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News Release

Maine High School Juniors Invited To Compete in Statewide Writing Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

CONTACTS: Karen Hamilton at (207) 767-0116 x 4; khamilton@mccs.me.edu or
Ellyn Chase at (207) 629-4007; echase@mccs.me.edu

AUGUSTA , Maine – Maine high school juniors are invited to submit entries for A Journey Into Writing, the Maine Community College System's statewide writing contest. Entries will be accepted October 1, 2006, through December 1, 2006.

The competition, open to some 15,000 Maine high school juniors, will be judged by celebrated Maine writers Richard Russo, Linda Greenlaw, and Wesley McNair. Students are encouraged to submit an original poem, short story, or essay of up to 1,500 words in length.

The contest, begun in 2004 as a way to encourage creativity and inspire young Maine writers to develop their craft, was created by Governor John Baldacci and is sponsored by the Maine Community College System, in partnership with the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram, MaineToday.com, and U.S. Cellular.

Three finalists will be chosen by the participating authors from up to 15 semi-finalists selected by the MCCS and will be honored with the designation of "2007 Governor’s Young Writer of the Year." In addition, each of the three finalists will receive a $2,500 cash award.

"Our distinguished judges have given generously of their time and talent to encourage and nurture Maine's next generation of writers," said MCCS President John Fitzsimmons. "The competition is now in its third year, and we are thrilled at the quality and creativity of the student compositions and look forward to our awards ceremony next spring."

Russo is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Empire Falls." Greenlaw is the author of three bestselling books about life as a commercial fisherman, including "The Hungry Ocean," "The Lobster Chronicles," and "All Fishermen Are Liars." McNair is the author of nine collections of poetry and the editor of three anthologies of contemporary Maine writing.

To enter, students must submit their entries electronically to the MCCS Web site. The contest rules and entry form are available online at: www.mccs.me.edu (click on: A Journey Into Writing). The Maine Sunday Telegram and MaineToday.com will announce the semi-finalists and finalists in the spring and post the selected entries on MaineToday.com. The finalists and semi-finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony in May.

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