(L-R) Literary writers Zoe Conner ’19 of Diamondhead and Katie Westbrook ’19 of Wesson, Mississippi

Katie Westbrook of Wesson and Zoe Conner of Diamondhead, both junior literary students at Mississippi School of the Arts, received first place with their original pieces in the 2017-2018 University of Mississippi Writing Competition. The awards ceremony took place April 19th.

“It is my pleasure to inform you that both Katherine Westbrook and Zoe Conner have placed in the 2017-2018 Writing Competition at the University of Mississippi. Katherine placed in the Essay category and Zoe placed in the Short Story category,” quoted an email received a few weeks prior to the awards ceremony.

According to the program web site, the University of Mississippi Writing Competition is an annual teachers workshop and mail-in/online submission competition for the state of Mississippi and neighboring schools in the Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee areas. The Writing Competition, sponsored by the UM Writing project, Office of Pre-College Programs, and Division of Outreach/Continuing Education, consisting of multiple writing categories all revolving around a central theme. This year’s theme was “A Celebration of Milestones.” The categories offered include: Essay (narrative or expository), poetry, and short story.

Nearly 500 entries were received this year and judged on literary merit and usage/grammar appropriate to grade level. In addition to the writing recognition, they were both awarded $1,000 tuition scholarships to the Summer College at the University of Mississippi.

Westbrook was also a recent winner in the Scholastic Art and Writing Regional Competition, winning three silver medals for original pieces of poetry.

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