Brant Guerin of Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge won first place with an essay on “Pistol Pete Maravich” in the 7th annual Louisiana High School Essay Contest held in conjunction with the Louisiana Studies Conference at Northwestern State University. This year’s contests theme was “Louisiana Time Machine” with the prompt “If you could meet and talk with any Louisianian from the past, present or future for one hour, who would you choose and why?” Second place winner was Chelsea Franklin of Crowley High School for “The Mysteries of Huey Long.” Third place went to Andrea Bradley of Westminster Academy in Ville Platte for “A Talk with A Madame.”
The winning essays were presented at the conference and will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal, the Louisiana Folklife Center’s scholarly journal.
“The essays by this year’s contest winners are magnificent,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at NSU and co-chair of both the conference and the essay contest. “These young writers have managed to capture in words just what makes the historical figures they imagine meeting both interesting and significant.”
Northwestern hosted the conference with the theme “ Louisiana Cultural Crossroads” with presentations and panel discussions that focused on aspects of Louisiana art, history, culture and literature.
“This year’s conference highlighted some of the many ways that folks in Louisiana have influenced each other at a variety of cultural crossroads,” said Rasmussen. “The significance of these influences upon Louisiana culture cannot be overestimated. Louisianans are stronger and better because of our diversity.”