Is the next Homer Hickam, Jayne Anne Phillips or Jeannette Walls among the 18 students from Monongalia County who won awards in the West Virginia Young Writers Contest?

The winners will be recognized at 7 p.m. Monday, May 8, at West Virginia University’s Erickson Alumni Center .

Designed to promote writing in West Virginia’s schools, the annual competition recognizes excellence in writing by some of the county’s most talented students in first through 12th grades.

The awards will be presented by Ellen Oderman, co-director of the WVU Writing Project and Monongalia County Schools academic coach/instructional facilitator; Frank Devono, superintendent of Monongalia County Schools; and Sandy DeVault, coordinator of instruction for Monongalia County Schools.

Gail Galloway Adams, award winning author and professor of creative writing at WVU , will give an address that highlights the work of the young writers being honored.

First place winners by grade level include: Olivia Van Horn (grades 1-2); Faith Riegely (grades 3-4); Rebecca Berhanu�€who also won at the WV State level (grades 5-6); Krista Campione (grades 7-8); Jenny Ma (grades 9-10); Jessica Hilling (grades 11-12).

The statewide Young Writers Contest is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Writing Project.

Locally, the Celebration of Young Writers is sponsored by the WVU Writing Project, part of the National Writing Project’s effort to improve writing in America . Through its professional development model, the Writing Project builds the leadership, programs and research needed for teachers to help their students become successful writers and learners.