Five high school students from the area have been named winners in a creative writing contest sponsored by Applause, the creative arts club at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.
The students submitted entries in both short story and poetry categories, which were then judged by UAFS students. Winners were recognized in a ceremony at UAFS, where they read their works and received prizes, according to Carol Westcamp of Muldrow, faculty sponsor.
“The purpose of Applause is to promote the creative arts, not just on campus, but also in the community, and the contest is an excellent way to do just that,” said Westcamp.
Applause president Rhiannon Corley of Fort Smith said the contest had a further purpose beyond the prizes for winners.
“It is our hope that the high school writing contest will inspire and embolden budding writers and encourage students to continue in their creative pursuits beyond high school into college and beyond,” Corley said.
Short Stories -- First Place: Amber Baldwin, “The Coffee House,” Southside High School in Fort Smith. Second Place: Jennifer Stemmer, “At the End,” Sallisaw High School. Third Place: Lexi Gillson, “Flames,” Van Buren High School. Honorable Mention: Jennifer Stemmer, “No More Fear,” Sallisaw High School.
Poems -- First Place: Jav Sandhu, “Unseen,” Sallisaw High School. Second Place: Amber Baldwin, “I Don't Know,” Southside High School in Fort Smith. Third Place: Baylee White, “Laughter,” Van Buren High School. Honorable Mention: Jennifer Stemmer, “Dark,” Sallisaw High School.
First, second and third place winners, as well as those earning honorable mentions, all received a T-shirt and a certificate. Additionally, first place winners received $50, second place $30, and third place $20.
Applause publishes a magazine once a year, also called “Applause,” which features the work of UAFS students.