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Writing contest recognizes and encourages talent in area

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By The Staff

“The reason one writes isn’t the fact he wants to say something,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. “He writes because he has something to say.”

The first inaugural writing contest banquet, hosted by the Cynthiana Arts Council and Maysville Community Technical College-Licking Valley Campus, was held last Thursday evening.

“This project took on an identity of its own,” MCTC-LVC director and arts council member Bruce Florence said at Thursday’s banquet at the Cynthiana Country Club.

Over 90 people attended the banquet. Over 70 people submitted writing pieces, with a total of 90 entries.

“The size of the participation in this first annual contest far exceeded the goals of the council and the college,” Florence said.

Among the judges for the contest was Gurney Norman, Kentucky Poet Laureate designate.

“This was a new initiative developed by the Cynthiana Arts Council and the college to provide writers a venue for testing their work and receiving recognition for their talents,” said Florence. “Recognizing that writing is a rather lonely pursuit, the council members and faculty and staff at the college wanted to address the need for encouragement for local writers.”

The writing contest was one of the first events that allowed those individuals from Harrison County and surrounding counties to showcase their writing.

Due to the council and college’s work, more events and programs for writers will be brought to Cynthiana. It has become apparent that there are many writers in the area.

What also became evident was the support for writing that was generated in our community. With sponsorships from Ken’s New Market, the Cynthiana Arts Council, Kentucky Bank, and the families of Elizabeth Lane, Elizabeth Kuster, Kathleen Sterling and other individuals, this first writing contest proved that fine arts, specifically writing, is supported and can be further expanded in this county and the surrounding area.

“All of us are here with that great tap of talent,” said guest speaker and noted author George Ella Lyon at the banquet. “...Don’t hold back.”

So... this week’s kudos go to the Cynthiana Arts Council and MCTC-LVC, for looking outside the box, and providing an opportunity and recognition for a group of people that would have otherwise gone unrecognized.

They took a chance and hit a gold mine of writing talent.