2012, Encouraging Words, Kansas Authors Club

2012 Youth
Writing Contest Results

Contest Manager
Kristine A. Plansky

The 2012 KAC Youth Contest had three categories:
, Fiction and Non-fiction.

Poetry Judge
Robin Peterson first submitted a poem to a poetry contest when she was in the third grade. Her lifelong love of reading and writing led her to study literature as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. Her articles have been published in In These Times, The Chicago Weekly, and elsewhere. Robin is currently a math tutor for third- through fifth-graders at a public school in Chicago.

Message from the Judge:
It was a pleasure to read each of your poems. I appreciate your sense of humor as well as your ability to evoke emotion and convey mood with a choice word or image. You use poetic devices such as metaphor and repetition to great effect. Some of your poems tell stories, others meditate on a theme, and others convey a more abstract message—and you have executed all of these with skill. I hope you will continue to write and to develop your considerable talents.

1 & 2 grades Poetry

1st: "Fall Leaves" - Maggie Zhang
2nd: "What a Dream Can Be!" - Abigail Balson

3 & 4 grades Poetry

1st: "Squirrel Whirl" - Aditya N. Joshi
2nd: "Aching Chores (Oh No)" - Anna Christmas
3rd: "Fall" (from a longer poem, "Seasons") - Erika Farley

5 & 6 grades Poetry

1st: "Summer" - Aditi Joshi
2nd: "Teddy Bear" - Chloe Lett
3rd: "Doing Absolutely Nothing"- Joseph Dale
HM: "The Tornado" - Savanna Winterman

7 & 8 grades Poetry

1st: "Little Lone Star" - Kaitlyn Tosh
2nd: "Broken Girl" - Kara L. Nixon
3rd: "To the Winds You Are" - Catherine DeVillier
HM: "The Midnight Ball" - Hunter Alexandra Williams
HM: "The Lightest Shade of Blue" - Evan Brunner
HM: "The Quiet One" - Kate Sorensen

9-12 grades Poetry

1st: "You" - Sydney Nelson
2nd: "Out Like a Lamb: A Petrarchan Sonnet" - Christine Conway
3rd: "Their World" - ShaNoah Davis
HM: "Don't Tell Me" - Kayla Marple

Fiction Judge
Dennis E. Smirl, avid reader and always a writer, said yes a second time to judging the youth contest fiction entries, having thoroughly enjoyed last year's entries. We will let him off the hook next year, so he can find more time for writing blogs, book reviews, podcasts, science fiction stories, mysteries, and novels and delving further into his varied interests, which have ranged from go-karts to flying saucers. A former air force officer, salesman, school psychologist, and computer science instructor and columnist, he brings a wide array of practical information into his writing and into his advice to other writers, including fellow members of Write Stuff, Kansas Writers Association, and the Kansas Authors Club. We thank him for his help, his enthusiasm, and his good humor.

Message from the Judge:
Again, the range of imagination of this next generation of writers fascinated and entertained me. I see much promise in these entries. Keep flexing those fictional muscles and enjoy the sheer fun that comes from writing and sharing your work, knowing that no one else in the world can write your story, book, play or script.

1 & 2 grades Fiction

1st: "Frog, Toad, and Miss Quito" - Maggie Zhang
2nd: "My Trip to the Store and My Trip to the Floor" - Luke Williams

3 & 4 grades Fiction

1st: "The Day My Bird Went to Summer School" - Emma Whitney
2nd: "Tale of the Dragons" - Lexi Platzer
3rd: "Mrs. Welch is What!?"- Kaytlynn Kuder
HM: "The Legend Begins" - Jimmy Baldwin
HM: "Spirit" - Mia Birkes

5 & 6 grades Fiction

1st: "Survivor" - Ben Whitney
2nd: "The Haunted House" - Rachel Zhang
3rd: "The Ending Wonders?" - Gloria Martinez
HM: "36 Gates of the World" - Brittney Schrag
HM: "A Blink Long War" - Kaman Simmons

7 & 8 grades Fiction

1st: "Lost in Dreams" - Sneha Verma
2nd: "Pieces Out of Peace" - Haley Grable
3rd: "Dawn's Dream" - Kaitlyn Tosh

9-12 grades Fiction

1st: "Captain America, Adjusting" - Kerrie Leinmiller-Renick
2nd: "Cami" - ShaNoah Davis
3rd: "Eden" - Kayla Marple
HM: "Raven's Song: Prologue" - Katlynn Ronnebaum

Non-fiction Judge
Non-fiction co-judge Yvonne Evie Green is retired from teaching in Topeka USD 501 schools after thirty-seven years. She taught Outdoor Environmental Education and Science classes, Grades 1-12. As a first-grade teacher for fourteen years, her passion was teaching reading and creative writing to many bright young minds. In summers and on Saturdays, she taught children's and adult zoology classes at the World Famous Topeka Zoo. Evie now leads a creative writing group called The Write Stuff. She has several published works of poetry and prose in Good Old Days magazine, The Pen Woman national magazine, and Hermitage Haiku Journal of Romania. She has three children and four grandchildren.

Non-fiction co-judge Agnes Kazminski grew up in Switzerland and moved to the United States in 1970 when she married Chester Kazminski. She earned a Masters of Social Work degree at the University of Kansas in 1978 and worked as a social worker at the Capper Foundation in Topeka, KS. In 1982, she became an American citizen. She is now retired and lives in Topeka, KS. Agnes has been a member of Kansas Authors Club since 1998 and participates in The Write Stuff writers group. She has published two memoirs: When We Were Children, about growing up in Switzerland during World War II, and Sunrise Hill, about her years in the United States. She has several shorter works published in The Write Stuff anthologies Insight Out and A Write Stuff Christmas. She continues to write short stories and memoirs.

Message from the Judges:

We enjoyed putting our heads together to read the many nonfiction entries submitted to the KAC Youth Writing Contest. We were impressed to see the diverse subjects these creative writers delved into and described so well. Much research and, in some cases, much original thought went into their work. Those writers who wrote "from the heart" were most successful at drawing the reader's attention to the themes of their prose. It is such a relief to know our future world is in the hands of such talented creative minds as displayed in the entries submitted. We hope all of you will keep writing and honing your skills as future published authors!
Yvonne Evie Green and Agnes Kazminski, Nonfiction Judges

1 & 2 grades Non-fiction

1st: "The Day I Dropped the Cake" - Maggie Zhang
2nd: "A Family Summer Vacation" - Abigail Balson
3rd: "Animals" - MacKenzie Williams

3 &4 grades Non-fiction

1st: "All about Owned Horses" - Rebekah Garrison
2nd: "Minecraft!!!" - Jackson Fox
3rd: "Greensburg Tornado" - Brittani Burgess
HM: "Pandas" - Kailla Minier
HM: "How to Skateboard" - Raiden Chick

5 & 6 grades Non-fiction

1st: "Best School" - Rachel Zhang
2nd: "Boogie Boarding in L.A. Beach" - April Ma
3rd: "Fashion Designing" - Gabby Macy
HM: "My Priceless Treasure" - Megan Cotter
HM: "Glass Lizard" - Savannah Thode

7 & 8 grades Non-fiction

1st: "Diversity" - Ashley Beteta
2nd: "If" - Michael Rall
3rd: "The Power of Shoes" - Anita Patel
HM: "Boundaries or Barriers" - Srividya Dasaraju
HM: "Are You Proud of Your Country?" - Kevin Bruggenmeyer

9-12 grades Non-fiction

1st: "The Day I Wished Never Happened" - Riley Koster
2nd: "A Typical Day" - Sydney Nelson
3rd: "Bad Day" - Sammie Heimerman
HM: "Cao: A Man of Conscience" - Katlynn Ronnebaum

Return to Top of Page


Kansas Authors Club logo Kansas Authors Club
Benefits Officers Membership Districts

Hot Links
side bar spacer
Return to