Winners of Young Writers Competition announced

Published 4:15 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

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In a partnership between Creative Writing and English Education at Longwood, and with support from the Cook-Cole College of Arts & Sciences, the Department of English & Modern Languages has announced the winners of its inaugural Longwood Young Writers Competition.

The theme of this first competition was Hope. Students living and attending high school in Southside Virginia, in the 9th-12th grades were invited to enter by submitting poetry, fiction or nonfiction.

The contest specifically sought entrants from the following counties: Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Charlotte, Nottoway, Lunenburg, Mecklenberg, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick, Brunswick, Greenesville, Sussex and Southampton. Home-schooled and private school students were also included. Each student entrant had to be accompanied by a teacher/mentor recommendation. Submissions closed March 1, and winners and finalists notified by April 1.

The judges, faculty members in the Department of English & Modern Languages, selected a winner and two finalists in each category.


Winner: “La Flor” by Lucy Doswell, Governor’s School of Southside Virginia; Teacher/Mentor Joy Hurt.

First Finalist: “Turning Point” by Charles Moore, Greensville County High School; Teacher/Mentor Rodney Mills.

Second Finalist: “Adoption Through God” by Jacob Jackson, Bear Creek Academy; Teacher/Mentor Kourtney Martin.


Winner: “Brains Taste Better As Burritos” by Kristen Caleb, Governor’s School of Southside Virginia;  Teacher/Mentor Joy Hurt.

First Finalist: “Good Behavior, Chance of Desire” by Jazlynn Wade, Prince Edward County High School; Teacher/Mentor Carol Pippen.

Second Finalist: “Hope Is Gone” by Katherine Ellis, Faith Christian Academy Teacher/Mentor Rebekah Nigro.


Winner: “Hope Is Found” by Patricia Murrill, Cumberland County High School; Teacher/Mentor Rebecca Haigh.

First Finalist: “Her Hope” by Laural Williams, Governor’s School of Southside Virginia; Teacher/Mentor Joy Hurt.

Second Finalist: “My Wish” by Nora Poling, Governor’s School of Southside Virginia; Teacher/Mentor Joy Hurt.

Dr. Sean Ruday, English Education, and one of the contest directors, said, “These young writers addressed the theme of hope in both insightful and varied ways. The ideas they expressed on this topic show their awareness of and ability to engage with the world around them.”

Mary Carroll-Hackett, also a founding contest director and co-coordinator of Creative Writing at Longwood, said, “This competition is a way for Longwood’s Department of English and Modern Languages to support young writers in our region. We are impressed by their talent and their courage, and honored that these young writers from our region chose to share their works with us.”

Winners in each category receive $100. Winners and finalists will also receive certificates of recognition, and along with their teacher/mentors, will be honored at a private reception at Longwood on Friday, April 22.

The theme and call for submissions for the 2023 Longwood Young Writers Competition will be announced in the fall.