On my May 21 post I collected my thoughts about the just completed poetry workshop at Honesdale, Pennsylvania. One of the highlights for me was when my 6th grade friend Rachel Heinrichs came with her mother Michele and sister Sarah to pay a visit during the workshop. They drove more than three hours each way from West Chester, Pennsylvania.
I became acquainted with Rachel when she was in fourth grade and began posting her poems on my blog. Way back on April 21, 2010, Rachel and another gifted young writer, Taylor McGowan, became involved in a contest for best poem posted that month which produced a record number of voters. My blog was visited 1,830 times that day (which remains the all-time record) and attracted voters in seven countries.
Both girls continued to write and post their work. Taylor won the first time but Rachel came right back and soon became a Word of the Month Poet. By the next year Taylor was seriously into riding horses so she had less time to write. Rachel, too, became more involved in school activities so neither young poet was able to post as often as they did as 4th graders. But they have kept in touch and they have not forgotten their passion for writing.
That’s why I’m writing this post today. Yesterday I heard from a very excited Taylor who wanted to tell me about her wonderful news. I’m very proud to share the news with you. Last year Taylor learned of the Star Writers award. Teachers on the language arts and writing workshop board hand pick five representatives from each middle school grade to compete, writing short stories using prompts in a one hour time period. Taylor was selected for the competition. And she won!
And what about this year? Here’s Taylor in her own words. “This year I was also selected. And, at the last school assembly, they announced the winner – I won again! I’m trying for a four year streak. I’m thrilled.”
Taylor, we’re thrilled too. One of the best things about a blog like this is that a lot of adults have a chance to see the work of developing young writers like you, Rachel, and others who have shared their poems with us. Congratulations on your high honor! I hope we’ll have the pleasure of seeing something new from you this summer.
For those who are new to this site since April, 21, 2010, here’s Taylor’s winning poem when she was in fourth grade.
Cool water bubbles in a spring,
The pool is visited by Nature’s King.
The cougar with his soft tan fur,
Compliments it with a rumbling purr.
The water is so cool and sweet,
So it is where the small birds meet.
Cardinals and blue jays sing their delight,
The water aids them in trouble or plight.
Thirst is quenched, lives are saved,
The water is what the newcomers craved.
Traveling moose stop and drink,
As well as small children with cheeks that are pink
The spring was a miracle for all of the creatures,
A wonder, with all the life saving features.
Its cool water helped the dying and sick,
The moon reflected on it like a flame upon a candle wick.
Does with their fawns come for a drink,
As they taste it their hearts don’t sink.
In fact, they soar, they leap, they fly,
When their run is over they heave a sigh.
The spring had nourished their already warm
But not just that. It helped the other parts.
— Taylor McGowan, 4th grade