Clark State hosts regional poetry and essay contests, announces winners

Clark State College’s Creative Writer’s Club recently hosted and announced the winners of its regional poetry and essay contests.

Students in the Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest and third annual essay contest were under the guidance of faculty advisors Chris Bays and Tabitha Parker.

The theme of the poetry contest, open to area high schools, colleges and universities, was focused on “Perceptions of Reality,” and the theme of the essay contest was focus on well-researched essays.

The essay contest was judged by Parker, Bays and Hailey Barnette, student editor of Voices of the Valley, Clark State’s student journal.

The student essay winners were: Lexi Wiley for “Learning Disability” with first place; Wyatt Thomas Teets for “Newtown” with second place; and Taylor Raskay for “Hooked on the Cure” with third place.

For the poetry contest, poems based on the theme were submitted by students from Shawnee High School, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Antioch College, Cedarville University, Clark State and Wright State University.

This poetry contest was judged blindly by D. Scot Hinson, associate professor of English at Wittenberg University; Parker; and Barnette.

The student poetry winners were: Sydney Hall, Shawnee High School, for “Skin Like Wax” with first place; Alan James, Cedarville University, for “A Wasted Gift” with second place; and Olivia Baum, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, for “Untitled” with third place.

Some honorable mentions include: Sachea Pettigrew, Clark State for “Ghost of Perceptions”; Nathaniel Shingler, Shawnee High School, for “Shards of Anxiety”; and Alyvia K. Spriggs, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, for “A Jump Without Fear.”

Winners of the contests received cash prizes and certificates. Their essays and poems can be read in Clark State’s student journal, Voices of the Valley 2021, Issue 5. For more information or to buy a copy of the journal, email Bays at or Parker at

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