A Scarborough High School student and a Cape Elizabeth High School student are among eight students from across the state with a chance to win a $2,500 award and one of the “Young Writers of the Year.”

Through poems and short stories, eight Maine high school juniors explored subjects ranging from the Holocaust to a surreal encounter at a department store as a part of the writing contest, “A Journey Into Writing,” which is run by the Maine Community College System.

The semifinalists were chosen from more than 214 entries from 74 high schools throughout Maine. Emily Elizabeth Shinay of Scarborough and Kinsey Tarbell of Cape Elizabeth were among the eight semifinalists. Other semifinalists included Siobhan Anderson of Newcastle, a student at North Yarmouth Academy; Emma Albright of South Freeport, attending Freeport High School; Cassandra Jensen, Lauren Landry and Lauren Rodrigue, all of Lewiston and attending Lewiston High School, and Erin Watson of Limestone and attending the Maine School of Science and Mathematics.

The students will find out next month if their written words will earn

them a prestigious honor – to be named one of Maine’s three “Young Writers of the Year” – and a generous cash award.

Celebrated Maine authors Richard Russo, Linda Greenlaw, and Wesley McNair are the judges for this year’s contest. They will join Gov. John Baldacci and sponsors of the contest at a luncheon ceremony to honor the students and announce the three winners on Wednesday, May 31, at Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center in Hallowell beginning at 11 a.m. At the event, each semifinalist will receive $100 and a plaque. The three winners of the contest will each receive $2,500.

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