Stories of love, field hockey and bullying; videos of stick figure adventures, an exploding cake and a commentary on rules and regulations — all came forth from the imaginations, creative passion and sensitivity of teens who entered the 2012 Summer Shorts competition, which had its awards and appreciation ceremony on Aug. 20 at Carroll Community College.
Hosted by the Carroll County Public Library, the contest challenges youngsters in grades six through 12 to stretch their creative muscles in either stories or videos. The contest had two categories, short stories and videos, and also had age categories for middle school and high school students.
On Aug. 20, the winners and their families gathered for a reception, a screening of the winning video entries and an awards event.
In the writing categories, first place in the middle school division went to Claire Hartlove, a student at Sykesville Middle School, for "Just Another Wednesday," a story about a student struggling with school life; while the high school first-place winner was "War," a piece by Emily Galik, a student at Marriotts Ridge High School, who wrote about field hockey contest between teams of "blue" and "gray."
In the video categories, Emily Gallagher won first place for middle school entries for "A Carroll County Adventure," in which she filmed the "lower half" of people enjoying activities around the county. In the high school competition, Mikaela Frentheway won for "The Dumb Ninjas Bake a Cake," in which two people collect unorthodox ingredients for a cake, with explosive results.
"I felt that we had some of the most creative and original video shorts ever this year," said Heather Owings, library associate. "Fantasy was the most popular genre for the short stories, with realistic fiction being a close second. Also making an appearance were historical fiction, mystery, sports and horror.
"It was great to see all the winners with their families and friends cheering for them," Owings said.
Some of the entries are available online at the CCPL website, library.carr.org by accessing "programs," and "Summer Reading Program."
Judges for the contest included local teachers, specialists and authors, including Ryan Heilman, a teacher at Manchester Valley High School who runs the school's TV and video production program; Barbada Davidson, a speech-language pathologist; Jeanne Mayo, media specialist at Sykesville Middle School; Terry Whye, a ceramic artist; Tony Hooper, a video production instructor; and Jeri Smith-Ready, author of romantic and urban fantasy novels such as "Requiem for the Devil" and her "Shade" series.
The following is the full list of winners. Recipients received gift cards from the library system and small gifts donated by The Eagle.
Middle School Short Story
• "Just Another Wednesday" by Claire Hartlove, first place.
• "The Golden Meadow" by Alexis Adkins, second.
• "The Sad Pencil" by Elizabeth Larsen, third.
High School Short Story
• "War" by Emily Galik, first place.
• "Patrolling for Eternity" by Bhavneet Athwai, second.
• "Under the Willow" by Abby Simon, third.
Middle School Video
• "Summer Shorts: A Carroll County Adventure" by Emily Gallagher, first place.
• "Sims 4: Real Life" by Julia Dunn and Olivia Vaughan, second.
• "Adventures of Stickman" by Kailey Houck, third.
High School Video
• "The Dumb Ninjas: Bake a Cake," by Mikaela Frentheway, first place.
• "Idioms and Idiots," by Lauren Schipper and Monica Farfoglia, second
• "A (L)awful Day in the Park," by Jadon DiMaggio, Hannah DiMaggio, Thomas DiMaggio, Rachel DiMaggio and Abi Fuller, third.