KEARNEY – Seven high school students have been named winners in a University of Nebraska at Kearney writing contest with the theme “Nebraska in the Year 2020.”
The Nebraska Emerging Writer Contest included submissions from students across the state in three categories: essay, poetry and short story. It was sponsored and organized by UNK’s Phi Eta Sigma chapter. Cash prizes totaling $500 were given to the winners.
Briannah Stromer, a junior at Hastings High School, won first place in the poetry division. Cydnee Coutts, a senior at Creighton Community High School, placed first in the short story category, and Elwood High School senior Hanna Wood won first in the essay portion of the contest.
Winners have been invited to read their submissions April 16 at the Student Language and Literature Conference organized by the UNK Department of English.
Winning entries include:
1st Place – Briannah Stromer, junior, Hastings High School, “Farmers in a Pandemic”
2nd Place – Brooke Slangal, sophomore, Axtell High School, “We Will All Get Through This Together”
2nd Place – Ashley Nierman, senior, Harvard Public School, “Whatever You Make It”
1st Place – Cydnee Coutts, senior, Creighton Community High School, “Mother Nature’s Nebraska”
2nd Place – Alicia Vodehnal, senior, Clarkson Public Schools, “Troy’s Journey”
Honorable Mention – Emily Marin, sophomore, Creek Valley Public Schools, “The Flower Girl”
1st Place – Hanna Wood, senior, Elwood High School, “2020 in a Nutshell”
Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society that promotes literacy and academic excellence. The UNK chapter currently has about 350 members.
Judging committees for the writing contest were chaired by UNK students Brooke Benck, Kelcie Burke, Caroline Stanley and Mariah Watson. The contest is part of a larger call for philanthropic activities focusing on literacy from the national office of Phi Eta Sigma.