PORTLAND — The Telling Room, a literary arts education organization whose mission is to empower youth through writing and share their voices with the world, recognizes 14 young authors from across Maine as county winners in the 17th annual Statewide Writing Contest.

Each year The Telling Room encourages Maine youth to submit work to the contest, and this year received 300 submissions of creative writing. The winners were selected by a panel of judges that included booksellers, local authors, editors, publishers, Telling Room alumni, and current Telling Room students. Students in The Telling Room’s Publishing Workshop set the standards by which each piece of writing was judged and had the final say in selecting winners, according to a news release from Rylan Hynes with the Telling Room.

To recognize the wide geographic participation in this year’s contest, The Telling Room honored one writer from each of Maine’s 14 participating counties as a county winner, in addition to the grand prize winner.

Lily Jessen’s poem “Never” was selected as both the grand prize winner and the Cumberland county winner. Jessen, 15, of Cape Elizabeth, is a sophomore and is homeschooled/attending Stanford Online High School.

Additional county winners include:

“The Rubik’s Cube” by Belle Beauchesne, 16, student at Hebron Academy, of Lewiston (Androscoggin);
“Only Child” by Taylor Coulombe, 11th grader at Fort Kent Community School, of Wallagrass (Aroostook);
“It’s Not as I Once Dreamed” by Christina Nelson, 11th grader at Spruce Mountain High School, of Jay (Franklin);
“I Melt In Music” by Luci Misiaszek, age 15, 10th grader at Mount Desert Island High School, of Trenton, (Hancock);
“The Unfortunate Dragonfly” by Nhi Nguyen, 12th grader at Oak Hill High School, of Litchfield (Kennebec);
“A Cow Named Horse” by Imogen Esmé Egenson age 11, of Hope (Knox);
“Silent Shadows” by Lily Coleman, eighth grader at the Center for Teaching and Learning, of Edgecomb (Lincoln);
“Ballet-Slipper Pink” by Kate Dilworth, 11th grader at Hebron Academy, of Norway (Oxford);
“Nocturnal Beast” by Camryn Harvey, age 17 at Bangor High School, of Bangor (Penobscot);
“I am a Crow” by Imogen Dedek, age 11, student at Mt. Ararat Middle School, of Topsham (Sagadahoc);
“Dear You,” by Aaliyah Yarde, age 17, 11th grader at Nokomis Regional High School, of Palmyra (Somerset);
“Our Last Encounter” by Nevyn Harvey, age 17, 12th grader at Belfast Area High School, of Belfast (Waldo); and
“A School for Clouds” by Deanna Ferris, eighth grader at Wells Junior High School, of Wells (York).


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