Poe inspires words, imagery in Big Read contest

April 25, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN -- Imagine a tale weaving Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Cask of Amontillado."

That's what Springfield Middle School eighth-grader Toby Frevert did and put it to paper.

"I like Edgar Allan Poe and a bunch of his stories had missing ends. I'm kind of merging a bunch of stories together," Toby said.

Toby's story, "The Fates of Fortunato and Montresor," won first place in the eighth-grade category of the Poe-inspired writing competition. The contest was part of The Big Read, a National Endowment for the Arts program sponsored locally by the Community Foundation of Washington County, Maryland, Inc., said Amy Hunt, educator at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

The museum in Hagerstown's City Park hosted a reception Sunday afternoon for the winners of the Poe-inspired writing and art contests.


Almost 100 people attended the invitation-only event that featured readings of the winning stories by guest readers.

The stories will be printed and displayed on the wall in the museum's front hallway starting next week, Hunt said.

The artwork already was on display in the hallway, including Brayden Stotler's "Poe at Work, a Self Portrait."

Brayden, 13, of Hagerstown, is an eighth-grader at Antietam Academy.

He created a scene of Poe writing "The Raven" for his sepia-toned photo. Brayden used a 35 mm camera to shoot the scene about 45 times, then settled on one to enter in the contest.

Brayden said he was talking to his teacher, Joseph Richards, about Poe, when Richards mentioned the contest to him.

The winners in the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired art and writing contests were:

Art category

Grades six to eight

o First prize: Brayden Stotler, Antietam Academy, grade eight, "Poe at Work, a Self Portrait." Photograph, 35 mm camera with self-timer.

o Second prize: Destiny Hutchinson, co-creator Mikey Cox, Boonsboro Middle School, grade eight, "Gallows of Fur." Paper, paint, sawdust and glass.

o Third prize: Corrine Ordona, Northern Middle School, grade seven, untitled work. Pencil and pen.

Grades nine and 10

o First prize: Cody Hartman, Smithsburg High School, grade nine, "The Black Cat." Pencil on paper.

o Second prize: Elisa Owens, Smithsburg High, grade 10, "Raven." Pencil, colored pencil, pastel on paper.

o Third prize: Sarah Arnold, South Hagerstown High School, grade 10, "The Flaws of Poe." Acrylic.

Grades 11 and 12

o First prize: Madison Bondoc, North Hagerstown High School, grade 12, "The Perfect Man." Pencil, colored pencil, ink on paper.

o Second prize: Carlee Myers, Williamsport High School, grade 12, "Under the Floor Boards." Cardboard, paint, found objects.

o Third prize: Cassandra Cox, North Hagerstown High, grade 11, "A Nice Variety." Acrylic.

Writing category

Grades six to eight

o First prize: Toby Frevert, Springfield Middle School, grade eight, "The Fates of Fortunato and Montresor."

o Second prize: Stephanie Eberly, Heritage Academy, grade eight, "Sokar's Revenge."

o Third prize: Bryhanna Masser, E. Russell Hicks Middle School, grade seven, "Little Marie."

Grades nine and 10

o First prize: Tristan Prejean, Heritage Academy, grade nine, "The Phantom."

o Second prize: Callie Butts, Heritage Academy, grade 10, "Guess Who."

o Third prize: Bryce Nigh, Heritage Academy, grade nine, for an untitled work.

Grades 11 and 12

o First prize: Krista Kirlew, North Hagerstown High, grade 11, "Dear Love."

o Second prize: Aubrey Boyd, Heritage Academy, grade 12, "Life in Death."

o Third prize: Caroline Clark, Heritage Academy, grade 11, "Poe."

Guest readers were State Sen. Donald Munson, R-Washington; Amy Branam, a professor of 19th-century American Literature from Frostburg State University; Herald-Mail reporter Kate Coleman; local author Myrtle Haldeman; Robert Kachur, who teaches horror and mystery writing at McDaniel College; Michael Cornelius, a professor at Wilson College; Zachary Bennett, a published Poe scholar; Christine Sweigert, representing Gov. Martin O'Malley and State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick; and Amy Hunt, educator with the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

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