Release Date: 07/22/2008

The Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association (LOWA) announced the winners of its 2008 Youth Journalism Contest.  The winning students will be honored at the annual LOWA conference banquet in Morgan City in October of this year.

The contest is designed to build literacy among outdoor youth while promoting involvement in the outdoors.  The outdoor subjects chosen should describe hunting, fishing, boating, camping, horseback riding, or any other activity that causes the student to interact with nature, the environment and the outdoor experience.  Judges are looking for literate and enthusiastic works rather than specific outdoor activities, but subjects that can be identified with Louisiana are encouraged.

LOWA Youth Journalism Chairman Gordon Hutchinson said:  "Once again, our professional judges had a hard time deciding winners from the 270 entries from across the state.  And, as last year, we had several kids win in photography that were quite young -- kids of every age should consider submitting their entries."

The Louisiana Chapter of Safari Clubs International again donated the prize money for this year's contest.  First through fourth place is awarded in each of the three categories, with certificates and cash prizes to each winner.  The three categories are Senior Essay (14-18 years of age), Junior Essay (13 and under) and Photography (18 and under).

There were 65 entries in Senior Essay.  The winners are:

1st Place:    Jesse Barnett, 17, Runnels HS, Baton Rouge, "Free Rider"

2nd Place:    Amanda Wolff, 14, Home Schooled, Baton Rouge, "What It Takes to See the Sunrise"

3rd Place:   Sarah Sanderlin, 14, Home Schooled, Dubach, "An Ending"

4th Place:   Josh Tarr, Patrick Taylor HS, Metairie, "The White Fence"

There were 109 entries in Junior Essay.  The winners are:

 1st Place:   Jonathan Jacob Faulk, 11, Mater Dolorosa School, Independence, "My Commune with Nature"

2nd Place:   Katelyn Bayhi, 13, Parkview Baptist Middle School, Baton Rouge, "See You Later, Alligator"

3rd Place:   Madalyn Lyons, 12, Westside Jr. High, Denham Springs, "Summer Time in Louisiana"

4th Place:   Jack Mertens, 13, Home Schooled, Natchitoches, "Biking-Fun and Exercise"

There were 96 entries in the Photography contest.  The winners are:

1st Place:   Alayna Durio, 8, Park Vista Elementary, Opelousas, "Cypress Tree Stumps"

2nd Place:   Samantha Simon, 17, Silliman Institute, Clinton, "Oak Tree Garden"

3rd Place:   Selby Kean, 15, University Lab School, Baton Rouge, "Sunset Flood"

4th Place:   Arne Bartenbach, 8, Episcopal High School, Baton Rouge, "Alligator"

The winning photos and essays will be published in the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper, and numerous other media across the state.

The complete essays, photos, and contact information for the winning students are available by contacting committee chairman Gordon Hutchinson at ghutchinson@theadvocate.com.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.louisiana.gov.