TCMS Sturrup wins state writing competition

Sturrup award

Thomas County Middle School fifth-grade student Simeon Sturrup has been named the first-place 5th-grade winner at the state level for the 2024 Georgia National Fair Bear Creative Writing Competition.

The annual competition asks students to write a story about an American black bear who lived from 1980-1993 in Middle Georgia near the Georgia National Fairgrounds. The bear’s path often involved crossing 1-75 where it met its tragic death in 1993. It was immortalized as the Georgia National Fair’s mascot and has been the subject of their writing competition since 1994.

This year’s topic was “Fair Bear Visits the Fire Department” where students were asked to write a story about Fair Bear's day as a firefighter. Fair Bear was so excited to find out that he was able to visit his local fire department and spend a day in the life of a firefighter since this is something that he has always wanted to do! Students were to write about his experience and the exciting things that he learned from the firefighters as well as what he did during a typical day as a firefighter.

Sturrup, who is a student in Rena Crew’s language arts class, will receive $100.00 and tickets to The Georgia National Fair where he will be recognized. All grade-level first-place winners will compete for the Grand Prize, which will be announced at the fair during the ceremony. Crew will receive $150 to be used towards educational items in her classroom.

The winning essays can be found on the Georgia National Fair’s website at



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