Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Young Georgia Authors writing competition winners named

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,  

-Follow DOE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


**State-level winners are listed below; click here to read their winning entries. Click here for a list of grade-level winners in each RESA district.


July 9, 2015Thirteen Georgia students have been named state-level winners of the 2014-2015 Young Georgia Authors writing competition, an annual competition sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. GaDOE and GCTE also named grade-level winners in every Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) district.


The Young Georgia Authors Contest encourages students to develop enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing, provides a context to celebrate writing successes, and recognizes student achievement in arts and academics. The competition has been engaging Georgia students for more than two decades and is open to any student currently enrolled in Georgia’s public schools, grades K-12.


Unlike many writing competitions, the Young Georgia Authors competition does not require students to respond to a specific prompt, and does not place any boundaries on students’ genre choice or creativity beyond a five-page maximum length. Students may submit short stories, poetry, essays/literary criticism/analysis, journalism, academic/research reports, personal narratives and any other original writing.  


This year’s winning entries ranged from free verse to short stories, and varied in subject from a first-person description of the journey of a sea turtle to a guide on making it through the “worst day ever.” Students wrote about a wide swath of characters, from talking wolves to an old man named Filbert.


“I want to congratulate these student winners and all those who entered the 2014-2015 Young Georgia Authors writing competition,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Reading, writing and literacy are so important; in many ways, they are the foundation for all other educational achievement. These students are shining stars in that area – I am so proud of each of them and enjoyed reading their excellent work.”


State Winners:


Kindergarten: “Animal Friends” by Haley Harlow, Manning Oaks Elementary School, Fulton County


First Grade: “Animals” by Charlie Beckler, Westwood Elementary School, Dalton Public Schools


Second Grade: “The Worst Day” by Jada Smith, Austin Road Elementary School, Henry County


Third Grade: “Why the Beaver Has a Flat Tail” by Callie Viktora, Adairsville Elementary School, Bartow County


Fourth Grade: “How the Rain Came to Be in the Sky” by Summer Statham, Jackson Elementary School, Butts County


Fifth Grade: “The Dinglehopper Mystery” by Jessie Hutcheson, Eastside Elementary School, Coffee County


Sixth Grade: “The Journey of a Sea Turtle” by Lawson W. Brinkley, Scholars Academy, Thomasville City Schools


Seventh Grade: “The Devil’s Favorite Fragrance” by JaNoy Sumner, Waycross Middle School, Ware County


Eighth Grade: “A Slightly Sinister Faction” by Seung-Toon Baek, Lee Middle School, Coweta County


Ninth Grade: “Memoir” by Gillian O’Bryant, White County 9th Grade Academy, White County


Tenth Grade: “The Lesson of Love” by Lauren Howell, Columbus High School, Muscogee County


Eleventh Grade: “Paper Birds” by Rowen Quisenberry, Eagle’s Landing High School, Henry County


Twelfth Grade: “Writing” by Sarah Cordero, Northwest High School, Whitfield County​