By Mary Getchell, Communications Director, Pierce County Library System
Talented teenage artists and writers demonstrated their creative skills through original poetry, short story, drawing and photography in Pierce County Library System’s Teen Writing & Art Contest – Our Own Expressions.
“Students dazzle us each year with their amazing writing and art,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for Pierce County Library. “It is a joy and an honor to encourage these promising teenagers to share their talents and continue their creative efforts.”
Between Jan. 21 and Feb. 24, students submitted nearly 1,000 poems, short stories, drawings and photographs in the Our Own Expressions contest. Volunteers, including Library staff and Pierce County Library Foundation Board members, reviewed the entries. Poet Kristin McHenry and author Liz Gallagher selected this year’s writing winners, evaluating originality, style, general presentation, grammar, spelling and evidence of skill appropriate for the writer’s age. Photographer Dane Meyer and artist Jennifer Adams selected the art winners, based on composition, evidence of skill commensurate with the age of the artist, creativity and effective use of media.
At a free public event, at Pacific Lutheran University, Lagerquist Concert Hall, on Thursday, May 30, at 7 p.m. the winning authors and artists will showcase their work. Pierce County Library Foundation will award the winners with cash prizes.
- Grades 7-8: 1st—Gabriel Carlson, Fox Island; 2nd—Tamminga Watchman, Gig Harbor; 3rd—Shane Lillie, Gig Harbor
- Grades 9-10: 1st—Brenna Peever, Spanaway; 2nd—Rachel Duerst, Tacoma; 3rd—Jocelyn Gonzales, Steilacoom
- Grades 11-12: 1st—Jack Chakerian, Gig Harbor; 2nd—Clay Snell, Tacoma; 3rd—Esther Lee, Lakewood
Short Story Winners
- Grades 7-8: 1st—Virginia Davidson, Steilacoom; 2nd—Summer Ash, Gig Harbor; 3rd—Hailey Holm, Buckley
- Grades 9-10: 1st—Natalia Giovengo, Puyallup; 2nd—Matthew Pfefferle, Tacoma; 3rd—Meg Low, Puyallup
- Grades 11-12: 1st—Amanda Gordon, Fox Island; 2nd—Erin Haas, Lake Tapps; 3rd—Hansol Hyon, Lakewood
- Grades 7-8: 1st—Dawson Dressel, Tacoma; 2nd—Mercella Washburn, Gig Harbor; 3rd—Delany Sager, Tacoma
- Grades 9-10: 1st—Nick Tollefson, Gig Harbor; 2nd—Mirna Ali, Tacoma; 3rd—Taylor DeSmet, Puyallup
- Grades 11-12: 1st—Esther Lee, Lakewood; 2nd—Jesse MacKinnon, Gig Harbor; 3rd—Ellen Carr, Lakewood
- Grades 7-8: 1st—Daniel Matsuda, Tacoma; 2nd—Grace Wilsie, Tacoma; 3rd—Leah Harlander, Gig Harbor
- Grades 9-10: 1st—Penny Mae Rhines, University Place; 2nd—Mikhaella Walden, Fircrest; 3rd—Lauren Sullivan, Gig Harbor
- Grades 11-12: 1st—Rachel Lynch, Tacoma; 2nd—Tamala Aown, Fircrest; 3rd—Jesse MacKinnon, Gig Harbor
The News Tribune, Pacific Lutheran University and Print NW help fund the contest. See the winning entries and copies of the booklet at Pierce County Libraries and the winning students’ school libraries, after May 30.