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Archer Mayor encourages abilities of young writers

WESTMINSTER-Renowned Vermont mystery author Archer Mayor was the special guest at the 11th Annual Ziggy Ostrowski Mystery Writers' Contest Banquet at Kurn Hattin Homes.

Using a photograph of Mayor as young boy dressed in a police uniform, the students were asked in a writing contest to write about the boy's future.

This contest was started in 2001 by writing and processing coach Ziggy Ostrowski and English teacher Kristie Lisai. It was named in Ostrowski's memory after he died in 2005.

The students studied in groups according to ability and the highest two groups in the 7th and 8th grades compete.

The eighth grade finalists were Dylan Conklin, Raven Stanhope and Jessica Cormia. Seventh grade finalists were Austin Ladd, Danielle Labrecque, Dylan Avery, and Zoey Anderson.

The first place winner was Raven Stanhope, who wrote about a policeman who comes to a crime scene only to discover his loved ones are the victims.

The second place winner was Danielle Labrecque, who wrote about a serial killer targeting teenage girls, and the policeman motivated to solve the crimes.

The two winners were awarded a cash gift of $25 and all of the contestants were recognized at the banquet with the author.

In addition, the Paul Gordon Memorial Prize was awarded to Dylan Conklin. Paul, a cook at Kurn Hattin, had been a long-time judge and supporter of the contest. Gordon died last year; the prize of a book is funded by Richard Johnson, director of Food Services at the Homes.

The prize is given to the student who shares the love that Paul Gordon had for reading and writing mysteries.

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