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Winners Announced for the 22nd Annual Writer's Eye Competition

February 4, 2009 — The judges have selected the winners of the University of Virginia Art Museum's 22nd Annual Writer's Eye Competition.

Contestants submitted original writings inspired by one of 20 pieces selected from the museum's permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. After conducting tours for more than 2,300 students from local and regional schools, the museum received more than 1,000 entries in the categories of poetry and prose.

Entries were submitted in either the poetry or prose divisions of four age categories: elementary school (grades 3–5), middle school (grades 6–8), high school (grades 9–12) and university/adult.

Kristen Staby Rembold and Elizabeth Doyle Solomon, well-known writers from Albemarle County, served as the lead judges. Other judges were Heather Burns, Mark Collins, Wendy Gavin-Porter, Proal Heartwell, Michele Kellermann, Geraldine Kruger, Stephen Margulies, Molly Minturn, Parke Muth, Laura Parsons, Scott Stoddard and Susan Washko. Judging for the competition is blind, with the authors' names removed from the work prior to delivery to the judges.

Works by the first-, second- and third-place winners will be printed in the 64-page "Writer's Eye" anthology, and will be available for purchase at the museum. Proceeds from the sale of the books contribute to the support of the "Writer's Eye" program. This year "Writer's Eye" was also funded by a gift from Ruth Cross and the University of Virginia Art Museum Volunteer Board.

The "Writer's Eye" Awards Ceremony will be held March 22 at 2 p.m. at U.Va.'s Campbell Hall, followed by a reception at 3 p.m. in the museum.

Winners in the Poetry Division are:

Elementary School:  First place — Maeve Winter (Village School); second place — Alexander Koch (Broadus Wood Elementary School); third place — Caroline Spurzem (Tandem Friends School). Honorable mention — Nicholas Anderson (Broadus Wood Elementary School), William Dillard Marshall (V.L. Murray Elementary School) and R. Adam McGill (Stone Robinson Elementary School).

Middle School:  First place — Meg Russell (Buford Middle School); second place — Kaitlyn West (St. Luke's Lutheran School, Culpeper); third place — Georgia Proutt (Walton Middle School). Honorable mention — Jai'Quarius Wells (Buford Middle School).

High School: First place — Stephanie Brown (Tandem Friends School); second place — Melinda Ashe (Charlottesville High School); third place — Eleanor Franzen (Charlottesville High School). Honorable mention — Hayden Barns and Monica Matsumoto (both of Charlottesville High School) and Vincent Bradley (Nelson County High School).

University/Adult:  First place — Camille Beckman; second place — Anna Kovatcheva; third place — Amanda Sims (all from the University of Virginia). Honorable mention — Edward Strickler Jr. and Tammy Tillotson (both adult).

Winners in the Prose Division are:

Elementary School: First place — Carter Williams (V.L. Murray Elementary School); second place — Cole Irvin (Free Union Country School); third place — Karly Andersen (Cale Elementary School). Honorable mention — Alexandra Allen (V.L. Murray Elementary School), Sophie Heny (Stony Point Elementary School), Claire McKenney (Baker-Butler Elementary School) and Mary Stelow (Village School).

Middle School:  First place — Elizabeth Collins; second place — John Irby; third place — Haley Wilbanks (all from Grymes Memorial School, Orange County). Honorable mention — Megan Harris (Grymes Memorial School, Orange County) and Chris Proffitt (Buford Middle School).

High School:  First place — Rachel Woolworth; second place — Hannah Freedman; third place — Irene Newman (all of Charlottesville High School). Honorable mention: Elizabeth Hylton, Lara Morris and Alison Thomson (all of Charlottesville High School), and Lydia Miller (Albemarle High School).

University/Adult:  First place — Gary Kessler; second place — Lorraine Ryan; third place — Karen Ratzlaff (all adult).

For information, call the U.Va. Art Museum Education Department at 434-243-2050.

— By Jane Ford

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