by Beth Savoie For high school
students, spring means prom, finals, and looking forward to summer. It’s
hard to motivate them to finish homework, let alone write a short story.
But, as we in BWG know, writers will write, no matter what their age.
Offer them cash prizes, a free critique, and a chance to add to their writing
resume and they are in!
Of course, I’m referring to the BWG Young Writer’s Contest. Open to high
school students in Cameron, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, Beauregard, and Allan
Parishes, the yearly contest gives students a chance to submit and receive
feedback on their work. Fiction and non-fiction pieces not longer than
2,000 words were accepted with up to two entries per student. First place
prize was $25.00 and admission to the Bridge to Publication Conference in
November. Second Place was $15.00, and Third was $10.
This year we had 13 entries. Sam Houston, Barbe, DeRidder, East
Beauregard, and Johnson Bayou were represented. Two entries were from an
area Homeschooler. Our judges included myself, Connie McDonald, a
retired high school creative writing teacher and Rachel Rinehart, an MFA
student at McNeese. Both ladies teach in the Governor’s Program at
McNeese. They were a great help in the contest.
Competition was close, with some places separated only by a few points.
These kids really showed their talent. As there was no theme, the judges had a
variety of topics to read, from the Boxer Revolution to migration in the future
to a New Earth. Zombies made more than one appearance. After
reading them, I was encouraged to fire up the laptop and get busy
First and third place went to Ashley Petry from Sam Houston High
School. Her stories gave us a glimpse into the supernatural
world. Second place went to Homeschool student Hannah Pettefer who
shared a delightful story of what can happen when siblings are left to their
own devices and imagination.
New and Exciting This
This year the group decided on something new for the contest. A donation
of $100 worth of books was given to the first place winner’s school
library. The donation went to Sam Houston High School. This was
especially exciting for the librarians as they recently moved into their new
library. BWG was able to supply books on writing and grammar requested by
Connie Degenhardt, one of the librarians.
Winners were notified by August 10th. An announcement
regarding this will be made at the conference in November, but we were so
excited that we couldn’t wait to share the news. On Tuesday, Aug.
27th, I, along with Chris Baldauf and Patricia Fox, met with Ashley,
Connie, and Vickie Barto, SHHS librarian, to present them with the books.
Marilyn Monroe from Southwest Daily News was present to cover the event.
Who knew we could attract such a star? A fun time was had by
So many people helped make this year’s contest a success. Thank you
to our parents, librarians, teachers, principals, and businesses that
advertised the contest and encouraged our kids to write. A BIG thanks to
the students who participated. Without them, there wouldn’t be a contest.
Left to right: Librarian, 1st place winner - Ashley Petry, BWG member Beth Savoie, and librarian.
Today I was proud to be the President of the Bayou Writer’s
Group. I met Pat Fox, our publicist, armed with her camera, Beth Savoie, this
year’s Young Writers Contest coordinator, and we descended on Sam Houston High
school to award Ashley Petry, a junior, 1st place in the 2013 BWG’s Young
An exciting contest with winners scores only fractions of a
point different, the sixteen entries were terrific examples of student writers
from the Southwest Louisiana area. Open to public, private and home schooled
students, the contest definitely lived up to our creed to Encourage, Educate
and Inspire. In Ashley’s honor, BWG also awarded $100.00 in books to her school
With smiles all around Beth gave Ashley her 1st place award
certificate, but the young junior, also received the award for 3rd place as
well. SHH librarians proudly hold the library’s new books.
Gator Bites is due august 31, 2013. Selections of fiction and poetry will be printed on a single sheet of paper, tri-folded, and placed in packets at our conference and around Lake Charles for free. We offer this service in order to promote our members, their writing(s), and Bayou Writers’ Group.
Bayou Writers Group announces Lydia Kebodeaux Hebert will be guest speaker for this month's meeting on Saturday,August 3, 2013, 10:00 am to 12 noon at the Carnegie Memorial Library, Conference Room, 411 Pujo Street, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Meetings are free and open to the public.
Mrs. Hebert's topic is "Point of View".
A graduate from Sulphur High School, she obtained a Master's Degree in Education from McNeese State University. Her experience in the classroom exceeds fifteen years.
Mrs. Hebert is the daughter of Joyce Kebodeaux of Sulphur, Louisiana and currently resides in Iota, Louisiana with her husband, Jason and son, Jared. Her daughter, Amber Hebert Brunet, lives in Sulphur with her family.
President - Chris Baldauf Vice Pres. - Michele Abshire Secretary - Cliff Seiber Treasurer - Sherry Perkins Publicist - Pat Fox Newsletter Editor - Sylvia Ney Member At Large - Beth Savoie Historian - Julia Rodriguez