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Murray Journal

‘Wander-ful’ Haunted Tales student writers honored with certificates

Dec 02, 2022 02:55PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Fifty-four students in Murray recently entered their hair-raising, ghastly, sinister stories and poems in the city’s annual Haunted Tales writing contest, where readers found themselves facing ghosts and ghouls in haunted woods and corn mazes.

Several stories emerged as winners in several categories. They are: “Monsters Creeping” by Emmy L. (surnames withheld), fifth grade, Horizon Elementary and Leah F., ninth grade, Utah Connections, in poetry; “The Haunted Sleepover” by Clara N., fifth grade, Grant, short story; “The Young Girl and the Cat” by Eleanor W., eighth grade, Riverview Junior High, short story; “The Doll Maker” by Ellen C., fourth grade, Woodstock Elementary, long story; “Camping in the Woods!” by Joe M., fifth grade, Viewmont Elementary, long story; “The Great Halloween Escape” by Lucy H., seventh grade, Hillcrest Junior High, long story; “The Monster in the Corn Maze” by Victoria W., ninth grade, Riverview Junior High, long story; “Possessed by My Nightmares” by Fable B., ninth grade, Riverview Junior High, long story; “Hallo the Ghost” by Jade M., fourth grade, Viewmont Elementary, picture book; and “The Little Witch” by Kit W., 10th grade, Murray High School, picture book.

Winning students were recently recognized at a ceremony at Murray Senior Center. Those entries will be kept in the city’s collection, said Katie Lindquist with the cultural arts and history division.

“Writing is a very important skill to learn, and it leads toward public speaking and creativity,” Lindquist said. “We want to encourage all forms of art. We like to hold the writing competitions during the school year to encourage teachers to have their kids participate so as the Murray City Arts Advisory Board and cultural arts division, we can support students.”

One teacher who regularly encourages her students to participate is Ginger Shaw, who instructs fourth grade at Grant Elementary.

“We all work on practicing using their quotations skills in the assignment, but then it’s up to them to enter it in the contest, which I definitely encourage,” Shaw said. “Students can practice their computer skills, or they can write it by hand and add some creativity to it. I think it’s a great way for them to be excited about writing and it gives our students the opportunity to be creative at the same time.”

With a change of deadline this fall, Shaw’s students missed it, but Lindquist still recognized the students in their classroom, awarding them certificates and pencils from the Murray Museum they recently visited.

“There's a lot of creativity in your entries and your drawings to accompany your writing really helped bring in the visual, which was super fun,” Lindquist told students. “I remember a janitor was turned into a floating ghoul. Hopefully your janitor here doesn't actually turn into one as that would be scary. In another story, one character helped a skeleton who got stuck on the rock, and they became friends at the end. The stories were fun, and I want to encourage you to please keep writing. It's really good to write not just to learn sentence structure and grammar, but also because sometimes the only way to express yourself is through writing or drawing, so keep them both up.”

In the spring, Murray City will hold another writing competition, Cotton Tales, with the theme this year being fairies and magical creatures.