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Top writers in statewide middle school competition win laptops and other prizes in partnership with the CenturyLink Foundation

PHOENIX -- (April 23, 2013)  Eight, Arizona PBS is pleased to announce the 2013 winners of its annual Arizona StoryMakers Contest -- a statewide writing contest for middle school students, produced by Eight, Arizona PBS in partnership with the CenturyLink Foundation.  Arizona students in grades 6-8 were invited to submit either fiction or non-fiction stories of 500-1,000 words between December 2012 and February 2013. Awards were presented to winners in each grade level and category at a special event on April 20, hosted by Eight, Arizona PBS at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism on the downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State University.

First place winners in each grade level and category were awarded with a laptop computer and accessories provided by CenturyLink Pioneers. Second and third place winners each received a Kindle, courtesy of the program grant provided by the CenturyLink Foundation. The awards celebration also featured a special address by noted Arizona children’s author Terri Fields.

“We had over 400 entries submitted for the competition,” says Mark Becker, Associate Director for Educational Outreach at Eight, Arizona PBS. “Thanks to our judges, all high school language arts teachers, who narrowed down the many entries to select our StoryMakers contest winners for 2013, using the 6+1 Trait® Writing Rubric.”
The 2013 Arizona StoryMakers contest winners are:

6th Grade Fiction:
1st place - Maggie Gibbs - Diary of a Toothbrush - Peoria
2nd place - Sydni Reimer - My Amazing Discovery! – Cave Creek
3rd place - Taylor Tryhall - Adventure on a Boat – Surprise

6th Grade Non-Fiction:
1st place - Connor White - Tavis Barker - Surprise
2nd place - Kayley Jarman - Our Christmas present - Surprise
3rd place - Natcha Ramioulle - An Unexpected Chase - Scottsdale
7th Grade Fiction:
1st place - McKenna Collman - Fox Paws - Phoenix
2nd place - Audrey Lim - The Letter to the Duke – Casa Grande
3rd place - Aimee Loya - Ashes – Peoria
7th Grade Non-Fiction
1st place - Brett Cernich - A Slave's Tale: From Rags to Revolt - Scottsdale
2nd place - Lily Cristante - Out of Slavery and into the White House – Cave Creek
3rd place - Evangeline Taylor - Overcoming Challenges – Lake Havasu City
8th Grade Fiction:
1st place - Rilee Theriault - Last Breath - Peoria
2nd place - Tillena Trebon - The Crash - Flagstaff
3rd place - Janessa Skidmore - The Bedtime Story   - Peoria
8th Grade Non-Fiction:
1st place - Tyler Ruan - Jet-Lag Induced Stupidity: A Day in the Life of an Exhausted Teen – Phoenix
2nd place - Noah Swartz - Apollo: The Importance of Insignificant Events – Glendale

3rd place - Marina Zinter - Adventures in Disneyland - Phoenix

All winners’ stories are posted here:

About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For 50 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Eight achieves its mission through the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 86 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.