State YGA Champion 2023

Eastside Student Wins State Young Georgia Authors Competition
Posted on 04/28/2023
Jayda PayneEastside high School junior, Jayda Payne, is a state champion as she won first place honors in the 11th-grade competition of the Young Georgia Authors Contest. Jayda earned the state award for her submission, “I Lie.” She previously won her school, the district, and regional competitions.

Students participating in the Young Georgia Authors Contest could submit entries in the form of short stories, poetry, essay, research reports, or other original student writing. Submissions were judged on four domains as reflected in the Georgia Standards of Excellence—ideas, organization, cohesiveness, and language.

The purpose of the Young Georgia Authors writing competition is to encourage students to develop enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing, to provide a context to celebrate their writing successes, and to recognize student achievement in arts and academics.

“Jayda wrote the story for an assignment in class back in September after a brief unit on narrative writing,” explained her English Language Arts teacher, Andrew St. John. “Students were allowed to choose from two prompts, one of which was to write about a person who lies for a good reason. I expected some interesting concepts, but I was not prepared for Jayda's story. I remember reading it and being absolutely blown away. When I first approached her about submitting the story, she was understandably hesitant, but she said she would think about it. Despite her reluctance, I tried to explain to her just how special, how emotionally powerful the story was. After weeks of pestering her, I finally got her to relent, and I'm so glad she did. I could not be prouder of Jayda Payne, all the more so because I did nothing but give her an assignment. She is the one who turned it into something incredible.”

“We are so proud of Jayda,” added Eastside High School principal, Jeff Cher. “I am so thankful for the Young Georgia Authors program as it provides students an avenue to demonstrate their talents and abilities. We celebrate Jayda and her accomplishment.”