learning this year in Ms. [Kristy] Walker’s class.”
Walker said it's "such an amazing honor for Timmya’s writing talents to be recognized on such a grand scale."
"Timmya is a creative thinker with a vivid imagination," she said. "She has a wonderful ability to draw from her own experiences to develop such creative narratives. Timmya is very deserving of the award, and I am proud of her accomplishment."
The young writer did "a superb job on providing various details that helped the reader picture what was happening," Walker said.
"Her writing grabbed the reader’s interest, and all of her events were in sequential order," she said. "Timmya also has excellent penmanship, which makes her writing legible and attractive."
Alicia, 14, had a mix of emotions when she found out her poem, "In the End," won at the regional level for the eighth grade.
"I was shocked and excited at the same time," she said.
The daughter of Monive Robison and Aaron Riley said the idea for her piece came "from personal experience."
"It was a powerful, moving piece," eighth-grade English language arts teacher Jennifer Mayer said. "I knew the moment I read her submission, it had the potential to be a winner."
That's why Alicia's victory wasn't unexpected to Mayer.
"I was not surprised and extremely proud," she said. "She is a very talented young lady."
Trotti, 17, was surprised "The Adventures of the Pessimistic New Kid Who Didn't Want to Change Schools but Whatever," her narrative written in diary form, won the region for the 11th grade.
"It's pretty cool," she said. "I didn't expect to win."
The daughter of Rob and Lora Trotti added she got the idea for her piece from a "post online that inspired me."
ELA teacher Tiffany Post said Trotti is a "gifted writer, so her win is no surprise."
"She is equally capable in fiction and in nonfiction genres," she said. "A recent transfer from sunny Florida, Brianna is a welcome addition and an asset to Woodland High School and Bartow County."
The three regional winners will be recognized at the April 23 school board meeting, said Dot Frasier, executive director of the Bartow Education Foundation, which sponsors the contest for the school system.
Other grade-level winners in the county who competed at the regional level were:
• Kindergarten — Ezra McIntyre, Cloverleaf Elementary, "Firefighters."
• First grade — Abbigail Owens, Mission Road Elementary, "Lucy's Dog."
• Third grade — Marissa Rosete, Taylorsville Elementary, "The Legend of the Jewel."
• Fourth grade — Savannah Viktora, Adairsville Elementary, "Once a Fawn a Time."
• Fifth grade — Hannah Willoughby, Mission Road Elementary, "The City of Enchantment."
• Sixth grade — Bella Peek, Adairsville Middle, "A Winter Flower."
• Seventh grade — Annie McCormick, Adairsville Middle, "A Love Without You."
• Ninth grade — Brentley Durham, Adairsville High, "Legend of Adruai."
• Tenth grade — Jason Nicholson, Woodland High, "Ashes of the Stars."
• Twelfth grade — Meron Calhoun, Woodland High, "A Story Teller's Story."
Ms. Frasier awarded certificates to all county winners at the March school board meeting.
Latest from Donna Harris
- GHC speech competition draws record number of participants
- DAR recognizes Good Citizens, essay contest winner
- Two high schoolers win gold at state literary championship
- All 4 high schools in Bartow recognized as AP Honor Schools
- A Gift from a Gift: WMS 7th-grader raises $3,300 to build, furnish house for poor family in Uganda