9th Annual WC E-Poetry Contest Celebrates Creativity and Talent

Eileen Hutchinson and Jennifer OzgurEileen Hutchinson and Jennifer Ozgur open the Annual E-Poetry Contest Awards Celebration at Barnes and Nobles. /Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — During the recent winter season, the 9th Annual WC E-Poetry Contest showcased a remarkable display of creativity and talent. Under the guidance of Ms. Eileen Hutchinson, Chairman, and committee member Ms. Jennifer Ozgur, the contest introduced a new Kindergarten category called Word Play and integrated Art and Music to enhance its multidisciplinary approach.

The contest reached a milestone with over 115 submissions, the highest since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants, from young poets to artists and musicians, explored various themes and demonstrated their mastery of literary devices and creative expression. Judges, including retired teachers and West Chester Writing Project fellows, praised the entrants for their innovative use of craft skills and the enchanting nature of their work.

“I am so excited that the contest is going strong in its 9th season, adding a Kindergarten Word Play category with Art and Music connections,” exclaimed Eileen Hutchinson. “Simply amazed by the diverse voices through creative choices.”

“This platform is a great opportunity to solicit students’ perspective of the world and an example of the power of words to change the world,” added WC E-Poetry Committee member Jen Ozgur.

The Poetry Awards Celebration, held on April 17 at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Exton, was a highlight of the contest. The second floor’s children’s center buzzed with enthusiastic teachers, principals, families, and winning contestants. Live poetry readings, award presentations, and a singing performance dazzled the audience, especially during the K-5 ceremony where kindergarteners delivered dynamic readings. Grand prize winners received scholarships worth nearly $2,000 for music, art, and writing programs, along with journals, certificates, and bookmarks. Dr. David Christopher, WCASD superintendent, added to the event’s significance with his inspiring words as a guest speaker.

The WC E-Poetry Contest is more than a competition; it celebrates emerging literary talent and promotes quality writing, speaking, listening, and revision skills. It nurtures writers’ voices, confidence, and style, encouraging students to express their feelings and thoughts across various content areas.

“The WC E-Poetry Contest gives our students an opportunity to shine creatively,” said WCASD Supervisor of ELA 6-12 and WC Cyber, Mrs. Kara Bailey. “The yearly celebration is so heart-warming as junior poets ranging from kindergarten to seniors in high school share their beautiful poems, songs, and artwork.”

The WC E-Poetry Committee expressed gratitude to all participants and sponsors, including the West Chester Area Education Association (WCAEA), West Chester Writing Project, Chester County Art Association, Young Rembrandts of Chester County, and Taylor’s Music Store & Studios. Taylor’s Music Store & Studios generously funded six program scholarships for grand prize winners in each category. Special recognition was extended to Ms. Allison Garber for her innovative design of new bookmarks and award certificates. Additionally, heartfelt thanks were given to WCASD administrators Dr. Sara Missett, Dr. Kailia Reynolds, and Mrs. Kara Bailey for their unwavering support.

“We are truly honored to host such a noteworthy literary event,” said Hutchinson. “It was a poetry kind of night, filled with poems, artworks, and songs that entertained and delighted everyone.”

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