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Congratulations to the 2021 Mississippi Scholastic Writing Award winners, who persevered through the challenges presented by the Coronavirus to schools, teachers, and students and achieved well-deserved recognition. According to Sally Birdsall, administrator of the Scholastic Writing Program for Mississippi, 278 students submitted 577 works and 31 portfolios of creative writing that were evaluated by 45 judges from throughout the state. Selected for awards were five American Voices Nominees, 15 Senior Portfolio winners, 31 Gold Key winners, 92 Silver Key winners, and 57 who received Honorable Mention. Several students received more than one award of the 200 presented.

Although the Welty Foundation looks forward to hosting an awards program at the Eudora Welty House and Garden each year, Covid-19 precautions necessitated the cancellation of the scheduled 2020 awards program. (Visit here for more news about the 2020 National Medalists.) Because Covid-19 also prevents the Foundation to sponsor a 2021 recognition ceremony, a virtual awards program is being planned to recognize these outstanding students. It will be hosted on this website and other platforms to be announced, and photos of winners will be added here soon. Winners will receive certificates in the mail.

American Voices Nominees, selected as best in the Mississippi Region, include Faith Bradford, Mississippi School for Math and Science, for “Entry 49: 2073,” science fiction/fantasy; Alana Brown-Davis, South Pike High School, for “The Brownie Recipe,” flash fiction; Maleigh Crespo, (also a 2020 Scholastic national medalist) Mississippi School of the Arts, for “S. O. S. (Saving Ourselves), poetry; Lily Hale, Pontotoc Junior High School, for “Once, in Full,” short story; and Rooks Russell, Northwest Rankin High School, for Miracle, novel writing.

A complete list of winners is given here.

In addition to the schools represented by American Voices nominees, winners also were home schooled and attended Amory High School, Bay High School, Booneville High School, Cathedral School, Germantown High School, Jackson Academy, Jackson Preparatory School, Lamar School, Lewisburg Middle School, Madison Central High School, Madison Middle School, Mississippi School for the Blind, Murrah High School, Oxford High School, Petal High School, Picayune Memorial High School, Piney Woods School, Pisgah High School, Power APAC, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and Vicksburg Catholic School.

Categories included critical essay, dramatic script, flash fiction, humor, journalism, novel writing, personal essay and memoir, poetry, science fiction and fantasy, short story, and for seniors only, writing portfolio.

The Welty Foundation extends grateful thanks to the C Spire Foundation, which continues to provide generous support to the Eudora Welty Foundation to manage the Scholastic Writing Program in partnership with the Eudora Welty House and Garden and Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honors for students in grades 7-12. They are offered by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work along with opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication, and scholarships.


This post is from the News archive.