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PJC Creative Writing Awards Presented

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Student writing talent was the focus of a recent awards ceremony at Paris Junior College.

Ceremony organizer and PJC English instructor Marsha Dennis emphasized to the audience the importance of creative writing that showcases narrative craft and poetry before handing out the awards.

Katelyn Allen of Sulphur Bluff received the Outstanding Student in English award, presented by English instructor Dr. Jennifer Collar.

“She is a student who always goes above and beyond expectations,” said Collar. “She started under rocky circumstances and emailed me to let me know she was having major surgery prior to the start of the semester but didn’t want it to affect her coursework. She kept up with it online and throughout her recovery until she could rejoin the class. She is an extremely intelligent, very talented young lady with an immensely bright future ahead of her.”

Kayleigh Forbes of Paris received Outstanding Student in a Foreign Language and received her award from Spanish instructor Mayra Cumming.

“Taking a foreign language is a challenge and she took the foreign language class online so there are two challenges,” said Cummings, “the technology and the foreign language. She was never afraid of wanting more help. To be successful as a college student, you need to ask questions and be willing to say, ‘I don’t know.’ That’s what the PJC instructors are here for.”

Swingers of Birches, the anthology of first prize-winning entries published by the Communications and Fine Arts Division, was distributed at the reception following the awards ceremony. To receive a copy, contact the PJC English Department at 903-782-0317.

Winners by category include:

Regional Literature

First place: “The Garden at Witching Hour,” by David Sleeper of Royse City, PJC – Greenville Center. Category judge: Anonymous.

Argumentative/Informative Essay

First place: “Choice,” by Makayla Brown, Paris High School; Second place: “The Uncertainty of Death,” by Matthew Cochran, Paris High School; Third place: “The Hidden Connection between Elliot Rodger, Levi Strauss, and the San Francisco 49ers,” by Nicholas Zamir, PJC Paris campus. The category was judged by Jane Bouterse; Professor of English, Texarkana Community College, Texarkana, Texas (Retired).

Short Story

First place: “Familiar Faces,” by Makayla Brown, Paris High School; Second place: “Na’Kato,” by Etalya Bell of Clarksville, PJC Paris campus; Third place: “19 Marks,” by David Sleeper of Royse City, PJC – Greenville Center; Honorable Mention: “Superintelligence,” by Matthew Cochran, Paris High School, and “How I Sold my Soul to the Devil, Twice,” by Nicholas Zamir, PJC Paris campus. This category was judged by Ruth Evans, University of North Texas (Retired).


First place: “The Iron Rosalie,” by Kaleigh Pitre of Point, PJC-Sulphur Springs Center; Second Place: “The Loudest Sound,” by Ashley Palmer of Klondike, PJC Paris campus; Third place: “Scars on the Western Front,” by David Sleeper, Royse City, PJC-Greenville Center; Honorable Mention: “Night,” by Heather Evans, PJC Paris campus; and “What Do You Say?” by Kaleigh Forbes, PJC Paris campus. This category was judged by Kelli Ebel; Former Instructor of Spanish (Paris Junior College), ESL and French (North Africa).

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Author: Staff Reporter

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