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Winners feted in seventh year of local pen competition

Editor's Note: To recognize and encourage the talents of local literary artists, the Arts Council of Westerville, Westerville Public Library and the ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion invited writers of all ages to participate in the Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest.

The contest, in addition to calling upon writers to share their works, was conceived as a new dimension to the month-long celebration of the arts in Westerville during April. This is the seventh year for the collaborative event which originally launched in January 2007.

Writers submitted their entries according to five categories arranged by age or grade in school. The submissions were required to be original works of 800 words or less. Any genre was welcome: poetry, free verse, short story and others. First place winners in each category are published on these pages of ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion.

All 234 entries received for 2013 are published in the Lulu publishing book Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest 2013, now available for checkout at the library and for purchase at Lulu.com. First-place, second-place, third-place and honorable mention entries are published online.

Writers, their families and fans gathered for congratulations, refreshments and the opportunity to read from their work at the Reception for Writers Sunday, April 14 at the library. The event was coordinated by Westerville Public Library Marketing Specialist Linda Wilkins, the writing contest chairwoman for the arts council, and emceed by council volunteer Stephen Grinch, archivist for Otterbein University.

We congratulate the talented writers of every age and style who participated in the contest.

The contest is sponsored by: the Arts Council of Westerville, the Westerville Public Library, ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion and Foul Play Mystery Bookshop.

The entries appear here as submitted, without editing for usage or style:

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Category: Grades K-2

What I see on Sunbury Road -- I see cars. I see stores. I see people with chores.

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Category: Grades 3-5

Hey, did you know something? Well, I'm very nice and I like to teach people stuff, so I'm going to tell you. Boys are aliens! Yeah, I know, crazy, right? My BFF Mia Danderson told me last week while we were doing jumping jacks in gym class.

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Category: Grades 6-8

The weather man said/Not to go to bed/Because it will snow/And then I will not have to/Go to school/I will stay up all night/And I'll be all right ...

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Category: Grades 9-12

How long had it been? Six weeks? Seven? I couldn't remember. It seemed like all the time in the world had passed since they did the tests. They said five to eight weeks and I knew it would arrive any day.

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Category: Adults

Bishop William Hanby and Squire Fouse lived in Westerville 140 years ago, both experienced freedom for the first time in their early twenties. Here's an imagined conversation between the two:

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