Upper Shore Literacy Council Recognizes Local Winners of State Young Authors’ Contest

The Upper Shore Literacy Council chapter of the State of Maryland Literacy Association wishes to congratulate the four winners representing Queen Anne’s County in the 2024 SoMLA Young Authors’ Contest.

  • Emery Reynolds, a second grader at Grasonville Elementary School, won an award for her short story  “The Bird’s Party”. This charming tale of friendship was the only short story from a QACPS student to win an award. 
  • Henry McCabe, a young poet from Kennard Elementary School took first place for the fourth grade poetry category with his brilliant rhymes in his poem, “Always Art.” 
  • Olive Martin, a sixth grader at Matapeake Middle School, moved the judges with her poem, “The Mountain in Me.” The piece is a beautiful work of both imagery and introspection. 
  • Zuzu Kusmider, a student at Queen Anne’s County High School,  made quite the impression with her poem, “Honeysuckle.” Her melodic, poignant verses won her the category of eleventh grade poetry.


Each student delivered outstanding knowledge and passion for writing in their poetry and short story submissions thereby showcasing the talent and hard work that Queen Anne’s County Public Schools values. These four authors were recognized for their literary achievements alongside other local finalists at the Young Authors’ Awards Ceremony at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel, located at 903 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, on Wednesday, April 3, 2024.


Kelley Sweiderk, Young Authors’ Chair for the Upper Shore Literacy Council, expresses great pride in not only the award-winning three poems and one short story submitted by QAC students, but also in the impressive volume of submissions penned by local young writers this year. “Over 100 entries were submitted by students in Queen Anne’s County alone,” says Sweiderk. “It’s an amazing number of submissions, especially considering this is the first year the contest is back since the COVID-19 shutdown. It was a tough competition!” Bridget Passyn, ELA Supervisor for Grades 3-12, added, “Congratulations to Emery, Henry, Olive, and Zusu on this amazing award that celebrates your creativity! Keep writing!”


The Upper Shore Literacy Council, joined by the State of Maryland Literacy Association, is committed to the ongoing success of the Young Authors’ Contest as a key initiative in promoting literacy and a love of reading and writing among Maryland’s youth.

Emery Reynolds, GES 2nd Grader
Emery Reynolds, GES 2nd Grader
Henry McCabe, KES 4th grader with his teacher Mrs. Grimes
Henry McCabe, KES 4th grader with his teacher Mrs. Grimes
Olive Martin, MES 6th grader
Olive Martin, MES 6th grader
Zuzu Kusmider, QACHS 11th grader, and her family
Zuzu Kusmider, QACHS 11th grader, and her family

Download a PDF copy of the news release here.

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