Two Zachary students’ writings won awards at the recent Young Authors state contest.

Host of the annual contest is the Louisiana Reading Association, which aims to improve the quality of literacy for all through the study of best practices in literacy processes and instruction, the promotion of literacy research and the dissemination of information related to literacy acquisition.

The contest recognizes fiction, nonfiction and poetry written by students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Zachary Elementary teacher Brandie McNabb is president of the LRA’s executive board, Rollins Place School teacher Cory Lemoine is membership director and Copper Mill School Assistant Principal Angie Cassard is the committee chairwoman for the Young Authors contest. Each year, the Zachary Area Reading Council, a member of the LRA that’s headed by District Chairwoman Megan Noel, a teacher at Zachary Elementary, encourages students to participate.

Students winning first place at the district level advance to the state competition.

“Our kids competed with other students from as far north and as far south in Louisiana as you can get,” said Cassard at the Zachary School Board meeting May 5. “We had 18 first-place winners in district, and of those, nine placed with two winning first in state.”

Students earning first-, second- or third-place wins at state received a medal and their work was published in an anthology of work by students from around the state.

“You are published authors now,” Cassard said.

Copper Mill art teacher Darryl Alello designed the cover of the book, titled “Les Jeunes Ecrivaines” or The Young Writers.

“I love that we have so many Zachary educators involved in the Louisiana Reading Association and the Zachary Area Reading Council, and because of that, judging took place right here in Zachary,” Cassard said.

District first-place winners honored by the Zachary School Board were Brianne Bankston, Emma Benedict, Payton Bridges, Alexis Conachen, Raegen Douglas, Calla Duggan, Jack Dunford, Kelvin Iyun, William Jackson, Brailyn King, Sydnee LeGrange, Niadrain Lenoir, Trenton Lloyd, Elliot Malden, Amari Wells, Miles Williams, James Whittey and Abigail Yoes.

Students honored with medals and a copy of their published work included the following fiction writers: second-grader William Jackson, Rollins Place, second place for “My Hand”; sixth-grader Emma Benedict, Copper Mill, second place for “The Sun That Didn’t Want to Set”; Niadrain Lenoir, Copper Mill, second place, for “The Day My Desk Had A Bad Day”; and second-grader Amari Wells, Rollins Place, third place, for “The Pencil.”

Nonfiction writers included eighth-grader Brailyn King, Northwestern Middle, first-place winner for “Monsters”; first-grader Elliot Malden, Rollins Place, second place, for “How to Play Football”; and third-grader James Whittey, Zachary Elementary, second place, for “My Travels to Japan.”

Poetry writers include ninth-grader Trenton Lloyd, Zachary High, first-place winner for “Where I’m From” and sixth-grader Abigail Yoes, Copper Mill, second place, for “Turtle Tale.”