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Celebrating the Literary Talents of Wyoming County: 2023 Literature Fund Writing Contest Winners

Wyoming County has always been a place where stories are born and cherished. Each spring, the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority invites residents to showcase their writing talents through the Literature Fund Writing Contest in collaboration with the Wyoming County Planning Commission and the Wyoming County Board of Education. This cherished tradition, made possible by the generosity of Wyoming County native Lonnie Bailey, offers a platform for students and adults to unleash their creativity and connect with the county’s rich culture, community, and history.

Fostering Creativity: The Literature Fund Tradition

Lonnie Bailey’s enduring commitment to his hometown has given rise to the Literature Fund, an annual event that allows Wyoming County residents to share their original works. This initiative not only celebrates the literary talents of the community but also encourages individuals to explore the stories and experiences that make this region unique.

2023 Writing Contest Winners

Elementary School Category

1st Place – Lillian Stewart, Berlin McKinney 4th Grade

“The Changing of the Season” 

Prize: $150

2nd Place – Mason Bailey, 5th Grade, Mullens Middle School 

“Notable People Born and Raised in Wyoming County” 

Prize: $100

Lillian Stewart’s vivid portrayal of “The Changing of the Season” beautifully captures the essence of Wyoming County’s ever-evolving landscapes. Meanwhile, Mason Bailey pays tribute to local legends with his exploration of “Notable People Born and Raised in Wyoming County.”

Middle School Category

1st Place – Abby Laxton, 6th Grade, Glen Fork 

“Lost World Caverns” 

Prize: $200

2nd Place – Shaina McKinney, 8th Grade, Herndon Consolidated 

“Wyoming County Hills” 

Prize: $150

Abby Laxton’s captivating piece, “Lost World Caverns,” takes readers on an underground adventure, while Shaina McKinney’s ode to the “Wyoming County Hills” beautifully showcases the county’s stunning topography.

High School Category

1st Place – Aiden Cardwell, Wyoming East High School

“Paranormal Side of Wyoming County”

Prize: $200

2nd Place – Piper Cook, Wyoming East High School

“The Walls of the Courthouse” 

Prize: $150

3rd Place – Madison Clark, Wyoming East High School

“Eastern Hemlock”

Prize: $50

Aiden Cardwell’s exploration of the “Paranormal Side of Wyoming County” delves into the mysteries that shroud the region, while Piper Cook’s narrative explores the historic significance of “The Walls of the Courthouse.” Madison Clark’s piece, “Eastern Hemlock,” offers a fresh perspective on the natural beauty of the county.

Adult Category

1st Place – Benny Mills

“Cards from the County” Script

Prize: $500

2nd Place – Benny Mills

“The Preacher and the PotBelly Stove”

Prize: $400

Benny Mills, with two exceptional entries, takes the top spot in the Adult Category. His script, “Cards from the County,” and heartwarming tale, “The Preacher and the PotBelly Stove,” showcase his literary prowess and storytelling finesse.

Celebrating Literary Excellence

The 2023 Literature Fund Writing Contest winners have truly captured the spirit and essence of Wyoming County. Through their words, they’ve painted vivid pictures of the landscapes, legends, and mysteries that define our region. The EDA, Wyoming County Planning Commission and Wyoming County Board of Education, applaud their creativity and commitment to preserving our unique culture.

A Bright Literary Future

As we celebrate these talented individuals, we also look forward to the continued growth of literary talent in Wyoming County. The Literature Fund Writing Contest is more than just a competition; it’s a celebration of the stories, dreams, and aspirations that make our community special. Congratulations to all the winners, and may their words continue to inspire and enrich our lives for years to come.