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(West Plains) – Professors in the Department of English at Missouri State University-West Plains have announced the winners in their first Shakespearean Sonnet contest for area middle/junior high and high school students.

The contest was held in honor of famed poet William Shakespeare’s 449th birthday on April 23, 2013, according to organizer Dr. Phillip Howerton, associate professor of English. He said 160 entries were received from numerous schools throughout Missouri State-West Plains’ extended 10-county service area.

Three categories based on grade level were offered: fifth and sixth grades, seventh and eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades. Cash prizes in the amount of $25, $15 and $10 were awarded to first, second and third places, respectively, in each category. All winners also received a certificate.

Winners in the seventh and eighth grade category were:

First place – Chloei Murphy, eighth grade, Alton Junior High School;

Second place – Charles West, eighth grade, Alton Junior High School;

Third place – Kennedy Irwin, seventh/eighth grade, Faith Christian Academy;

Honorable mention – Joseph Graves, eighth grade, Alton Junior High School; and Melissa Goshorn, seventh/eighth grade, Faith Christian Academy.

Winners in the ninth through 12th grade category were:

First place – Caleb McLaughlin, 11th grade, Faith Christian Academy;

Second place – Ashlyn Hufstedler, ninth grade, Alton High School;

Third place – Alex Priest, ninth grade, Faith Christian Academy;

Honorable mention – Lincoln Connell, 12th grade, and Ashley McCoy, ninth grade, both of Norwood High School.

Not enough entries were received in the fifth and sixth grade category, so no prizes were awarded, organizers said.

Organizers added they hope to make this an annual event. For more information, contact Howerton at 417-255-7285.

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