Teen's essay published in book

January 11, 2008|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Pamela Thompson has enjoyed writing for fun since she was in fifth grade, when she had a short story published through a workshop at the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library in Greencastle.

Her work was published again in 2007, when her essay "Ethanol and Other Alternative Fuels" received high merit in an essay contest by Creative Communication Inc.

"I'm really happy and I hope that maybe I can try again next time and get in the top 10," Pamela said.

Creative Communication holds nationwide essay contests three times a year and the top 45 percent of the entries in an area are published "Celebrating What is Important to Me" books. Pennsylvania entries are published in the eastern edition of the book. Essays are broken down in to the following grade levels: grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12.


Pamela heard about the essay contest through her seventh-grade Greencastle-Antrim Middle School English teacher, Kelly Saylor. Pamela, the daughter of Ivan and Wendy Thompson of Greencastle, is in eighth grade.

Pamela submitted her essay in January of 2007. Several months later, the essay was returned to her because the company had chosen to have her essay published and wanted to make sure the essay was how Pamela wanted it to look.

According to Pamela's edition of "Celebrating What Is Important to Me," which was published in the summer of 2007, the top 10 essays in each grade are finalized through an online voting system.

Pamela's essay was not in the top 10, but she still received high merit. More than 400 essays were published in Pamela's grade level.

"I think I chose to write about that because when I wrote about it, it was just when gas prices were going up," Pamela said about why she wrote about ethanol in her essay. She said also during the time that she wrote the essay, residents were protesting a possible ethanol plant in Chambersburg.

"I had just written it for fun and my teacher told me about the contest," said Pamela, who likes to write fiction in her spare time. "I didn't know the subject was what is important to me until after I wrote it."

To research the article, Pamela looked up information on the Internet with her dad's help.

"He was explaining to me how (ethanol) was made," she said.

"In South America, they use beats, in France, they use wine (and) in Wisconsin, they use turkey," Pamela said.

To improve her writing, Pamela has attended a Young Writer's Camp at Mercersburg Academy the last two summers.

"It definitely improved my work as a writer," said Pamela, who attends ballet and pointe classes, and takes piano, voice and mandolin lessons.

"It would be really fun if I could write, direct and choreograph musicals and plays (as a career)."

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