Lee Calman, a seventh grade student from Westfield who attends Northern Potter Middle-High School, is the first place winner of $100 in the 2021 Margaret Sutton Writing contest. He read his essay, “Runaways,” during the Judy Bolton Weekend activities on Zoom on Saturday, Oct. 9.

Lee likes to express his creativity through writing, art and music. He plays alto and baritone saxophone and piano and hopes to become a music teacher someday. His winning essay can be read at www.MargaretSuttonBooks.com.

“All four of the contest judges gave high marks to Lee’s touching story,” said Lindsay Stroh, founder and coordinator of the contest. “The judges were impressed by his sensitive description of two young people who feel unappreciated and stressed. Their journey to understanding with their parents and friendship with each other is so well written.”

The contest was held as part of the annual Judy Bolton Weekend, which honors the memory of author Margaret Sutton, who was born and raised in Potter County. Fans of her books come to Coudersport from all over the U.S.A. each year to visit the sites that inspired Sutton’s Judy Bolton Mysteries.

This year’s contest theme was: A Special Friendship. Each year, during the Judy Bolton weekend, fans learn about one of the books in the series. In 2021, the book is “The Spirit of Fog Island.” In this book, Judy makes friends with a Native American girl. She learns about her new friend’s traditions and troubles as they solve a mystery together. For the contest, students were asked to create an original story involving a special friendship between two people who seem quite different from each other.

Second place in the contest went to Myah Kibbe of Westfield. She will receive $50 for her entry, “The Story of Us,” in which a girl found a way to become friends with a person who was bullying her. Myah is active in volleyball and gymnastics and enjoys 4H.

Third place and a $25 reward goes to Savannah H. Richard of Harrison Valley. In her story, “Friendly Rivals,” a soccer player and the player on an opposing team who caused her injury become friends. Savannah is active in 4H and FFA and enjoys spending time in nature.

In addition to cash prizes, the winners and their parents will be invited to the Judy Bolton Weekend Dinner in Coudersport next year.

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