ELEVEN young authors from two elementary schools and one high school in the Northwest area won awards for their writing in Random House's fifth annual Student Writing Contest.
They were recognized during the Random House Book Fair at Carroll Community College last month.
Two winners, from Francis Scott Key High School and Northwest Middle School, recently shared their thoughts about writing and the contest.
"I was surprised at winning in both categories," said Bobby Peregoy, a Francis Scott Key senior.
Bobby won first place for his poem, "Outcast," and third place for a short story, "Demon's Gate. "
Like the other contest winners, Bobby submitted his work in the spring. The submissions are judged in spring, and the winners are recognized during the fall book fair.
Although it was the first time he entered a writing contest, Bobby said he felt confident about the poem, but didn't think the short story was "nearly as good."
Bobby has been writing since he was in fifth grade. During part of his sixth grade and all of his eighth grade at Northwest Middle School, he was encouraged by his English teacher Erin Roehrle.
"We were doing papers in class, and he told me I was good," Bobby said. "He was very supportive."
He also credited Nancy Sias, a teacher at Key who has encouraged him to write.
Bobby said he likes to write because it lets him express his ideas. "Most of the time I start writing when I get bored," he said with a laugh.
Bobby plans to attend Carroll Community College next year, then transfer to Frostburg State University to study prelaw.
Cari M. King, a fourth-grader at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School, won third place for her short story, "Let's Meet Again."
Her story is about a boy and girl who fall in love in elementary school. The girl has a twin, from whom she was separated at birth. When the girl and her family move away, the pair makes a pact to meet in 35 years. The girl dies of cancer before then. The young man locates the twin, not realizing she is not his former friend. They eventually marry.
"My third-grade teacher, Mrs. Gail Hosmer, suggested I write a piece" for the contest, she said.
Cari said she started writing poems before she tried her hand at the short-story form.
"But I enjoy everything about writing," she said. "I would love to be a writer when I grow up, and I'm pretty sure I could do it."
Christopher Waskiewicz, Taneytown Elementary fourth-grader, won third place for his poem, "Treasure Hunt."
The writing contest is open only to Carroll County schoolchildren.
More than 300 entries were submitted in the spring. Random House publishes the winners' work in a booklet and copies are given to each winner.
The other winning entries from Francis Scott Key High School are:
Ninth-grade short story - Joshua Ryan Rutter, "In an Instant," first place; and Joy D. Glass, "The Night," second place.
10th-grade poetry - Carissa Vaughn, "The Best Alone Time There Could Ever Be," second place; and Shenifa Baldwin, "Going On," third place.
10th-grade short story - Amy Phelps, "Fly to Bluer Skies," first place; and Carissa Vaughn, "The Lonely One," third place.
11th-grade poetry - Desiree Speicher, "A Rose," second place; and Jennifer Waskiewicz, "Kristin," third place.
12th-grade poetry - Katheryn H. Flynn, "My Father," second place.
Blood drive reminder
Taneytown Community Blood Drive will be held from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Fireman's Activities Building.
Appointments are encouraged.
Information: Waneta Sackman, 410-751-1356.
St. Luke's (Winter's) Lutheran church will perform "The Christmas Story" from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
The performances will be held at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday in the churchyard on Route 75 in New Windsor.
Letters to Santa
Santa Claus will pick up letters from the Taneytown post office during the holiday season. Children should put their name and complete address in the letter so Santa can respond.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church will present its Christmas Cantata, Canticle of Joy, at 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Sunday at the church, 38 W. Baltimore St., Taneytown.
The cantata is under the direction of Trinity's organist/choir director, Karen Quillin.
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.