2021-2022 WriteNow! Award Ceremony

The 2022 WriteNow! High School Writing Contest features original writing in poetry, short story, creative non-fiction, and persuasive essay from high schoolers across the Northeast Metro. On May 5th, 2022, WriteNow! award winners and their friends, families, and teachers, gathered together to celebrate student writing. Scroll on to read and celebrate the work of ALL this year's award winners.

Grades 9 & 10


Award of Excellence: Zawa Carney, “When the Clock Strikes Nine” PDF

Award of Merit:  Arianna Vann-Cook, “Monochromatic” PDF

Honorable Mention:  Matthew Brown: "A Father's Legacy” PDF

"You are an important part of the future of this country and our global world. We need your talent, insights, and creative hopefulviews... Keep writing. Your voice is so needed with its fresh open creative insights. Your desires to live in a culture of peace and justice. Grow in loving yourself and those around you. Don't take anything for granted. May you be treasured for who you are as an individual, a talented student willing to speak from your heart." – Anne Picard, Poetry Judge

Creative Nonfiction

Award of Excellence:  Katelyn Birkeland, “Shaking with Fear” PDF

Award of Excellence: Arianna Vann-Cook, “Because of Gramps” PDF

Award of Merit: Olivia Carle, “Little Person, Big Moment" PDF

Honorable Mention: Hannah Johnson, “Drowning in Competition” PDF

Persuasive Essay

Award of Excellence: Elizabeth Burns, “Gender Pay Gap in Sports” PDF

Award of Merit: Mary Kate Grilz, “Our Community's Environmental Responsibilities” PDF

Short Story

Award of Excellence: Cynthia Meisinger, “Letters with Locks” PDF

Award of Merit:  Josiah Wass, “The Smoke of Memory” PDF

Spoken Word

Award of Excellence: Arianna Vann-Cook, “Seldom But a Girl”

"Congratulations to all participants on a job well done. Writing is a discipline and an art. Finding the perfect words to express your thoughts, imagination, and logic has powerful sway. Sharing those words unleashes that power and is an act of courage." – Julie Lundgren, Persuasive Essay Judge

Grades 11 & 12


Award of Excellence: Anya Krzoska, “Elegy to My Rationality on Holiday” PDF

Award of Merit: Caitlin Igel, “Dear Future Roommate” PDF

Honorable Mention: Zoe Roettger, “Baby Fat” PDF

Creative Nonfiction

Award of Excellence: Aleksa Atkinson, “Instinct” PDF

Award of Merit: Jennifer Page, “Awfully Funny, For an Introvert” PDF

Persuasive Essay

Award of Excellence: Kaia Ramaley, “The Disparities for Black Women in Healthcare” PDF

Award of Merit: Caitlin Igel, “Space Humans” PDF

Short Story

Award of Excellence: Kaylee Nickisch, “Golden Hearts Turned Silver” PDF

Award of Merit: Sophia Cruz Van Beusekom, “Coffee Shop” PDF

Honorable Mention: Lucy Fleming, “Facial Feedback Theory” PDF

"Being a writer is not just a little something you do, it is something that you are. Writing is not only a necessary form of art, it is a critical one. Writers shape, recreate, and represent the world around them. Whether that's as journalists or poets, writing fiction or non, writers inspire, invoke, anger, excite, incite, and ignite. Each one of you embodies the best of what writing can be and while you will all no doubt be and do many wonderful things in the world, you will always have the soul of a writer.  Congratulations!" – Amber Guetebier, Spoken Word Judge

Full Awards Ceremony:

"When the Clock Strikes Nine":

"Shaking with Fear":

"Seldom But a Girl":


A special thank you to all of the school coordinators involved and judges!


Read full judge's commentary from Poetry Judge Mary Kolles