39th Annual Statewide Creative Writing Contest

We are pleased to celebrate the winners of the 39th UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest. The contest began in 1981, the brainchild of newly arrived UAA English professor Ronald Spatz, who wanted to encourage new writers of all ages. He coordinated the contest with the Anchorage Daily News team until 2010. Since then, the Alaska Center for the Book has served as the coordinating partner, providing hundreds of volunteer hours to manage entries, judging, and contacting winners—the best part of all.

This year more than 400 entries were submitted for the 2022 contest. We are always pleased to see entries from classrooms across Alaska, and from writers ages 5 to 84. Entries arrived from writers in Anchorage, Big Lake, Chugiak, Cooper Landing, Cordova, Craig, Delta Junction, Dillingham, Eagle River, Ester, Fairbanks, Gakona, Girdwood, Homer, Juneau, Kake, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Palmer, Sitka, Skagway, Soldotna, Sterling, Sutton, Talkeetna, Tenakee Springs, Unalakleet, Utqiagvik, Valdez, Wasilla, and Willow.

Full text of the first-place winning entries for this year’s contest and previous contests can be found online at LitSite Alaska.

Congratulations to the winners!

GRAND PRIZE

A Collection of Echos by Fiona Raasch, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Adventures Hovercrafting from Nenana to Nome by Marie Motschman, Anchorage

K-2 STORY

FIRST PLACE

The Two Twins by Naomi Klug, Skagway School, Skagway

HONORABLE MENTIONS

If I Lived in a Snow Globe by Sylvia Polonowski, Government Hill Elementary School, Anchorage
King Salmon by Juniper Souphanavong, Anchor Lutheran School, Anchorage
Whimpering for Westin by Catherine Warren, Rogers Park Elementary School, Anchorage

FICTION 3-5

FIRST PLACE

The Sacred Bamboo by Luciana Liu, Family Partnership Charter School, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Crate of the Unknowns Johnathan Smith, Homeschool-Connections, Homer
Jingle Bells by Jason Mitchell, Huffman Elementary School, Anchorage
Never Wear Shoelaces, Ever by Veera Mohinani, IDEA Homeschool, Juneau

FICTION 6-8

FIRST PLACE

Barefoot in the Summer by Nyx Boyd, Goldenview Middle School, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Case of Peter Arnes by Julian Berg, Northern Lights ABC, Anchorage
When the Sky Was Filled with Wings by Evelyn Coy, Goldenview Middle School, Anchorage The Day the Sun
Vanished by Lorie Saboundjian, Goldenview Middle School, Anchorage

FICTION 9-12

FIRST PLACE

Integrity by Tana Stierwalt, Bettye Davis East High School, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Abschied by Pia Knischewski, Sitka High School, Sitka
The Dragon’s Revenge by Destiny Vessey, Idea Homeschool, Wasilla
The Scientist’s Experiment by Willow Wielechowski, Bettye Davis East High School, Anchorage

FICTION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

FIRST PLACE

The Quest by Marianne Prax, Valdez

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Goons of Gareloi. A Sea Story by Peter Garay, Homer
The Blanket by Anna Trujillo, Anchorage Features by Allison Wayt, Anchorage

NONFICTION 3-5

FIRST PLACE

The Ride by Jackson Winston, Whitestone Farms Training Center, Delta Junction

HONORABLE MENTION

Bear Hunting with Dan and Papa by Tell McMahan, Upstream Learning, Gakona

NONFICTION 6-8

FIRST PLACE

Who Am I? by Ella Wheeles, Mears Middle School, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTION

Band by Maggie Runty, Goldenview Middle School, Anchorage

NONFICTION 9-12

FIRST PLACE

Hunting by Kadie Newkirk, Soldotna High School, Soldotna

HONORABLE MENTION

Crimson Apple of Gratitude by Emily Blackmon, Sitka High School, Sitka
The Comeback of the Neglected: Amanda Gorman by Hailey Clark, Bettye Davis East High School, Anchorage
In One Frame by Madisyn Sickafoose, Kodiak High School, Kodiak

NONFICTION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

FIRST PLACE

Adventures in Hovercrafting from Nenana to Nome by Marie Motschman, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Kite by Harry Ferguson, Anchorage
All-One by Ashley Paris-Hansen, Fairbanks

POETRY K-2

FIRST PLACE

Moose At My Door by Lillian Wojtusik, Campbell STEM Elementary, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Wolves by Zachary Miner, Anchor Lutheran School, Anchorage
Lovebird’s Valentine’s Song by Catherine Warren, Rogers Park Elementary School, Anchorage

POETRY 3-5

FIRST PLACE

Emma by Nola Horn-Rollins, Government Hill Elementary School, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Seasons by Camille Burke, Connections Program, Kenai
I am America’s Flag by Logan Clark, Family Partnership Charter School, Eagle River

POETRY 6-8

FIRST PLACE

Hugs by JJ Hanley, Romig Middle School, Anchorage

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Over the Clouds by Ava Clements, Mat-Su Central, Palmer
Regret by Nora Greenleaf, Whitestone Farms Training Center, Delta Junction
History by Brannon Gorla, Cordova Junior/Senior High School, Cordova
Neglected Love by Carly Johnson, Goldenview Middle School, Anchorage

POETRY 9-12

FIRST PLACE

A Collection of Echos by Fiona Raasch, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka

HONORABLE MENTIONS

A Wilderness Poem by Johnathan Kirsch, Homeschool, Big Lake
Equality by Verity Pendergast, Anchorage
Universal Constants by Zoe Trafton, Sitka High School, Sitka

POETRY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

FIRST PLACE

Case Study: Davidson Seamount by Jacqueline Boucher, Juneau

HONORABLE MENTIONS

River Church by Kent Fielding, Skagway
Suspension by Katy Masterman, Ester
Of Land and Sea by Shaelene Moler, Kake

Winners are eligible for the following cash prizes:

Story

Grade K-2 ... $25

Fiction

Grade 3-5 ... $25

Grade 6-8 ... $25

Grade 9-12 ... $50

Open to the Public ... $50

Non-fiction

Grade 3-5 ... $25

Grade 6-8 ... $25

Grade 9-12 ... $50

Open to the Public ... $50

Poetry

Grade K-2 ... $25

Grade 3-5 ... $25

Grade 6-8 ... $25

Grade 9-12 ... $50

Open to the Public ... $50

Grand Prize: $200 | Editor's Choice: $100

Creative Writing Contest Rules

1) The contest is open to Alaska residents. College students who maintain Alaska residency may enter. All judges, editorial or administrative employees of Anchorage Daily News, faculty or administrative employees of the University of Alaska and board members of the Alaska Center for the Book, and their immediate family are ineligible.

2) Work published previously in any copyrighted newspaper, magazine, book or other medium is ineligible. Writing for school publications may be entered. Entries must be original.

3) Contestants may enter one work of fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), one work of non-fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), and up to three poems. A contestant may enter all categories in his or her age group.

4) Each submission requires a separate completed entry form.

5) Entries should be entered through the website at adn.com/creativewritingcontest no later than 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Only entries in digital format will be accepted.

6) No submissions will be returned.

7) Panels of Alaska judges, recruited among writers, teachers, librarians, and booksellers, judge entries for each category. (Teachers will not judge their own students’ entries.) A separate panel of judges will select the Grand Prize winner. Judging and winner notification will be completed no later than May 2, followed by an announcement in Anchorage Daily News.

8) The author retains the copyright to the submitted work, and agrees to publication in Anchorage Daily News, print and online editions, and on the University of Alaska Anchorage’s LitSite Alaska website. Winners may be asked to provide a photo to appear with their entries.

9) The decisions of the judges are final. Submission indicates acceptance of all contest rules.

Questions about the Creative Writing Contest should be e-mailed to creativewritingcontest@adn.com.