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2017 KET Young Writers Contest winners

KET is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 Young Writers Contest. The annual contest encourages creative expression and literacy development, by inviting students in kindergarten through eighth grade to submit original illustrated stories, short stories and poetry.

This year, KET received more than 900 submissions, representing more than 160 schools.

“KET congratulates every student who submitted an entry into our Young Writers Contest, said Tonya Crum, KET’s senior director of education. “Our team – and our guest judges – were impressed by the creativity and talent evident in the stories and poems we received.”

The top three winners in each grade are listed below. Full-color versions of the winning K-3rd grade illustrated stories and 4th-8th grade short story/poetry entries are available online.

Poetry contest entries were judged by Crystal Wilkinson, winner of the 2016 Earnest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and a writing instructor at Berea College and Spalding University; Frank X Walker, former poet laureate of Kentucky, University of Kentucky writing instructor and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets; and award-winning poet and novelist Diane Gilliam of Ohio, whose works have been influenced by her family’s roots in the coal communities of Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.


1st place: Ibraheem Gauhar, Louisville, Ky., Islamic School of Louisville, Smash Blast

2nd place: Jack Reinecke, Cold Spring, Ky., Cline Elementary, The House Book                      

3rd place: Ryan Maya, Louisville, Ky., Islamic School of Louisville, Griff the Ostrich

First Grade

1st place: Huda Hasnain, Goshen, Ky., Islamic School of Louisville, Huda’s Adventure to the           Red Woods

2nd place: Mustafa Sattaur, Louisville, Ky., Louisville Collegiate School, The Reading Tiger

3rd place: Lexie Smith, Drakesboro, Ky., Muhlenberg South Elementary, Let’s Work Together

Second Grade

1st place: Zaineb Elmerse, Louisville, Ky., Islamic School of Louisville, The First Dinosaur                Firefighter

2nd place: Ayat Amrozia, Crestwood, Ky., Kenwood Station Elementary, Courage

3rd place: Rosie Katz, Lexington, Ky., Maxwell Elementary, The Story of How I Met Kailash                 Satyarthi

Third Grade

1st place: Hala Saleh, Louisville, Ky., Farmer Elementary, The Syrian Girl            

2nd place: Lucy Donohue, Louisville, Ky., St. Agnes School, Do Frogs Like Cupcakes      

3rd place: Nethra Gopalakrishnan, Middleton, Wis., Sunset Ridge Elementary, Is Change   GOOD?

Fourth Grade

1st place: Abby Gentner, Louisville, Ky., Holy Trinity Parish School, The Puppy                               

2nd place: Viviana Amorim, Bowling Green, Ky., Lost River Elementary, How Wolf Earned His Howl      

3rd place: Fatima Hashmi, Louisville, Ky., Islamic School of Louisville, Cubecraftia’s Duel

Fifth Grade

1st place: Kamryn Hahn, Danville, Ky., Woodlawn Elementary School, Lost Girl      

2nd place: Kristin Novak, Willisburg, Ky., Homeschool, The Pumpkin Seed Tale

3rd place: Brady Hargett, Brookesville, Ky., Taylor Elementary, Best Day Ever

 Sixth Grade              

1st place: Katelynn Neace, Wurtland, Ky., Wurtland Middle School, Where I’m From  

2nd place: Ethan Huff, Wurtland, Ky., Wurtland Middle School, Where I’m From        

3rd place: Isabella Sanchez, Louisville, Ky., Ramsey Middle School, Night Time Food

Seventh Grade                                  

1st place: Carlie Griffith, Paducah, Ky., Lone Oak Middle Schoool, One Memory at a Time    

2nd place: Haley Thacker, Brodhead, Ky., Rockcastle County Middle School, Blue              

3rd place: Tyler Stevenson, Mt. Washington, Ky., Mt. Washington Middle School, The Girl with the Baking Soda 

Eighth Grade                                                                                                                                    

1st place: Hannah Neeley, Berea, Ky., Rockcastle County Middle School, Hard Lines and Scars

2nd place: Adelina Gonzalez, Nicholasville, Ky., East Jessamine Middle School, Ode to the Book     Never Read          

3rd place: Alyssa Keeling, Bardstown, Ky., Bluegrass Christian Academy, Good Hearted Men