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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Holladay City Announces First Ever Children’s Writing Contest Winners

Nov 28, 2014 04:46PM ● By Tammy Nakamura

Lloyd Tanner

‘“Can you tell me why the outcast cries?’ My best friend’s daughter asked me once as we were walking in the Scottish Highlands, her auburn hair dancing with her every move. Her father, tall and muscular, walked beside us. His hair was golden, and short.”

That was the opening paragraph to the winning short story in the 13-19-year-old category of Holladay City’s children’s writing contest. It was written by 19-year-old Lloyd Tanner Lloyd.

The theme of the writing contest was “Reading for Dreams.” It was hosted by Holladay City. The awards were presented at a ceremony at City Hall on Nov. 1.

There were two age groups; 7 -12 and 13-19. Children submitted short stories of fewer than 10 pages on topics of their choosing.

Tina Rowell, Holladay Arts Council president, said the decision to not put parameters on what the children could write worked well.

“The judges were blown away that the children could be so creative.  They were astounded by the places, names and character descriptions,” she said.

The first-place winner in the 7-12-year-old division was 9-year-old Damon Rasmussen who won with his story titled, “Trixon Chronicles,” which tells the story of 12-year-old boys learning what their lifelong trades will be, and about loyalties, friendships and family.

Tanner’s story looks at the lives of beings who are much like wolves and the rules that govern their lives.

Each winner received $75. The second-place winners received $50 each. The third-place winners got $25 each.

Damon Rasmussen

 Brielle Reichert took second place and Eliza Anderson took third place in the 13-19-year -old category. Lauren Bohmholdt took second place and CJ Nelson took third place in the 7-12-year-old category. The top finishers were interviewed by the judges, and Rowell said the decision was extremely tough. “The numbers were amazingly close,” she said.

The writing contest was an experiment to see if there would be enough interest. Organizers were pleasantly surprised. Rowell hopes the contest becomes an annual event but said that will depend on future funding.