First place winners in the 11th-12th grade level received a $2,000 scholarship to SMSU

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Yellow Medicine East 6th and 7th grade students, Madison Hinz and Brynn Cherveny earned second and first place honors, respectively, at  10th Annual Creating Spaces Writing Contest, and as a result  are officially now published authors.
Brochures were sent to all schools last fall inviting students in grades 3-12 to participate in the writing contest. Categories included fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Submissions were due January 17 and all entries were registered by the SW/WC Service Cooperative. 166 students submitted 250 entries. Students from SMSU’s Creative Writing program handled the preliminary judging. Final judging was done by published authors: Poetry – Marianne Murphy Zarzana, Fiction – Steve Pacheco, and Non-Fiction – Jim Zarzana, all of SMSU.
The finalists, their families and teachers were invited to the Creative Writing Contest Awards Ceremony held on Sunday, April 27 at SMSU in Marshall.  The keynote speaker was Saara Myrene Raappana, poet from Michigan. Medals were awarded to all students, along with an anthology of the winning entries. First place winners in all categories and grade levels were given $20 gift certificates to First place winners in the 11th-12th grade level also received a $2,000 scholarship to SMSU. A reception was held after the prizes were awarded.
The Creating Spaces Writing Contest was established as a partnership between SMSU English Department and the SW/WC Service Cooperative to encourage a love of language and writing for all students and as a way to recognize the talented young writers in this region. Students participated through a classroom project or on their own.