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NCTC honors creative writing winners

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The Jerry Simpson Memorial Short Story Contest winners included (left to right) Grace Teague (honorable mention), Paige Woelke (honorable mention), Samuel Blalock (third place) and Lindsay Tito of Liberty Christian School (second place).
The Jerry Simpson Memorial Short Story Contest winners included (left to right) Grace Teague (honorable mention), Paige Woelke (honorable mention), Samuel Blalock (third place) and Lindsay Tito of Liberty Christian School (second place).

North Central Texas College honored some talented writers and poets at the 49th annual Creative Writing Awards ceremony April 10 at the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on the Gainesville campus.

The poems, short stories and essays recognized in Friday’s ceremony were written by more than 600 entrants in nine divisions of competition in the NCTC Creative Writing Awards Contest. Winning entries will be published in the 2015 issue of the college literary magazine, The April Perennial.

“We just keep getting more and more entries from a wider area,” contest coordinator Gabrielle Fletcher said. “It used to be mostly Cooke County and Denton County, but now we are starting to move out a little further and more schools are starting to participate.”

Jaye Wells was the guest speaker. Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of urban fantasy and speculative crime fiction.

NCTC President Dr. Brent Wallace then presented awards to the winners in attendance. The Jerry Simpson Memorial Contest in poetry and short fiction for middle school students is funded by Mr. and Mrs. John Simpson of Houston in memory of their son.

In the poetry contest, first place went to Samuel Blalock (Westmont Christian Academy), second place went to Annie Braack (Pilot Point Selz MS), third place went to Jackson Mitchell (Era MS), and honorable mention went to Jaiden Pierce (Lewisville Huffines MS) and Joshua Torres (Era MS).

In the short story contest, first place went to Makenzie Fleitman (Lindsay ISD), second place went to Lindsay Tito (Argyle Liberty Christian), third place went to Samuel Blalock (Westmont Christian Academy), and honorable mention went to Grace Teague (Denton Strickland MS) and Paige Woelke (Lewisville Huffines MS).

The Keith G. King Contest in poetry for high school students is funded by Ms. Patsy Wilson in memory of Mr. King, an excellent friend to NCTC.

In the poetry contest, first place went to Ashya Litherland (Era HS), second place went to Robert Gomulak (Lindsay HS), third place went to Richard Ellinghaus (Denton Guyer HS), and honorable mention went to Lauren Skainiak (Argyle Liberty Christian) and Blake Carroll (Era HS).

The Brad Dill Memorial Contest in short fiction for high school students is funded by Mrs. Pat Dill King in memory of her son.

In the short story contest, first place went to Tiffany Wang (Denton Guyer HS), second place went to Sierra Cothes (Argyle Liberty Christian), third place went to Lydia Curless (Little Elm HS), and honorable mention went to Alissa Blalock (Westmont Christian Academy) and Noah Villarreal (Argyle Liberty Christian).

The Inspired Essayist Contest for NCTC students is funded by Lary and Shelly Kuehn. First place went to Angela Williams (NCTC-Gainesville), second place went to Alaina Reiter (NCTC-Gainesville), third place went to Miranda Kaylor (NCTC-Gainesville) and honorable mention went to Brenden Kyer (NCTC-Corinth) and Tori Stockard (NCTC-Bowie).

The Aspiring Poet Contest for NCTC students is funded by Lary and Shelly Kuehn.

First place went to Brenden Kyer (NCTC-Corinth), second place went to Leigh Ann Bailey (NCTC-Gainesville), third place went to Miranda Davis (NCTC-Gainesville), and honorable mention went to Hannah Woolf (NCTC-Bowie) and Terriah Zuschlag-Hunt (NCTC-Gainesville).

The Gerald Green Goforth McDaniel Memorial Short Story Contest for NCTC students is funded by the family of Dr. McDaniel, Professor of English at NCTC from 1993-2001.

First place went to Leigh Ann Bailey (NCTC-Gainesville), second place went to Terriah Zuschlag-Hunt (NCTC-Gainesville), third place went to Miranda Davis (NCTC-Gainesville), and honorable mention went to Shenie Price (NCTC-Gainesville) and Brenden Kyer (NCTC-Corinth).

The Clinton Brennan Contest in poetry and short story fiction for non-students, non-professional writers residing in Texas and Oklahoma is funded by Margaret Brennan.

In the poetry contest, first place went to Ernest Largent of Bowie, second place went to Leta Parten of Denison, third place went to Jessica Gibson of Wichita Falls, and honorable mention went to Thomas Van Hook of Corinth and Shane Simmons of Rowlett.

In the short story contest, first place went to Carla Hardin of Decatur, second place went to Phil Endres of Denton, third place went to Thomas Van Hook of Corinth, and honorable mention went to Monica Berry of Dallas and Ramiro Valdez of Denton.

The Ona Roberts Wright Award for Literary Excellence in Prose and the Layuna Hicks Memorial Award for Literary Excellence in Poetry are awarded by the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Language to NCTC students whose entries in the Creative Writing Contests are thought to have outstanding literary merit. The awards are named for two longtime professors of English at NCTC.

The Ona Roberts Wright Award went to Terriah Zuschlag-Hunt (NCTC-Gainesville), while the Layuna Hicks Award went to Brenden Kyer (NCTC-Corinth).

For more information about the Creative Writing department at NCTC, visit www.nctc.edu/creativewriting.

Darrin Allred handles public relations for North Central Texas College.

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