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Student Photography Inspires Gaithersburg Short Story Contest

Photographs on display at this year's high school art show will serve as inspiration for students competing in the 2016 Gaithersburg Short Story contest, which is sponsored by the JHU Montgomery County Campus.

The short story contest is a tradition of the Gaithersburg Book Festival, to be held May 21, 2016 on the grounds of Gaithersburg City Hall.

Members of the Gaithersburg Book Festival committee reviewed more than 100 photographs, drawings and paintings submitted by Montgomery County Public Schools high school students for the 2015 Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus annual art show, and selected three works of art to serve as inspiration for the 2016 short story contest.

Stories may be no longer than 1,000 words.

The art works are by Lindsey Levy of Winston Churchill High School; Cameron Garland of Northwest High School; and Azalea Coste of Montgomery Blair High School.

This is the second year that art work exhibited as part of the Montgomery County Campus art show has been used as inspiration for the short story contest entries. Previously, one of the festival’s authors would write three lines as a writing prompt for students, who would then use those lines as a starting point for their short stories. Now, the images are the starting point. The short story contest garnered more than 150 entries in 2015.

The 2015 art show featured the work of young artists and photographers, who were to create works based on the theme “Out of the Ordinary.” Students from 20 of the county’s public high schools submitted to the competition 174 mixed-media art pieces and 221 photographs. Jurors selected 43 canvases and 33 photographs to be showcased in the exhibit. Nine students won prizes for their original works.

The short story contest is open to high school students who live in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. The deadline for entries is Feb. 19. More information can be found at

Johns Hopkins University Montgomery Count Campus is an annual sponsor of the book festival. The university also sponsors the prizes for the short story contest. Up to 12 stories will be selected as finalists. The top three winners will be announced at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, along with a fan favorite. The first place winner will receive a $100 gift certificate; second place a $75 gift certificate; third place a $50 gift certificate; and the fan favorite a $25 gift certificate.

GBF lady bug By Azalea Coste

GBF unicycle By Lindsey Levy

GBF walrus By Cameron Garland


CATEGORY: The Arts, K-12 Outreach, In The Community