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2008 Youth Journalism Contest Winners

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) announced the winners of its 2008 Youth Journalism Contest at its 63rd annual conference held in Morgan City on Saturday, October 18, 2008.  The contest, held each year, is designed to build literacy among outdoor youth while promoting involvement in the outdoors.

The subjects chosen should describe hunting, fishing, boating, camping, horseback riding,hiking, or any other activity that causes the student to interact with nature, the environment, and the outdoor experience.  Judges are looking for literate and enthusiastic works rather than specific outdoor activities, but subjects that can be identified with Louisiana are encouraged.

LOWA Youth Journalism Chairman Gordon Hutchinson said:  “Once again, our professional judges had a hard time deciding winners from the 270 entries from across the state.  And, as last year, we had several kids win in photography that were quite young—kids of every age should consider submitting their entries.”

Prize monies were again donated this year by the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Clubs International, and the contest was promoted with advertising and releases by the Baton Rouge Advocate and the Information and Education Division of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

First through Fourth Place is awarded in each of three categories, with certificates and cash prizes to each winner.  The three categories are Senior Essay (14-18 YOA), Junior Essay (13 and under), and Photography (18 and under).

There were 65 entries in Senior Essay.  The winners are:


1st Place:     Jesse Barnett   17 YOA

Runnels High School, Baton Rouge

“Free Rider”


2nd Place:    Amanda Wolff   14 YOA

Home Schooled, Baton Rouge

“What It Takes to See the Sunrise”


3rd Place:     Sarah Sanderlin   14 YOA

Home Schooled, Dubach

“An Ending”


4th Place:     Josh Tarr

Patrick Taylor High School, Metairie

“The White Fence”



There were 109 entries in Junior Essay.  The winners are:


1st Place:     Jonathan Jacob Faulk   11 YOA

Mater Dolorosa School, Independence

“My Commune with Nature”


2nd Place:     Katelyn Bayhi   13 YOA

Parkview Baptist Middle School, Baton Rouge

“See You Later, Alligator”


3rd Place:      Madalyn Lyons   12 YOA

Westside Junior High, Denham Springs

“Summer Time in Louisiana”


4th Place:      Jack Mertens   13 YOA

Home Schooled, Natchitoches

“Biking—Fun and Exercise”


There were 96 entries in the Photography contest.  The winners are:


1st Place:      Alayna Durio   8 YOA

Park Vista Elementary, Opelousas

“Cypress Tree Stumps”


2nd Place:    Samantha Simon   17 YOA

Silliman Institute, Clinton

“Oak Tree Garden”


3rd Place:  Selby Kean   15 YOA

University Lab School, Baton Rouge

“Sunset Flood”


4th Place:     Arne Bartenbach   8 YOA

Episcopal High School,  Baton Rouge




2008 YJC Winning Photos

2008 YJC Winners