Stories and Photos by: Angelina Bellebuono
Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue recently designated March Georgia Writers’ month, but for the three Morgan County Elementary School students chosen to represent the school in the Georgia Young Author’s competition, it looks like April will be their month for fame.
Denham Jones, Taylor Adams and Luke Biscoglia were all recognized at the Morgan County Board of Education meeting last week, but more importantly, their work has been entered in the annual statewide contest sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education.
According to the GDOE Website, the Georgia Young Author’s competition is “open to all students currently enrolled in the Georgia public schools, kindergarten through twelfth grade; however, the maximum number of writing entries any local system may submit to the state competition is one per grade level.”
In Morgan County schools, students can write work specifically for the competition or select a piece from their portfolio. At the elementary school, the homeroom teachers select the best pieces from their respective classes, and then judges chosen by the school carefully select the grade-level winners to represent the system at the state level.
Jones, 8, Adams, 9, and Biscoglia, 11, were gracious enough to meet with the Morgan County Citizen Friday afternoon to discuss their winning entries and their thoughts on reading, writing and life.
The Citizen invites you to join us in taking a look inside the minds of Morgan County Elementary School’s young, and talented, authors.
TAYLOR ADAMS If not playing outside, jumping on the trampoline with her sisters or visiting with her grandmother, fourth-grader Taylor works on homework or plays with her cat. “Until now, I’ve never thought of myself as a writer,” she says.
“We began by going to see Nemo. nemo is a clownfish. I really enjoyed looking at his beautiful orange and white stripes. There were all different sizes. all of the clownfish move very fast.”
“A Great Trip” by Taylor Adams, excerpted
LUKE BISCOGLIA When playing left forward in a soccer match, fifth-grader Luke focuses his attention on scoring goals and making assists. As a three-year soccer veteran, he is excited about playing for the Madison Storm in the fall. When writing, Luke enjoys the challenge of using figurative language. “I am not so good at hyperbole,” he says, “but I like using simile.”
“When we all got to the cafeteria, we hid under the tables and sat quietly so the giant couldn’t find us. Then the giant came stomping in. It started running at me fast like a dart. But all of a sudden a small silver thing flew through the air and hit the giant, smack right in the middle of its head. It looked like a shooting star came down from space and hit the giant in the head. But then I saw that it was a fork that really hit the giant. Next thing I know my friend, Travone yelled excitedly, “Bull’s eye!”
“Travone Saves the Day” by Luke Biscoglia, excerpted
DENHAM JONES A third-grader, Denham spends time playing with his four dogs as soon as he completes his homework. He enjoys letting his cat sleep in his lap, too. “I write about animals because I love animals,” he says.
“There once lived a dog named El Diablo. He was a very bad dog. He was a Rottweiler. El Diablo wasn’t a good boy. Whenever the mailman came he would bite at his pants. Whenever company came over he would bark all day until they went home, and he would always eat all the groceries.”
“The Bad Doggy” by Denham Jones, excerpted
Q&A with Taylor
Q: Do you prefer to read or write?
A: I like writing more than reading because you can control the story or write about something that actually happened. You can also control the characters and the setting.
Q: Do you read aloud? To whom?
A: I read to my three-year-old sister, Rylee. She adores stories. She likes to read “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama”… ALWAYS!
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: “All About Sam.” It’s a chapter book about a little boy, his mom, dad and sister. It’s a funny book about this boy who remembers things like when he was a baby in the hospital. He remembers the itchy hat. When he grows up he flushes his goldfish down the toilet. I really like funny books.
Q&A with Luke
Q: What is your favorite word?
A: Recess. It is a positive word. And it can be a good place to start a story. Like, “one day, at recess…”
Q: What inspired you to write your story for the competition?
A: I didn’t think I was such a good writer, but my teacher told us to write a fiction story. She asked us to use figurative language, so I did. Travone is my friend who sits across from me in class and we agreed that we would write about each other in our stories.
Q: Did Travone read the story, and are the super-hero powers he has in the story real or fictional?
A: I let him read it. He liked it a lot. But I made up the super-powers.
Q&A with Denham
Q: Do you prefer to read or to write?
A: I like writing. I have a writing journal at my house. I can express myself, and sometimes I write about cuckoo people. I adore animals, and I like to write about animals, too.
Q: Do you read aloud? To whom?
A: I read to my mom. We were reading “The Paper Bag Christmas,” a story about Santa Claus and a sick little girl named Katrina. I read the story aloud because my mom started to cry.
Q: How did you decide to use the name Bebe for one of the characters in your story?
A: My mom’s mother is named Bebe. And I think she’ll be pleased I used her name in the story. (Ed. Note: Aunt Bebe is assigned the task of taking care of the bad dog El Diablo when the family goes out of town. El Diablo doesn’t want to be under the care of Aunt Bebe, so he runs away to find his family.)