The Govie Writing Awards is a new, state-wide contest for South Carolina students in grades 6-12. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Department at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, the awards are named for the department's founding faculty members—Jan Bailey and George Singleton—and recognize student works in fiction and poetry. Prize winners receive a gift card from a local indie bookstore. 

Congratulations to the 2019 Winners!

The George Singleton Prize in Fiction

Autumn Simpson

High School Division Winner
The Author
Sponsoring Teacher: Steven Getz

Autumn Simpson, of West Columbia, SC, is a rising senior at White Knoll High School. She participates in the school Improv Troupe, co-founded a student prayer club, and will be the Commanding Officer of White Knoll’s Navy JROTC unit in the fall. Autumn has been writing stories, poems, and songs since she was young and is currently working on her first novel. In her spare time, she loves to sing and play the guitar.

Olivia Bussell

Middle School Division Winner
Sponsoring Teacher: Robin Gary

Olivia Bussell is a 7th grader at Pleasant Hill Middle School in Lexington, SC. She is active in musical theater and plays 1st base for her travel softball team.  Olivia is passionate about writing because she enjoys creating and developing characters and unique settings. She is a voracious reader and her favorite authors are Rick Riordan and James Riley. 

Katherine Toellner

Middle School Division Honorable Mention
A Million Stitches
Sponsoring Teacher: Allison O'Rear

Katherine Toellner is an 8th grader at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, South Carolina. She writes because she loves the feeling of being able to create dynamic characters and bring their stories to life. She hopes to one day become a published author or editor.


The Jan Bailey Prize in Poetry

Luisa Peñaflor

High School Division Winner
Chandler Lake
Sponsoring Teacher: Sarah Blackman

Luisa Peñaflor is a poet from Greenville, South Carolina, and attends the Fine Arts Center. She is currently partnering with the Peace Center to start up a Poetry Slam program for public schools in her hometown. She also is the non-fiction editor for the teen literary magazine, Crashtest. She likes Hanif Abdurraqib, dogs, and hot chocolate, but dislikes cheese in general and Thomas Jefferson. 

Tyler Kellogg

High School Division Honorable Mention
Sponsoring Teacher: Robert Kendrick

Tyler Kellogg was born in Florida and raised in the Carolinas. He is from Easley, South Carolina and is a sophomore at Daniel High School. He enjoys basketball, history, and reading (particularly folklore/southern gothic literature) and writing.  

Roger Brown

Middle School Division Winner
Yellow Moon
Sponsoring Teacher: Sarah Monson

Roger Brown enjoys soccer and basketball. He will be attending Greenville High School in the fall. His winning poem, “Yellow Moon,” was written for a Communications class at League Academy.

Grace Gibson

Middle School Division Honorable Mention
Ode to My Coonhound
Sponsoring Teacher: Elizabeth Intrieri

Grace Gibson lives in Pawleys Island, South Carolina and attends Coastal Montessori Charter School. She loves to play with and train her dogs, specifically Lucie Lark, her redbone coonhound. Her other hobbies include reading, writing, riding horses and playing soccer.

Winners in fiction and poetry received the following awards:

  • First Prize: $300 bookstore gift card
  • Honorable Mention: $50 bookstore gift card

Thank you to all of the 2019 participants and sponsoring teachers!




Girl writing in a notebook
Two girls writing in notebooks