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“Elianna Is …”

A poetry finalist in Maryland’s Young Authors competition

Shady Side Elementary School Young Authors winners Linda Johnson and Elianna Coon.

Of the hundreds of entries submitted in the statewide Young Authors competition, a Shady Side Elementary third-grader is a finalist in the poetry division.
    Elianna Joelle Coon’s poem “Fall Is …” caught the eye of judges.
    Coon, nine, is one of 19 students at the school who submitted entries to the 2014-’15 school year contest for aspiring writers in second through eighth grade. She is one of two winners in teacher Katie Maloney’s class at Shady Side Elementary School. Linda Johnson’s short story won ­second place.
    Students could write a poem or short story for the contest, with entries submitted in December. The Shady Side entries spanned a wide range of emotions, from funny to poignant. One girl’s story told of a Christmas wish to help the homeless, while another imagined herself during the volcanic eruption that doomed Pompei.
    A creativity award would surely go to “Space Chickens,” by fifth-grader William James O’Neill, 10. He imagined an egg-citing tale of astronauts who happen to be chickens. These brave fowl blast into space, perform a plucky in-flight repair mission and return safely to their barnyard.
    “Our neighbor has chickens, and I like space,” O’Neill explained.
    Shady Side Elementary School principal Geoff Casey and Bay Weekly reporter Tom Hall — visiting to talk to students about what it’s like being a writer — passed out certificates to the students who entered.
    “I’m proud of each and every one of you for taking the time to express yourself and enter this contest,” Casey said. “I hope you will keep at it in the future.”
    Young Authors winners will be announced in mid-April, and winning entries will be published in an anthology. The International Reading Association sponsors the contest, and throughout the nation State Councils invite students to write.

“Fall Is …”

Fluffy phragmites blowing in the breeze,
Lime green leaf bugs secretly not seen,
Blood-thirsty mosquitos following me around,
Creepy, crawly spiders spinning sticky webs,
Skyscraper sunflowers stretching to the sun,
Bright vivid leaves falling from the trees,
Scampering squirrels scurrying down trees,
Crinkling, crackling leaves under my feet,
Bare branches bending like rubber bands,
Bright yellow dandelions smiling at the sun,
Plump pumpkins slowly starting to grow,
Fall is here — this I know.
–Elianna Joelle Coon