Six Central Students Win YSSW Contest


Sarah Katheron Latham

SIX CENTRAL STUDENTS WIN YSSW CONTEST — Winners of the writing contest will be recognized with a medal.

Blake Catlett, Editor

Every year, the Young Southern Student Writers (YSSW) chapter of Southern Lit Alliance holds a writing competition for K-12 students in Hamilton County. Students can submit prose or poetry pieces of any topic for the contest.

“Established in 1999 in partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the Southern Lit Alliance’s Young Southern Student Writers literary outreach program challenges, rewards and nurtures Hamilton County public, private and homeschool students’ writing and reading skills.  The program also supports teachers and parents through encouraging their students/children with the fascination of reading and the importance of writing,” explains the Southern Lit Alliance website.

This year, Central had six YSSW winners: Freshmen Jack DeFriese, Landen Poythress, and Devonje Jordan, Sophomore Tyler Patillo, Junior Llyra Bryson, and Senior Elizabeth McGuire.

“​It gives students a chance to use and develop their voice through their writing. That is a powerful way to boost confidence and develop positive leaders in our school,” said Kelsay Cate, English 9 and theatre teacher.

Normally, a special event is held at the Tivoli in downtown Chattanooga to commemorate the year’s winners. However, as with most things now, plans have had to change due to COVID-19. Medals are being to shipped to each individual school, so winners can still be recognized for their excellent writing.

“I have always loved writing. It’s been something I do almost constantly, every single day. It’s important to me because, with my wild imagination, I have trouble focusing, so I write to get my ideas out so I can get work done. I started writing scripts at a really young age and slowly moved up until I was writing stories and poetry. I’m being honest when I say, I can’t help but go over the top with an idea for writing!” said Llyra Bryson.

All of the winning entries from this year’s YSSW contest are being comprised into a digital booklet. The great works of writing can be preserved, shared, and read for years to come. When it is finished, the digital booklet should be accessible through link. The Central Digest will share this link as soon as it is available.