The Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, also known as HoCoPoLitSo, awarded juniors Tomas Paral and Casey Kindall with book prizes in its annual writing contest. The students were among several from English teacher Ms. Amy Comberiate’s third period Advanced Composition class who entered their best works in the competition.
Paral and Kindall are two of nine creative writing winners out of all Howard County student entries. This year, three categories were open to for submission: essay, fiction and poetry.
“Tomas wrote a powerful short story about a guy who works in the pound, and whose job is to euthanize the dogs,” said Ms. Comberiate of Paral’s award-winning short story in the fiction category. “He created a character that struggles with that job and tries to interact with the normal world. It’s an interesting character and an interesting take.”
Kindall was one of only three Howard County students to take home the book prize for the poetry category. When asked her feelings towards her poetry writing, Kindall said, “I’m proud of my winning piece because it’s something I edited for a long time until it was perfect. I worked really hard on it. It tells a story in the way I wanted it to.”
Kindall’s poem is based on an assignment she had completed in class about a list of objects. “She developed a whole other layer of meaning in her poem.” Ms. Comberiate said, describing the poem as “spectacular.”
On top of the two Mt. Hebron all-county writing contest winners, two 2015 Hebron graduates, Gabrielle Greene and Maya Huber, were chosen to receive HoCoPoLitSo’s Promise and Achievement Award in Language Arts. The Mt. Hebron English department worked together to choose the two talented, strong and passionate writers. In the past, Greene and Huber have represented Mt. Hebron in the Poetry Out Loud contest.
HoCoPoLitSo was founded in 1974 by a Howard County English teacher and is now known throughout the county for promoting creative arts not only in schools, but also to the broader community. The society hosts poetry readings every year, calling on a local” HoCo Poet and Resident” to share his or her writings with students. HoCoPoLitSo is also known for its annual poetry readings, which are open to the whole county, in the Howard County Rouse Theater. The group is involved in several outreach events, including the well-known all-county writing contests.
Mt. Hebron English teachers are extremely proud and impressed with not only Paral and Kindall’s performance, but also Greene and Huber’s. These four students are recognized for their hard work and strong talent in the Language Arts field. All students are encouraged to submit their writing pieces in next year’s competition.