According to the Georgia Department of Education, the purposes of the Young Georgia Authors' Writing Competition are to encourage students to develop writing that represents their best efforts, provide a context for schools to support and celebrate the writing successes of all students and to encourage and recognize student achievement in writing throughout Georgia. Entries may be short stories, poetry, essays, journals, personal narratives, reports, or any other original student writing.
Each school system can send one entry per grade level to the northwest Georgia regional competition, but first each system has to hold their own competition to decide which writers will represent the county.
"This is one event that involves every grade level and every school," said Dot Frasier, former educator and executive director of the Bartow Education Foundation.
At the local level, teachers and administrators met at Cass Middle School earlier this month to read and decide whose work will go on to the regional competition.
"The winning entries will be sent on to the state department [of education] where there will be a regional and then state level competition," said Deborah Hanenkrat, media specialist at Cass Middle.
Hanenkrat also officiates the local competition each year at CMS.
"We've had several regional and state winners in the past from Bartow County and [the Young Georgia Authors' Writing Competition] represents some of the best writing in our school system," Hanenkrat said.
She said it was important for students to pursue writing as advances in technology have caused many to neglect the writing lessons they have learned in school.
"With texting and email and the lack of grammar, I think it is very important we continue to promote writing as an activity," Hanenkrat said.
Frasier echoed her statements.
"[Writing] is becoming sort of a lost art, and we certainly don't want that to happen," Frasier said.
Students and work selected to the regional competition were:
* Kindergarten -- Taylorsville Elementary, Joseph Parker, Untitled story about "The Cat in the Hat."
* First grade -- Hamilton Crossing Elementary, Anna Grace Trammell, "My Favorite Vacation."
* Second grade -- Allatoona Elementary, Olivia Garcia, "Why Do Homework?"
* Third grade -- Taylorsville Elementary, Chloe Hendrix, "The Quest of the Fruit Bat."
* Fourth grade -- Clear Creek Elementary, Jenna Keeler, "Angels and Demons."
* Fifth grade -- Emerson Elementary, Carah Camron, "Fighter."
* Sixth grade -- Woodland Middle, Sophia Golden, "Fight for Freedom."
* Seventh grade -- Cass Middle, Payton Chester, "Invincible."
* Eighth grade -- Cass Middle, Courtney Keeler, "No One Can Restore Broken Glass."
* Ninth grade -- Cass High, Tristan Lance, "Fear."
* 10th grade -- Woodland High, Emily Roberts, "Summer Rain."
* 11th grade -- Cass High, Caitlin Danahy, Untitled Poem about Memories.
* 12th grade -- Adairsville High, Graham Smith, "Branding Days."