A dozen students at Wellington Middle School have had their poetry published in a national anthology, thanks to the efforts of the school’s English teachers.
The America Library of Poetry in Maine holds a poetry contest each year open to students in grades 3-12 across the country and publishes the best entries in a book. The 2011 collection, “Acclaimed,” contains hundreds of works in its 222 pages and 12 of them are from WMS writers.
“Last year, the (WMS) English teachers all got together and offered a writer’s workshop in the third quarter,” said language arts teacher Nicole Orswell. “The students all wrote poetry, and then got to chose their best one to be entered into the contest.”
There is no contest entry fee, so every student at the school had a poem submitted. Although none won a top prize, these budding authors all had their poems included in “Acclaimed”: Sarah Barber; Leaha Fetters; Katie Jo Kelly; Molly Lenzner; Timothy Lopez; Jahaira Madariaga; Erela Meyer; Dante Pesina; Madison Riemann; Erin Riley; Rebecca Stanton; Anton Svehla.
Erin Riley’s mother, Karen, has donated a copy of “Acclaimed” to the WMS library. Additional copies are available through the website www.libraryofpoetry.com.
Orswell pointed out that all WMS students have the chance to be published authors by the eighth grade, since class projects in both sixth and seventh grades result in bound volumes.
“When they know their work will be in a book, they work that much harder and learn more,” she said. “They want to do their very best.”