Four young Mississippi writers received national honors in the Scholastic Writing Awards competition of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers on April 7 at the Jackson Convention Complex.

National winners included Merrilee Bufkin, Mississippi School for the Arts, Gold Medal, poetry, who was also chosen for an American Voices honor and read from her work at the ceremony. She is shown here with her family.

Other national winners were Katelyn Davis, Mississippi School for the Arts, Gold Medal, humor; Grace Gibson, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, Gold Medal, flash fiction; and Rachel Jones, Mississippi School for Math and Science, Silver Medal, personal essay/memoir.

Bridget Edwards, Welty House director, and Jeanne Luckett, Welty Foundation Communications Coordinator, presented the awards. All national winners will be recognized at a ceremony in New York in May.

Bufkin was also chosen for an American Voices honor, and four others from the Welty Foundation affiliate entries were named American Voices nominees. They include Jess Bennett, Clinton High School, short story; Lauren Ladner, Ocean Springs Middle School, short story; Joseph Messer, Mississippi School for Math and Science, personal essay; and Lee Schmidt, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, short story.

Another 108 awards — including 30 Gold Keys, 28 Silver Keys, and 50 Honorable Mentions — were presented at the awards ceremony. Download the complete list of winners here.

The Mississippi regional competition is held in 20 counties. There were 346 entries from some 264 schools and home-schoolers. The Eudora Welty Foundation serves as the Mississippi affiliate and works in partnership with the Eudora Welty House, which administers the competition with the support of a generous grant from the C Spire Foundation.

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