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For thirty-one (31) years the HOward COunty POetry and LITerature SOciety (HoCoPoLitSo) has awarded book prizes to the winners of its All County Writing Competition, and honored students nominated by their teachers for Promise and Achievement in Language Arts. To foster lifelong reading habits and a love of literature, HoCoPoLitSo presents book awards with personalized bookplates. The tradition continued this year as HoCoPoLitSo board members made presentations at all Howard County public high school honors assemblies for seniors.
The ten creative writing winners were AMY FARB (Centennial), WEI YUE LU (Centennial), and MARY SIMPSON (Centennial) in the personal essay category; CAROLINE CROWDER (Mt. Hebron), JACLYN ANDREWS (Howard), PATRICIA CARMONA (Mt. Hebron) and BRIDGET MACKRELL (Mt. Hebron) in the poetry category; and in the short story category, REBECCA CURRAN (Mt. Hebron), JULIA DUNN (Howard), and SYDNEY CHANMUGAN (Mt. Hebron). This year’s judges were Patricia VanAmburg, writer and professor of literature, Joyce Braga, young adult author, and Mark Braga, technical writer and engineer.
In addition, twenty-six students were chosen by their English Departments to receive HoCoPoLitSo’s Promise and Achievement Award in Language Arts. The honorees were: LAUREN BERMAN, JACOB SMITH (Atholton) SARAH CALVERT, WEI YUE LU (Centennial), EMILY SCHWEICH, ANNELIESE FAUSTINO (Glenelg), SIERRA SIMPSON, JASON SCHOENFELD (Hammond), SIERRA PETERS, RACHEL McMURRER (Homewood Center), LINDSEY SABLOWSKI, MADELINE STUDT (Howard), JESSICA GUERRERO, JUSTIN BIEGEL (Long Reach), COURTNET O’HARO, JONATHAN MATHEWS (Marriotts Ridge), NICHOLAS CORTINA, HANNAH VAUGHAN (Mt. Hebron), LYNN COURNOYER, ROSS RHEINGANS-YOO (Oakland Mills), HALEY SWEETON, ALEXANDER SHAW (Reservoir), IFEOLUWA OLUJOBI, CHRISTINA ROMANO (River Hill), EMMA BOONE, JOE WAN (Wilde Lake).
Thirty-five students in all received books by such outstanding poets and writers as: Margaret Atwood, Sandra Beasley, Hugo Hamilton, Donald Hall, Shelia Kohler, Laura Lippman, Frank McCourt, Grace Paley, Francine Prose, Reynolds Price, and Colm Tóibín. HoCoPoLitSo has been dedicated to enlarging the audience for contemporary poetry and literature through public readings, special events, writer-in-residence visits, and The Writing Life, a cable television series produced at Howard Community College, since 1974.
HoCoPoLitSo is supported by the Howard County Arts Council through a grant from Howard County government, the Maryland State Arts Council through the State of Maryland and the Department of Business and Economic Development, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Columbia Film Society, the Columbia Foundation, the Jim & Patty Rouse Charitable Foundation, the Rouse Company Foundation, and Friends of HoCoPoLitSo.