Seventeen Valley students received recognition for their outstanding creative writing works at the 25th annual Young Writers Conference at California State University, Fresno last week, which was attended 400 high school students.

The conference, sponsored by the English Department and the Masters of Fine Arts Program at Fresno State, offers a valuable opportunity for young writers to hear a professional writer read his or her work and answer questions about the creative writing process and the profession in general. Fresno State alumnus Daniel Chacon, a dynamic young author whose work has been critically praised, was the keynote speaker.

Prior to the conference students submitted their work for consideration for awards as well as an opportunity to become published in the Spectrum, the publication of the conference. Awards include:

Dean’s Award:

o Andew Haag, Madera High School, Lady Sorrow (poem)

o Luis Garduno, Dinuba High School, American Skin, Mexican Blood, (fiction)

o Mary Ancheta, Lemoore High School, The Train (poem)

o Melinda McWilliams, Fresno High School, Pan Dulce, (creative non-fiction)

English Department Chair’s Award

o Kelly Jurkovich, Granite Hills High School, An Hour with Cara (creative non¬fiction)

Fresno Poets Association Award

o Jenna Nakagawa, Bullard High school, Northbound 701 (poem)

Fresno Area Council of Teachers Awards

o Khaty Xiang, Roosevelt High School, Self Portrait of Picasso (poem)

o Devon Peterson, Madera High School, Self-Portrait in Asphalt (poem)

o Emily McLeod, Hoover High School, Lilies (creative non-fiction)

o Mark Gilstrap, Monache High school, Decisions (fiction)

Valley Writers Network Awards

o Clara Hodges, Monache High School, Epiphany, (creative non-fiction)

o Luis Espinel, Duncan Polytechnical High School, Miss Huntington Dislikes April, (poem)

o Tosha Yarbrough, University High School, Mozart and I (creative non-fiction)

Students of English Studies Association (formerly EGSA)

o Fakhra Khalid, Monache High School, Of Water and Greed (fiction)

o Jean Burnet, University High School, Final Recollections, (fiction)

San Joaquin Valley Writing Project Awards for Excellence in Teaching Creative Writing

o Erin Cook, Central High East Campus

o Mr. Kellogg, Monache High School

(Copy by University Communications student-intern Jodie Mocciaro.)

EDITORS and NEWS/PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTORS: Press releases can be downloaded at University Communications also provides releases for news media companies via e-mail. To be added to the distribution list, send your e-mail address to