AUGUSTA, Maine — Three high school juniors have been chosen as the winners of Maine Community College System’s A Journey Into Writing contest and named 2011 Governor’s Young Writers of the Year. The three were among seven finalists chosen from 205 submissions representing 66 Maine high schools.
The winners are: Charles Baker of Freeport High School, Julia Maine of Chebeague Island and Sarah Mulcahy of Cumberland Center. Both Maine and Mulcahy are students at Greely High School. The three students were each presented with an award and a $2,500 check by Gov. Paul LePage in a ceremony at the State House earlier this month.
The four other finalists were: Devon Brettkelly of Lebanon, a junior at Noble High School; Lindsey Daggett from Calais High School; Anderson Denduang of Stockton Springs, who attends Searsport District High School and Michelle Henaire of Saco, a student at Thornton Academy. These four students each received a plaque and a check for $500.
MCCS President John Fitzsimmons joined the governor in presenting the awards.
“Maine has a long tradition of having nationally and internationally recognized poets and authors. This contest, which we started seven years ago, shows that this legacy will continue long into the future,” said Fitzsimmons.
The judges for the annual contest this year were Maine’s Poet Laureate Wesley McNair and Maine authors Susan Kenney and Lewis Robinson. The contest is open to high school juniors across the state and supported by U.S. Cellular. Baker won for his essay “It was a Long Walk”; Maine won for her essay “Lost in a Fog”; and Mulcahy won for her poem “Saturday Waitress.”
In presenting the awards, LePage said, “These students are shining examples of the future of our state. The work that you have shared with me and our entire state is inspiring. Congratulations to each of you, and continue to share your creativity with the world because the talent you have is impressive.”
Since the program was established in 2005 U.S. Cellular has provided $60,000 in prize money to contest finalists.
A Journey Into Writing is open to all high school juniors and home-schooled students of the same age. To enter the contest, students submit a short story, essay or poem of up to 1,500 words. More information about the contest, including this year’s top seven entries, is available at www.mccs.me.edu.