Teenage writers imagined, created and expressed themselves through original poetry and short story entries in Pierce County Library System’s 13th annual teen writing contest, Our Own Words.
“Pierce County Library congratulates all the teenagers on their strong writing skills and amazing ideas,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library. “Each student is a winner. The Library and the community benefit from these outstanding young people’s contributions.”
Between Feb. 8 and March 21, students submitted more than 800 poems and short stories in the Our Own Words contest. Volunteers, including Library staff and Pierce County Library Foundation Board members, reviewed the entries. Noted young adult author Dia Calhoun and poet David Whited selected this year’s winners, evaluating originality, style, general presentation, grammar and spelling.
At a free public event, at Pacific Lutheran University, Lagerquist Concert Hall, on Wednesday, May 27, at 7 p.m. the winning authors will read their work. Pierce County Library Foundation will award the winners with cash prizes.
- Grades 7-8: 1st—Cheyenne Robertson, Fort Lewis, Mann Middle School; 2nd—Emily Tomczak, Gig Harbor, Lighthouse Christian School; 3rd—Jasmin Ferrante, University Place, Curtis Junior High School
- Grades 9-10: 1st—Diana Choi, University Place, Curtis Junior High School; 2nd—Leah Cardon, University Place, Curtis Junior High School; 3rd—Alyssa Hernandez, Spanaway, Cedarcrest Junior High School
- Grades 11-12: 1st—Nathaniel Shelden, Covenant High School, Tacoma; 2nd—Rachel Webber, Puyallup, Emerald Ridge High School; 3rd—Tyler Coghill, Fort Lewis, Harrison Preparatory School
Short Story Winners
- Grades 7-8: 1st— Mariah Bellamoroso, Fort Lewis, Home School; 2nd—Alyssa Moulton, Bonney Lake, Mountain View Middle School; 3rd—Erin Haas, Lake Tapps, North Tapps Middle School
- Grades 9-10: 1st—Joel Kim, Gig Harbor, Covenant High School; 2nd—Matthias Needham, Tacoma, Stadium High School; 3rd—Eric Zils, Puyallup, Rogers High School
- Grades 11-12: 1st—Thomas Slack, Tacoma, Covenant High School; 2nd—Nathaniel Shelden, Tacoma, Covenant High School; 3rd—Will Firch, Tacoma, Covenant High School
Pierce County Library Foundation and The News Tribune sponsor the contest. The winning entries will be posted online and copies will be at Pierce County Libraries and the winning students’ school libraries, after May 27.