Clark, Rue take top honors in annual writing contest

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Roane County High School senior Hannah Clark is the grand-prize winner of the second annual Roane County Student Writing Contest.


Clark received the honor for her short story, “And His Sweat Became as Blood,” during an awards ceremony on Nov. 13 on the campus of Roane State Community College.

Michael Vanlandingham, Clark’s advanced-placement English teacher, presented her with the “Flame of Knowledge” medal and expressed his praise for her creative, compelling short story.

Clark’s winnings include a $2,500 scholarship to Roane State and a $500 check, the latter of which was presented
by Randy Lynch from the Cliff Lynch Family Foundation.

Twenty students received awards in this year’s contest, which was open to students in grades 4-12 living in Roane County and attending public, private or home school.

Winnings of $3,775 were presented to the award recipients. Area businesses and individuals underwrote the event by donating nearly $4,000 to support the importance of recognizing excellence within the county.

Another short-story writer, Midway Middle School seventh-grader Lauren Rue, received an additional cash award from an anonymous contributor for her outstanding writing.

Rue won top honors in her category for her entry, “Welcome Home.”

The event was sponsored by Roane Writers Group and Kingston Public Library Foundation. Bill Landry, a Knoxville television personality, hosted the awards ceremony, which was videotaped and will be aired on the new TV Channel 15 in the early part of next year.

Categories and winners are:


 Grades 4-5 —  Brianna Kosch, home school, “The Young Foal,” first place; Madeline Moore, Bowers Elementary, “My Favorite Things to Do,” second place.

• Grades 6-8 —  Duncan Van Horn, home school, “There Once Was a Flea,” first place; Luke Simmons, Midway Middle, “Average Day,” second place; Rebekah Brown, Midway Middle, “The American Soldier,” third place.

• Grades 9-12 — Kimberly Hill, Roane County High, “I Love You,” first place; Logan Ward, Midway High, “The Maiden,” second place; Carolyn Howe, Midway High,  “The Wooden Doll,” and Amber Kerley, Rockwood High, “Understanding,” third place (tie).

Short Story

• Grades 4-5 —  Halie Tuggle, Ridge View Elementary, “She’s Coming for You,” first place; Victoria Howard, Ridge View Elementary, “The Great Safari,” second place.

• Grades 6-8 — Lauren Rue, Midway Middle, “Welcome Home,” first place; Kristian Ray, Midway Middle, “War,” second place; and Josephine Benavides, Midway Middle, “Under Cover Kitty,” third place.

• Grades 9-12 — Hannah Clark, Roane County High, “And His Sweat Became As Blood,” first place; Matthew Ammerman, Midway High, “Sleepwalking,” second place;  Dakota Russell, Oliver Springs High, “The Reason for the Seasons,” third place.


• Overall — Natasha Roderick, Midway Middle, “Texting,” first place; Garrett Weingarten, Midway Middle, “Texting,” second place; Gage Patterson, Midway Middle, “Texting,” third place.

Roane Writers Group plans to publish an anthology of student entries and make it available to the public to raise funds for the next writing contest.

“The Anthology of 2010 Writers Contest” will contain all 53 entries submitted for judging.  

It will be sold to the public after the New Year; to pre-register for a copy, e-mail bjgillum@comcast.net.