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Write on the River and NCW Libraries are happy to announce the winners of the 13th annual Teen Short Fiction Competition.

Librarians from across the region along with members of NCW Libraries’ Teen Library Council judged an all-time high number of competitive entries. They selected three students to share the $200 cash award for their original fiction writing.

First Place
Grace Hodges

Grace Hodges, a freshman at Cashmere High School

“Ever since reading the Land of Stories in the 3rd grade I’ve been an avid reader and writer, starting with basic fantasy and branching out into realistic fiction and dystopian. I take a lot of inspiration from authors Madeline Miller and Donna Tartt. When I’m not writing, I’m playing soccer for the Cashmere high school soccer team and making short films. I’m the president of my school’s Technology Student Association (TSA) club and have won first place for the Silent Film event twice, and I look forward to screenwriting later on in my high school career. I dream of one day becoming a published author or screenwriter. Right now, I’m working on a dystopian novel that I’ve only just begun.”

Honorable Mentions
Grace Hodges

Orlo Parkinson, freshman at Liberty Bell High School in Twisp

Orlo said he takes great inspiration from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R.R. Martin, as well as John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, which first sparked his interest in fantasy and fiction. This entry is one of Orlo’s first creations in the realm of short fiction. He also enjoys acting, singing and playing music. While working on this project, he has appreciated the flexibility and imagination that short fiction facilitates. “It is all up to the writer,” Orlo said. “you decide what is true.” He would like to thank his English teacher, Danny Golden, for encouraging him to submit this story and his parents for supporting his creativity.

Grace Hodges

Ella Stepanov, a homeschooled sophomore from Chelan

“I have always loved writing: novels, poetry, and even short plays. It was a way of putting down the beautiful things I saw and heard onto paper. My favorite authors include Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Lucy Maud Montgomery. When I recently began reading war novels, there was so much I wanted to add to them. Writing was a way of compiling all my favorite ideas into one. The best advice I receive is from my dad and mom. My mom was the one who taught me to write, and my dad showed me what beautiful things someone can do with writing. I would like to continue for a long time and am excited about the things I haven’t yet written.”

Eligible students were in grades 9-12, including those privately or home-schooled and in Running Start, in the NCW Libraries’ service area. The submitting writers attend schools throughout Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant and Ferry counties.

New York Times best-selling author Chelsea Cain, after visiting visited Wenatchee as a 2011 Write on the River Conference keynote speaker, initiated and continues to sponsor the annual competition.

NCW Libraries’ mission is to connect the people of NCW to vital resources and opportunities that foster individual growth and strengthen communities. Write on the River’s mission is fostering the writing arts and sustaining a vital NCW writing community.

“As someone who was a teen writer myself, I was always looking for opportunities to get my work out there. This contest, in partnership with Write On The River gives teens in NCW that opportunity,” said NCW Libraries Teen Services Manager Jessica Lynch. “They get to share their stories and ideas with their community and can use this as a building block to a career as a writer or in a creative field. It’s so important for teens to have an entry point into creative fields and to have conduits for expressing themselves and being recognized for their work.”

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