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Winners of Clark State Creative Writing Contest to Headline Poetry Reading

Winners of Clark State Creative Writing Contest to Headline Poetry Reading

April 17, 2019

Clark State Community College will host the winners of the Voices of the Valley regional poetry contest for a reading on Friday, April 19.

The contest, established by the Clark State Creative Writers Club, was open to 25 schools in the area. The contest theme prompted writers to “Convey a Sense of Place,” and contestants could submit up to two poems with no more than 250 words per poem.

“We wanted to reach out to the community, so that the Creative Writers Club could become accessible to those who are not students here,” said Chris Bays, associate professor of English for Clark State.

The poetry submissions were judged by Bays and a panel of Clark State faculty, staff and students.

Bays said the winning poems will be featured in the Voices of the Valley journal which is published annually. Voices of the Valley is a creative writing journal run by Clark State students.

“We are trying to establish the journal as a regional or even Midwest presence,” said Bays. “Stories, flash fiction and other poems will be published alongside these winning poems.”

The 2019 Voices of the Valley journal will be available in the fall semester and range from 65 to 70 pages. It will feature creative writing pieces along with brief biographies about the writers.

The poetry reading will be held from 2-5 p.m., Friday, April 19 in the Eagle's Nest Café on Clark State’s Springfield campus. It will showcase readings from high school, college and university students from surrounding counties. This event is open to the community.

The Clark State Creative Writers Club plans on sponsoring the contest again in 2020. The theme for the contest will be announced in March of 2020.

For more information about the Clark State Creative Writers Club, please visit the Student Academic Success Center in Rhodes Hall on Fridays from 3:30-5 p.m. or contact faculty adviser Chris Bays at

2019 Voices of the Valley Poetry Contest Winners

1st Place: Hospital by Sarabeth Ingle, Clark-Shawnee High School

2nd Place (tie): Intricacy by Evie Chatfield, Kenton Ridge High School and Under a World by Tyler Bowshier, Clark State

Honorable Mentions

“The World in Which I am Lost” by Lauren Lemmings, Kenton Ridge High School

“Pinpoint” by Carlos Hernandez, Clark-Shawnee High School

“We’re the Wild Ones” by Mercedes Massie, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center

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Laurie Means Executive Director, Marketing