And the winners are… On Sunday, March 17, 2019, the Upper Merion Township Library in King of Prussia, PA held a special awards ceremony in Freedom Hall at the township building. At this special event, the library honored all of the young authors who entered the 44th annual Write and Illustrate Your Own Book Contest. The contest was open to all students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Book submissions were received from many different public and private schools in the area. Winners were chosen by a diverse and experienced panel of literary judges from the community. All winning books are bound, cataloged, and included in the permanent Children’s Collection at the Upper Merion Township Library.
The 2019 Write and Illustrate Your Own Book Contest winning authors for Kindergarten were Riyan Gandhi (1stplace), Bhavit Chapoclasetty (2nd place), Diya Nishad (3rd place), and Anish Lakkoju (Honorable Mention). The First Grade winners were Victoria Megerian (1st place), Samika Nettem (2nd place), and Blair Podoshen (3rd place). Winners for Second Grade were Reed McCurley (1st place), Ishan Bansal (2nd place), and Keshav Choudhary and Anthony Belmonte (3rd place – tie). For Third Grade, the winners were Samantha Roulstone (1st place), Alyssa Hepburn (2ndplace), Misa Yoshimura (3rd place), and Natalie Ford (Honorable Mention). The Fourth Grade winners were Max Belmonte (1st place), Jessica Lydecker (2nd place), Rida Fathima (3rd place), and Matt Adams (Honorable Mention). Winners for Fifth Grade were Maelyn Quach (1st place), Talia Croy (2nd place), Nikita Joshi (3rd place), and Araz Balian (Honorable Mention). For Sixth Grade, the winning authors were Sierra Martello & Anna McCarel (1st place), Jenna Xue (2nd place), Ishitaa Saxena (3rd place), and David Rendon-Garcia (Honorable Mention). The Seventh Grade winners were Jocelyn Bilker (1st place), Megan Chaing (2nd place), and Rujuta Gandhi (3rd place). The Eighth Grade winning authors were Devanshi Bhargava (1st place), Nyrie Bouloutian (2nd place), Lili Yacoubian (3rd place), and Alexandra Belmonte (Honorable Mention).
Two very special overall awards for the contest were also presented at this ceremony. Devanshi Bhargava, an 8th grader at Lionville Middle School, won both the prestigious Joane F. McNamara Award for Best Overall Story and the Susan Lomax Award for Best Overall Illustrations. Devashi’s beautifully written book is entitled 14 Days From Friends. Congratulations to this young writer on her outstanding efforts, and thanks to all of the students who took the time to submit a quality book into the contest this year!
2019 W&I Award Winners – This photo features the 2019 Write and Illustrate Book Contest winners that were present at the awards ceremony
2019 Overall Award Winner – This photo shows (left to right) Sue Kirkpatrick (UM Township Library Program Coordinator), Devanshi Bhargava (8th grader who won both the Susan Lomax Award and the Joane F. McNamara Award), and Jeanne Kauffman (UM Township Library – Head of Children’s Services)