Ajali Givens and Mia Hadley from Robertsville Middle School have been recognized as 2023 Promising Young Writers by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Ajali Givens is one of only two students in Tennessee to receive the highest designation of First Class. Mia Hadley received the Superior designation.

This year, schools nominated 146 eighth grade students to participate in the Promising Young Writers Program. Of those, 56 were selected to receive the top designation of First Class, 58 received the Superior designation, 27 received the Excellent designation, and 5 received the Merit designation. Two to three independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.

“We are so proud of both Ajali and Mia. For this contest, we can nominate only two students from the eighth grade at Robertsville to participate, so being selected from the entire class is already an honor. The PYW contest requires independent work outside the classroom crafting the writing submissions, so these students have displayed both commitment and talent in earning top honors in this challenging competition,” said Julie Kinder-McMillan, the eighth grade ELA teacher who sponsors the contest at RMS.

The Promising Young Writers Program represents NCTE’s commitment to early and continuing work in the development of writing. The school-based writing program was established in 1985 to stimulate and recognize writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories, Canada, and American schools abroad are eligible to nominate students.

For more information about the Promising Young Writers Program, see http://www.ncte.org/awards/promising-young-writers/

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting more than 25,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum. Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.