Liberty Faculty and Students Triumph in Writing Competition

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Winners at the ceremony included Nancy Perry, Erin Ramsey, Cameron Brasher, Ross Earley, and Ryan Barnhart

Liberty students recently competed and placed in the 2010 North Central Texas College’s annual contest. 

Seventh grade English teacher Nancy Perry said, “The first, second, and third place winners in every category have their works published in the annual NCTC awards booklet called the ‘April Perennial,’ so that makes them published authors and poets!” 

The 2010 NCTC Writing Contest award recipients from Liberty are as follows:

Middle School Short Story  

Tiffany Lu – Honorable Mention I
Cameron Brasher – Honorable Mention II 

Middle School Poetry: 

Gavin Wolf – First Place
Ross Earley – Third Place
Ben Menard – Honorable Mention II          

High School Short Story

Erin Ramsey – Second Place
Logan McDivett – Third Place
Haylee Smith – Honorable Mention I
Aaron Deaver – Honorable Mention II 

Adult Short Story Division: 

Liberty teacher Ryan Barnhart – Third Place
Liberty teacher Nancy Perry – Honorable Mention II

Winners were announced at the awards ceremony at NCTC’s Gainesville Campus last Saturday, April 23, and Karla K. Morton, 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate, was the featured speaker. 

According to NCTC’s Gabrielle Fletcher, English professor and writing contest coordinator, “This is a very special and much anticipated event among aspiring writers in our region for several reasons,” Fletcher said. “Most importantly, this contest gives writers an opportunity to have their work read and evaluated by knowledgeable judges and possibly have it published for the first time.

“Our long-standing tradition of having established, professional authors come and speak gives them an opportunity to get wonderful tips and guidance on how to improve and enrich their writing as well.”

Perry said her two student winners were Tiffany Lu and Cameron Brasher. Lu’s piece was called “Father,” and was a dramatic realistic fiction story about a father and son who went through a tragic separation. Brasher’s story, “Appearances,” was a first person account of a baseball tournament experience that was very intense but rewarding. 

Perry added, “Since 2004, I have had 24 students recognized in the NCTC Middle School Short Story competition.  

“Many of the seventh grade students have another opportunity to enter stories in the high school division once they get to ninth grade, and we’ve had numerous high school winners over the years as well.   

“Our student seems to know the ‘secret winning formula’ for successful story writing.”

Eighth grade English teacher Claire Batey said eighth grader Gavin Wolf’s first place poem, “Invasion of 1944,” was a narrative poem about the D-Day invasion of Normandy and commemorates the brave men of the Allied Expeditionary Force (AEF) who landed along the coastlines of five target beaches. 

Batey said that “eighth grader Ross Earley is a return winner after winning first place last year for his story.” 

She said that his poem this year, “Hope,” describes how the emotion of hope is not completely understood until a difficulty is over. 

Eighth grader Ben Menard’s poem, “The Four Horesemen,” took on a prophetic tone and uses the Bible’s end time prophecy to describe each individual horseman and the destruction each will cause. 

Liberty is also proud to have two of its teachers win in the Adult Short Story division. 

English teacher Ryan Barnhart won third place with his story, “A Miracle,” about a married couple who are informed at the six month sonogram that their son will likely be born with Down Syndrome.

Perry has entered the contest three times, and in 2005 won third place. Her story this year was about a single high school English teacher who chooses to make changes and take risks that pay off in unexpected ways. 

Perry said about writing for the competition, “I can better empathize with my students who are expected to write on a topic that does not come naturally to them. 

“It is definitely a stretch that can create some conflicting emotions, but also produces a sense of accomplishment in accepting a challenge out of one’s ‘comfort zone,’” she said.

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