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KET announces winners of 2023 Young Writers Contest


KET announces winners of 2023 Young Writers Contest

For Release: 05/17/23 9:17 AM

KET is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Young Writers Contest. The annual contest encourages creative expression and literacy development by inviting students in grades Pre-K through high school to submit original graphic novels, illustrated stories, poetry and short stories.

For this year’s contest, KET received 2,457 submissions from students across Kentucky—more than double the number of entries from a year before!

The top three winners, along with a list of finalists for each division, are listed below. Full versions of the winning entries will be available online at

Poetry – Early Childhood Division
First Place: Rhett Brown, Cassidy Elementary, Lexington
Second Place: Franklin Smith, Liberty Elementary, Lexington
Third Place: Garrett Thompson, YHWH Discipleship, Salvisa

• Aeris White, Alvaton Elementary, Alvaton
• Hugo Villasenor, Saint James Catholic School, Vine Grove
• Namu Lee, Pathfinder School of Innovation, Louisville

Poetry – Elementary Division
First Place: Mridula Balaji, Farmer Elementary, Louisville
Second Place: Sara Sokolowski, Model Laboratory School, Richmond
Third Place: Theo Sykes, Cassidy, Lexington

• Eliza Simkoff, Chenoweth Elementary, Louisville
• Ruby Stewart, Pondview Academy, Eubank
• Ahaan Agarwal, Greathouse/Shyrock Elementary Traditional School, Louisville
• Cason Thompson, YHWH Discipleship, Salvisa
• Liam Myers, Garrett Morgan Elementary, Lexington
• Ava Evans, Tully Elementary School, Louisville
• Oliver Braley, Lansdowne Elementary School, Lexington
• Kadence Clark, Glasscock Elementary, Lebanon
• George Betz, Mary, Queen of Heaven School, Erlanger
• Magathi Velmurugan, Wellington Elementary School, Lexington
• Sophia Meek, Mary, Queen of Heaven School, Erlanger

Poetry – Intermediate Division
First Place: Amarani Blazier, River Ridge Elementary School, Villa Hills
Second Place: Lillian Brooks, Athens-Chilesburg Elementary, Lexington
Third Place: Elise Thompson, YHWH Discipleship, Salvisa

• Carrie Gladdish, Fairdale Elementary School, Louisville
• Currie Cesler, Fort Wright Elementary, Covington
• Jaini Shah, Stopher Elementary, Louisville
• Lilyana Glickley, Hawthorne Elementary, Louisville
• Margot Fasciotto, Fort Wright Elementary, Covington
• Arwyn Eldridge, Eldridge Academy, Blackey
• Munira Mohamed, Islamic School Of Louisville, Louisville
• Brody Fields, Murray Middle School, Murray
• Grace Broadbent, Sayre School, Lexington
• Darshini Uppugalla, Stopher Elementary, Louisville
• Kira Thomas, Oak Grove Classical, Philpot
• Yoo Lee, Pathfinder School of School, Louisville

Poetry – Middle Grades Division
First Place: Amanda Bastidas Diaz, Newburg Middle School, Louisville
Second Place: Fia Gani, Bowling Green Junior High School, Bowling Green
Third Place: Addie Sanders, Grayson County Middle School, Leitchfield

• Zoe Kasacavage, Winburn Middle School, Lexington
• Maya Carbone, Newburg Middle School, Louisville
• Sabir Stephens, Newburg Middle School, Louisville
• Ava Bogard, Calloway County Middle School, Murray
• Noa Biggio, Aloha Academy, Fort Knox
• Presleigh Hill, Newburg Middle School, Louisville
• Brady Francke, Henderson County South Middle School, Henderson
• Lucie McCaffrey, SCAPA Bluegrass, Lexington
• Maggie Stone, Noe Middle School, Louisville
• Olivia Landry, Walton-Verona Middle School , Walton

Poetry – High School Division
First Place: Evelyn Weaver, Lafayette High School, Lexington
Second Place: Laura Gibson, Highlands Latin School, Louisville
Third Place: Bethany Creech, Great Crossing High School, Georgetown

• Caroline Carlisle, Rowan County Senior High School, Morehead
• McKenzie Snellgrove, Woodford County High School, Versailles
• SF, MH Academy, Louisville
• A’mareese Esters, Fulton County High School, Hickman
• Jake Peoples, McCracken County High School, Paducah
• Leila Greene, Eastern High School, Louisville
• Madelyn Blakey, Lafayette, Lexington
• Lexie Wilson, Williamstown JR/SR High School, Williamstown
• Isabelle Pittman, McCracken County High School, Paducah
• Jenna Longhofer, John Hardin High School, Hodgenville
• AH, MH Academy, Louisville

Graphic Novel – Overall
First Place: Lucie McCaffrey, SCAPA at Bluegrass, Lexington
Second Place: Sylvia Mason, Noe Middle School, Louisville
Third Place: Chloe Iranpour, Eastern Elementary, Georgetown

• Alexa Vaughan, Rineyville Elementary School, Rineyville
• Robert Zahniser, Beechwood Elementary School, Fort Mitchell
• Callie Creech, Letcher County Central High School, Whitesburg
• Hannah Fiorello, Custer Elementary, Custer
• Maddie Schreiner, Lexington Christian, Richmond
• Lainey Doane, Brenda Cowan Elementary School, Lexington
• Arizona Cloyd, Garrard Middle School, Lancaster
• Samara “Mo” Mullins, Hogsett Primary School, Danville
• Emily Ross, Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts, Louisville
• Abigail Horn, Lighthouse Academy, Madison County
• Emily Gibbs, Letcher County Central High School, Whitesburg
• Harper Crosby, Lafayette High School, Lexington

Illustrated Story – Early Childhood Division
First Place: Rouen Inouye Adams, Hogsett Primary School, Danville
Second Place: Penelope Reynolds, Homeschool, Lexington
Third Place: Kinsley Iocco, Iocco Homeschool, Walton

• Hadiyah Gauhar, St Matthews Elementary, Louisville
• Mia Lancaster, Glenn Marshall Elementary, Richmond
• Luke Banks, Calvary Christian School, Winchester
• Luna Xia, Providence Montessori, Lexington
• Norah Anderson, Hogsett Primary School, Danville
• Rilyn Steele, Hogsett Primary School, Danville
• Saoirse Harney, Hogsett Primary School, Danville
• Advita Mishra, Tully Elementary School, Louisville
• Charlie Abdelahad, Dunn Elementary, Louisville
• Laken Gullett, Burgin Independent School, Burgin

Illustrated Story – Elementary Division
First Place: Maryam Gauhar, Greathouse Shryock Elementary, Louisville
Second Place: Flora Barker, Model Laboratory School, Richmond
Third Place: Caroline Reynolds, Homeschool, Lexington

• Wriston Iocco, Iocco Homeschool, Walton
• Audrey Dakin, G.C. Burkhead Elementary, Elizabethtown
• Nathan Hardin, Hardin Homeschool, Louisville
• Dorothy Dobson, Bloom Elementary, Louisville
• Hannah Adams, Harlan Elementary, Harlan
• Aubrey Lowe, Holy Family Catholic School, Ashland
• Josie King, Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown
• Maya Ayoub, Brenda Cowan Elementary School, Lexington
• Apollo Darnell, Holy Family Catholic School, Ashland
• Lucy Stewart, Pondview Academy, Eubank

Illustrated Story – Intermediate Division
First Place: Caitlin Moynahan, Rosa Parks Elementary, Lexington
Second Place: Aaron Cottongim, Glasscock Elementary, Lebanon
Third Place: Aubree Newman, Adairville School, Adairville

• Kendyl Nickell, Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown
• Brittany Ramage, Central Elementary, Benton
• Annistyn Flynn, Model Laboratory School, Richmond
• Jocelin Ortiz-Melton, W.R. McNeill Elementary School, Bowling Green
• Ava Williams, Laurel Elementary School, Vanceburg
• Grace Hardin, Hardin Homeschool, Louisville
• Lydia Wilson, North Washington Elementary School, Willisburg
• Lyla Helton, South Floyd Elementary, Hi Hat
• Kayla Gloeckler, Stopher Elementary, Louisville
• Kylee Kinsel, Laurel Elementary School, Vanceburg

Illustrated Story – Upper Grades Division
First Place: Abigail McDougal, Letcher County Central High School, Whitesburg
Second Place: Hanna Zamana, Campbell County Middle School, Highland Heights
Third Place: Jenny Young Lee, Newburg Middle School, Louisville

• Zella Robertson, North Oldham Middle School, Prospect
• Jubilee Bodager, Bodager Homeschool, Frankfort
• Cooper Byron, Model Laboratory School, Richmond
• Keira Hamilton, James D. Adams Middle School, Prestonsburg
• Zadee Kenzer, Newburg Middle School, Louisville
• Annie Halbig, Burns Middle School, Owensboro
• Vidhi Patel, Newburg Middle School, Louisville
• Rebekah McAuley, Letcher County Central High School, Whitesburg
• Ambrose Fetzner, Crosby Middle School, Louisville
• Lucas Glasnovic, Hollow Tree Middle School, Louisville
• Rebekah Russ, Crosby Middle School, Louisville
• Jeffzalli Melo, Southern Middle School, Lexington

Short Story – Early Grades Division
First Place: Susannah Goodrich, Goodrich Home School, Frankfort
Second Place: Jacie Lillpop, Kingdom Academy of the Bluegrass, Frankfort
Third Place: Lily Goessling, St. Michael School, Louisville

• Aubrey Wright , Lebanon Elementary, Lebanon
• Lucy Stewart, Pondview Academy, Eubank
• Acey Houchens, Red Cross Elementary, Glasgow
• Beau Schweickhardt, Hogsett Primary School, Danville
• Riley May, Flat Gap Elementary, Flat Gap
• Alexandria Akers, South Floyd Elementary, Hi Hat
• Gloria Lee, Chenoweth Elementary School, Louisville
• Keeden Day, Model Laboratory School, Richmond
• Anishka Sherigar, Model Laboratory Schools, Richmond
• Ellie Grace Barton, Hodgenville Elementary School, Hodgenville
• Latcher Harbison, Red Cross, Glasgow

Short Story – Intermediate Division
First Place: Isla Dawahare, Dawahare Family Academy, Lexington
Second Place: Lydia Miner, W.R. McNeill Elementary School, Bowling Green
Third Place: Zachary Maurmeier, Roby Elementary, Shepherdsville

• Matilda McConda, St. Patrick Catholic School, Louisville
• Neha Chakkaran, Stopher Elementary, Louisville
• Collier Whitson, Glenn Marshall Elementary School, Richmond
• Zachary Bayens, Luhr Elementary, Louisville
• Carrie Gladdish, Fairdale Elementary School, Louisville
• Evan Staley, Central Elementary, Benton
• Franco Schiaretti, Central Elementary, Benton
• Kayleigh Denzik, Vine Grove Elementary School, Vine Grove
• Nora Tower, Dixie Magnet Elementary School, Lexington

Short Story – Middle Grades Division
First Place: Emma Rice, Powell County Middle School, Clay City
Second Place: Kavi Bijayananda, Covington Classical Academy, Hebron
Third Place: Avinash Koul, SCAPA at Bluegrass, Lexington

• Calissa Yao, Louisville Collegiate School, Louisville
• Sophia Abshire, Brookefield Prep, Ashland
• Jiwoo Kim, Model Laboratory School, Richmond
• Evie Ewen, Louisville Collegiate School, Louisville
• Amay Xu, SCAPA at Bluegrass, Lexington
• Charlotte Garman, St. Albert the Great, Louisville
• Zoe Childs, Austin Tracy Elementary, Glasgow
• Aleen Bakhos, Model Laboratory, Richmond

Short Story – High School Division
First Place: Anna Kersting, Eastern High School, Louisville
Second Place: Hannah Schadler, Lafayette Senior High School, Lexington
Third Place: Isabella Keyzer, Eastern High School, Louisville

• Kennedy Shiley, Louisville Male High School, Louisville
• Micah Turner, Letcher County Central High School, Whitesburg
• Jackson Marrillia, Eastern High School, Louisville
• Piper Smith, Western Hills High School, Frankfort
• Larry Brey, Owensboro High School, Owensboro
• Amelia Banta, Louisville Male High School, Louisville
• Caylin Kohlstruk, Eastern High School, Louisville
• Elizabeth Roy, The Frankfort Christian Academy, Frankfort
• Francis Jara, Monroe County High School, Tompkinsville
• Morgan Larkins, McLean County High School, Slaughters

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Elizabeth Greenfield
Director of Marketing and Communications