Stephens County High School has a state champion.
Junior Connor Roberts won the AAAA state championship in boys’ essay at the state literary meet this past weekend in Warner Robins.
Roberts said the competition requires participants to write an essay of 600 words or less on the spot within a certain amount of time.
“You have two hours to write an essay, a rough draft then cut it out to a final draft and then a judge scores the essay using a rubric and they compare scores,” said Roberts.
Competitors either write on a literary topic or a current events topic and they do not know the topics ahead of time.
Roberts said he chose a literary topic once his options were presented.
“It was ‘Why authors choose to set novels in certain countries based on the values of the peoples within the country’,” said Roberts. “I wrote it on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.”
He went on to say that preparing for such a contest requires a lot of reading and reviewing.
“I was basically using notes to read up on the old books I had read in the last year to make sure I had a full supply of books to write about if I needed them,” said Roberts.
Roberts said he is excited to have won a state championship.
“I was not really expecting it,” said Roberts. “I was not extremely confident in the essay when I first came out, so I was really excited when they told me I won.”
His advisor for the competition is Stephens County High School English teacher Connie Harding.
She said that she is very proud of Connor’s performance.
“He scored 92 out of 100,” said Harding. “His choice of Heart of Darkness speaks of his being well-read. He is an extremely well read young man.”
With one year of high school left, Roberts said he hopes to have the opportunity to defend his state title next year.