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Two Bulloch County Schools’ Young Authors Advance to State, Two Others Receive Top-Three Placements

Two Bulloch County Schools students are advancing to the state level of the Young Georgia Authors contest after their literary works were selected from 17 counties’ entries as the First District region winners for their grade levels. Two additional students’ essays also received top-three placements in the competition.

Savanna Schutte, a fifth-grade student at Nevils Elementary School, is her grade level’s region winner with her story, “Larisa’s Wish,” and Emma Johnson, a junior at Portal Middle High School, is the region winner for eleventh grade with her story, “You’ll be Proud.”

Their works will now be judged with grade-level winners from each of the state’s 16 Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) regions. State winners will be announced on the Young Georgia Author’s website by the end of the school year.

While not advancing to state competition, Bulloch County Schools did have two other students whose compositions were recognized by the judges as top three finalists for their grade category. Kaylee Adkins, a seventh-grader from Langston Chapel Middle School, was the second-place winner for her grade level with her short story, “Hiraeth,” and Kassie Lord of Portal won third-place for eighth grade with her work, “Reflection.”

RESA will host an award ceremony celebrating each one of these students on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at the Coastal Pines Technical College in Jesup from 6-7:30.

An appointed committee of English language arts professionals brought together by the First District Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) judged each of the 17-member school districts’ system winners to select region winners for each grade level to advance to state.  School districts could submit one entry per grade level (K-12) to the regional competition.

Unlike many writing competitions, Young Georgia Authors does not provide a writing prompt for students or any other boundaries to their genre choice or creativity beyond a 1900-word maximum length. Students write and submit original works ranging from poetry, short stories, essays, journalism, and more. Their works could not be part of a collaboration with another student or a class assignment in which they had previously received feedback from their teacher. Judges evaluate entries based on expression of ideas, language use, perspective and voice.

According to the Young Georgia Authors’ website, the purpose of the competition is to “encourage students to develop enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing, to provide a context to celebrate their writing successes, and to recognize student achievement in arts and academics.”

The competition is sponsored by the Georgia Language Arts Supervisors Organization (GLAS) and the Georgia RESA Network with support from the Georgia Department of Education. The competition has encouraged writing skills and provided an outlet for young authors for more than 20 years.

These are Bulloch County Schools’ system-level winners, who represented our school district in the First District RESA level of the competition:

  • Kindergarten:  Kyrie Williams, Portal Elementary, “My Trip”
  • First Grade:  Kinsley Cohen, Mill Creek Elementary, “I Have a Dream”
  • Second Grade: Holley Thomas, Stilson Elementary, “Best Vacation Ever”
  • Third Grade: Ella Cusher, Julia P. Bryant Elementary, “Drama Girl”
  • Fourth Grade: Hye-Yoon Kim, Brooklet Elementary, “A Smaller World”
  • Fifth Grade: Savanna Schutte, Nevils Elementary, “Larisa’s Wish”
  • Sixth Grade: Sophie Veland, Southeast Bulloch Middle, “The Family Attic Ghost”
  • Seventh Grade: Kaylee Adkins, Langston Chapel Middle, “Hiraeth”
  • Eighth Grade: Kassie Lord, Portal Middle High, “Reflection”
  • Ninth Grade: Scarlett Brickey, Southeast Bulloch High, “The Greatest Gift”
  • Tenth Grade: Emily Montgomery, Southeast Bulloch High, “Monster”
  • Eleventh Grade: Emma Johnson, Portal Middle High, “You’ll Be Proud”
  • Twelfth Grade:  River Perry, Statesboro High School, “The Mysterious World of Psychedelic Mushrooms”

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