AUGUSTA — It pays to write well.

Just ask Maine high school students Amanda Dickey, Brianna Housman and Gaelyn Lindauer. Each student received a check for $2,500 today for their winning entries in the Maine Community College System’s A Journey Into Writing contest.

Dickey and Housman are both juniors at Searsport District High School, and Lindauer is a junior at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. A Journey Into Writing is open to all high school juniors and home-schooled students of the same age.

Six finalists were chosen from 151 entries in this year’s contest, representing 45 high schools. Other finalists were Alex Lurie of Brooks, a junior at Mount View in Thorndike; Olivia Dubois, a junior at Old Orchard Beach; and James Austin of Farmingdale, a junior at Hall-Dale. These three received $500 each.

Dickey won for her short story “No One to Hear Her.” Housman also wrote a short story, “She Fell.” And Lindauer won for a poem, “The Bottle.”

This is the eighth annual contest. Judges were Maine writers Susan Kenney, Bill Roorbach and Lewis Robinson.

Community College System president John Fitzsimmons joined Gov. Paul LePage in honoring the students. “We are very proud that this contest promoted excellence in writing,” he said in a statement.

“Over the past eight years, more than 1,800 Maine high school students have shared their work with us. It’s a thrill to know that the contest has generated interest in creative writing and encouraged students to prefect their writing.”

The winning entries will be published in the Audience section of the Maine Sunday Telegram on June 10.

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