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Turner Center Announces Winners in
“The Art of Writing Contest”

By March 26, 2024No Comments

The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts and its Young Writers League (YoWL) hosted the 4th annual Art of Writing Contest, sponsored by the Georgia Council for the Arts, Greater Valdosta United Way, the Valdosta Daily Times, and Snake Nation Press. Middle and high school students in Valdosta, south Georgia, and the surrounding areas were invited to participate in the contest. 141 submissions were received based on this year’s theme, “Imagine.”

“The Turner Center for the Arts is pleased to host this annual Art of Writing competition and are thrilled by the participation from students across our region and beyond,” said Executive Director Sementha Mathews. “Young people who possess good writing skills will often become better communicators in other areas of expression. Our goal for all our youth programs is to enrich and educate our young people through the arts, and we congratulate the brave students who embraced this opportunity.”

Contest winners received a combined total of $2,500 in cash prizes and will receive a copy of the Art of Writing 2024 Anthology, a publication that contains all works of the winners and honorable mentions. Additional copies of the anthology will be available for sale in the Turner Center’s Gift Shop.

Winners and honorable mentions of the 2024 “Art of Writing” contest are as follows:



Gracey Peterson, Lake Park Elementary School 5th Grade, “The Life I Choose to Live”— 1st place
Ella Bradshaw, Scintilla Charter Academy 7th Grade, “Life in the Future” – 2nd place
Jeremiah Sharpe, Valdosta Early College Academy 8th Grade, “Harmony of Dreams: A Symphony for a Better Tomorrow”– 3rd place


Pierson Brown, Pine Grove Middle School 6th Grade, “The Portal Part One”— 1st place
Greta Carter, Georgia Christian School 7th Grade, “Marjorie’s Dream”– 2nd place
Zyan Williams, Scintilla Charter Academy 8th Grade, “A Lost Imagination” – 3rd place
Chloe Gay, Scintilla Charter Academy 8th Grade, “The Blooming Brain”– honorable mention
Allie Carter, Community Christian Academy 7th Grade, “One Day I’ll Soar”– honorable mention


Kreea Chakraborty, Valwood School 8th Grade, “Imagine”— 1st place
Michaelah Ferguson, Valdosta Early College Academy 7th Grade, “I Imagine”– 2nd place
Emerson Rados, Homeschool 5th Grade, “My Heart Flows on the River” – 3rd place
Graycee Brewer, Lowndes Middle School 7th Grade, “Just an Imagination”– honorable mention



Tsechi Hsu, Valwood School 12th Grade, “Rather Be”— 1st place
Kayla Grant, Valdosta Early College Academy 11th Grade, “Imagine”– 2nd place
Emoni Murphy, Valdosta Early College Academy 12th Grade, “The Ax and the Tree”– 3rd place
Khalef Cook, Valdosta High School 10th Grade, “Why Do Rabbits Hop?”– honorable mention


Eraleigh Larson, Tift County High School 11th Grade, “Time Flies” – 1st place
Tsechi Hsu, Valwood School 12th Grade, “Man in the Mirror” – 2nd place
Nandini Thanki, Valdosta High School 10th Grade, “The Tale of the Lonesome Flower”– 3rd place
Rosselyn Peralta Rayon, Valdosta Early College Academy 9th Grade, “Dear Ruby Rose, The Possibilities are Endless”– honorable mention
Nikita Carr, Valdosta High School 10th Grade, “Why White roses are considered one of the most beautiful Flowers”– honorable mention


Ryan Montiel, Valdosta High School 9th Grade, “It Makes All the Difference (A Five Senses Poem)”– 1st place
Aliyah Blakeman, Valdosta Early College Academy 9th Grade, “My Vision of the Harmonies of Youth”– 2nd place
Patience Hope, Berrien High School 11th Grade, “My Hydroelectric Dam”– 3rd place
Tripp Perry, Valdosta High School 9th Grade, “A Ray and a Flower” – honorable mention

The contest was judged by volunteers from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, Valdosta State University, the Lowndes-Valdosta Art Commission Board, and other local writers. The Turner Center thanks Michael Antonoff, Unoma Azuah, Dr. Eric Blix, Dr. Cheryl Carvajal, Vickie Everitte, Matt Flummerfelt, Dr. Deborah Hall, Miriam Jackson, Dr. Emma Kostopolus, Dean Poling, and Dr. Ryan Wander for their critical contribution to the Art of Writing contest.

“We are so pleased with both the number of entrants and the quality of the entries,” said Carvajal. “We can only hope that next year’s contest includes such a creative and meaningful collection from middle and high school writers in all our local schools. This year’s participants showed so much talent in expressing themselves while presenting their work at the awards reception.”

YoWL, led by Carvajal, allows students to express themselves through written word, improve their writing skills, and pursue authorship with contests like “The Art of Writing.” Classes currently take place via the Discord app and are open to writers ages 11-17. The Writer’s League for ages 18+ also meets through the Discord app, with face-to-face meetings on Saturday afternoons at the Turner Center for the Arts. The Discord app, as well as both the YoWL and Writer’s League programs, are free.

The theme and deadline for next year’s 5th annual Art of Writing contest will be announced by the beginning of the 2024/2025 school year. For more information, call 229.247.2787, or visit