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Bigfork student wins top writing awards

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | May 17, 2023 11:05 AM

Bigfork High School student Wyatt Barnes is the 2023 Authors of the Flathead student writing competition winner for his poem “My Eyes Belong to Me.”

Barnes was awarded $300 and free tuition to attend the Flathead River Writers Conference in the fall. His poem was also forwarded to the Whitefish Review literary journal for consideration.

This is not the first award Barnes has received for his writing. This year, he entered the prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing competition and won a Silver Key for his poem “Message in a Bottle” and honorable mention for “Captain’s Log” for the West region at-large.

“I’ve always been interested in writing,” Barnes said, noting he makes an effort to sit down and write at least once a month outside of school work.

“I do my best writing on my own outside of school,” he said.

When it comes to writing poetry, Barnes takes inspiration from the every day and then,

“I try not to really think too much and let subconscious thoughts surface,” Barnes said.

“You can get a lot of nice lines on the page but that doesn’t make it cohesive,” he said, and then the editing process begins.

Other awards went to Erika Dowling, for her poem “Birds” and Keeva Clark’s poem “Rum Soaked and Floating” and Abby Curtis for her short nonfiction story, “Shattered Soul.” The three students attend Bigfork High School. Flathead High School student Lubov Kigilyuk received recognition for his short fiction story “The Pocket Filler.”

The Authors of the Flathead’s annual writing competition is open to grades ninth-12th.