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Young Writers Contest

Thank you to everyone who participated in our writing contests over the years! Although Bookshop is no longer hosting a contest, there are many other opportunities—local and national—for young writers. See our list HERE.

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorees of previous years!

Purchase the 2020 Young Writers Contest Honorees collection:

2020 Winners and Honorees

Ages 6-9
First Place: Morgan Schromm, 7, Happy Valley, I Wonder How the World Spins
Second Place: Meher Nagi, 9, Old Orchard School, Farraige
Third Place: Naomi Salhov, 8, Mountain Elementary School, The Eight O'Clock Howl
Honorable Mention: Athena Grey, 9, Old Orchard School, The Sun and the Moon
Honorable Mention: Megan McFadden, 9, Good Shepherd Catholic School, My Party

Ages 10-13
First Place: Emmie Wolf-Dubin, 12, Meigs Middle School, Countdown
Second Place: Alma Mendez, 11, Ocean Grove, The Stone Wolves
Third Place: Charlie Lowe, 10, Main Street Elementary, The Blue Boy
Honorable Mention: Abigail Joanides, 10, Westlake, Braces
Honorable Mention: Elianne Giles, 13, Mission Hill Middle, Furry Menace

Ages 14-17
First Place: Charlie Perkins, 17, Kirby, Name Tag
Second Place: Tallia Harper, 16, Santa Cruz High School, Vultures
Third Place: Kaleigh Pennington, 16, Scotts Valley High School, Broken Glass
Honorable Mention: Adrian Ilyas Jonker, 14, Twin Lakes Christian School, Creature's Best Friend
Honorable Mention: Dolsey Lin, 15, Valley Christian High School, Worthy of Virtue

2019 Winners and Honorees

Ages 6-9

First Place: Medline Gibson, 9, Westlake Elementary, Cousin Animal Patrol
Second Place: Mayalia Thom, 9, Monarch Elementary,  A Story About Truth, Friendship, and Macaroons
Third Place: Quinn Schrom, 9, Happy Valley Elementary, Dogs
Honorable mention: Zella Robertson, 8, Pacific Elementary, Get Your Creeps On
Honorable mention: Evelyn Rugama, 9, Westlake Elementary, A Play Date Disaster

Ages 10-13

First Place: Keelin Duffy, 10, Miraloma Elementary, Wings
Second Place: Julianne Ma, 13, Kings Academy, Caroline and the Space Travel Machine
Third Place: Zoe Wardrip-Fruin, 10, Monarch Elementary, Before the Dragon Kids
Honorable mention: Milo Ramos, 12, New Brighton Middle School, The Start of the End
Honorable mention: Hadzy Cohen, 11, B-40 Middle School, A Painful Way of Life

Ages 14-17

First Place: Holden Barker, 17, Aptos High School, Extra-Ordinary
Second Place: Angel, Juvenile Hall, 17, Taking Off My Mask: My Life in Juvenile Hall
Third Place: Isaac Ludington, 17, Alternative Family Education, The Guns Are Getting Closer
Honorable mention: Erik Hernandez, 15, Aptos High School, Getting Arrested for Doing Nothing
Honorable mention: Grace Anne Jones, 14, Ripples


Ages 6-9

First Place: Keelin Duffy & Aisha McCollough, 9, Miraloma Elementary, Leia and Mayla and the Revenge of Darkness
Second Place: Xander Faer Nass, 7,  I Caught a Huge One!
Third Place: Daphne Roberson, 9, Mount Madonna, Gila Monsters Come to Arizona
Honorable mention: Jacob Stone, 9, Westlake Elementary, The Wave
Honorable mention: Zoe Laudenslager, 9, Old Orchard School, The Battle for Survival

Ages 10-13

First Place: Cassandra Lopez, 13, Seaside Middle School, Could Flowers Bloom Again?
Second Place: Julia Meow, 11, Egan School, Untitled
Third Place: Violet Wolfers, 10, Westlake Elementary, The Adoption Diary
Honorable mention: Ciel Duffy, 11, James Denman Middle, Without Coco
Honorable mention: Jade Haskins, 11, Santa Cruz Montessori, Nightfall

Ages 14-17

First Place: Lily Sonnenblick, 14, Soquel High School, Birlity Lane
Second Place: Claire Chandler, Oasis High School, 15, Death, the Boy and the Clockwork Hall, In which a Boy Loses His Mother, Travels the World, and Befriends Death
Third Place: Jesse Chamberlain, 15, Aptos High School, The Hospital Window
Honorable mention: Kyleigh Cawaling, 15, Aptos High School, Press to Start
Honorable mention: Amrita Bhasin, 17, Menlo-Atherton High, The Lost Key

2016 Honorees

Ages 6–9

First Place: Sage Preud'homme Silver, 9, A Life of a Sled Dog 

Second Place: Zenobia Russi Barrett, 9, The Curious Owl and Athletic Monkey 

Third Place: Adria Grace Mikolyski-Coulson, 9, It Was a Time of War

Honorable Mention: Ezekiel Tapia, 8, The President of Fish 
Ruben Marcus, 9, The Stolen Book 

Ages 10-13

First Place: Zara Minra Brandt, 13, The Wild

Second Place: Mikaela Simpkinson, 13, Finally Facing Fates Finest

Third Place: David Hill, 13, Hoot

Honorable Mention: Grace Anne Jones, 10, One Moment  Kanaea Bonn, 12, Seeing Red

Ages 14+

First Place: Riley Rozario, 14, Her Peaceful Silence

Second Place: Odessa de Boer, 17, Stars 

Third Place: Margaret O’Hara, 16, The Fifth Visitor 

Honorable Mention: Julia Pearson, 14, Chasing the Sunset, Isaac Ludington, 14, So Real

2015 Honorees

Ages 6-9

First Place: Raina Sawyer, 9, Whose Life is Harder?
Second Place: Bryce Holden, 8, The Big Trip
Third Place: Siena Liddicoat, 7, How the Snake Got Its Scales
Honorable mention: Hadley Graydon, 7, Mango and Jinetta
Honorable mention: Clara Weaver, 8, The Stone Witch

Ages 10-13

First Place: Sage Liem, 12, In the Dark
Second Place: Brooklynn Winters, 12, Howl
Third Place: Mira Wichelmann, 13, Epitaph of the Once Alive
Honorable mention: Olivia Knapp, 13, The Perfect Truth
Honorable mention: Caeli Tani, 12, I Am From

Ages 14-17:

First Place: Meiya Sparks, 15, A Short Eulogy for God
Second Place: Brittany Marshall, 17, The Drought
Third Place: Virginia Ontiveros, 15, Dear Anna
Honorable mention: Julia Pearson, 14, Colors of the Music
Honorable mention: Zachary Parrish, 15, The Fall of White

2014 Honorees


Ages 6 - 9
First Place: Jennifer Leishman, 9, Ann Frank's Friend: The Story of a Time Traveling Girl
Second Place: Montgomery Samuel Thomas, 7, Plants
Third Place: Rebecca Fuller, 8, A Horse Named Sunset
Honorable mention: Makenzie Lashley, 7, A Monster Named Stanly
Honorable mention: Ari Braslavsky, 9, The Fights of 1943

Ages 10 - 13
First Place: Kumali Schoen, 13, Final Bond
Second Place: Julia Pearson, 13, The Finch, the Sparrow, and the Falcon
Third Place: Melia Van Hecke, 12, Ice on the Windows
Honorable mention: Rina Rossi, 12, Far, Far, Away
Honorable mention: Ciara Patel, 13, Alien

Ages 14 - 17:
First Place: Rachel Surgalski, 16, Lilac Boy
Second Place: Emily Gordis, 17, Soul Food
Third Place: Isabella Ainsworth, 15, Castle Reyes
Honorable mention: Garrett David Moore, 15, Accidental President


Ages 6-9

First Place: Cara Burgess, 9, The Enchanted Forest 
Second Place: Riley Austin, 8, The Adventures of Joshua  
Third Place: Ryan Hannah, 9, The Fishing Day 
Honorable mention: Liliane Finn Newberry, 9, The Secret of Lakeside Inn 
Honorable mention: Cassidy Flanagan, 6, The Farm That People Loved
Honorable mention: June Parvis, 6, Aphrodite

Ages 10-13

First Place: Julia Pearson, 12, You are as You Act 
Second Place: Anika Lindley, 13, The Brightest Light
Third Place: Jaida Johnson, 13, Ruby
Honorable mention: Sophie Wright, 10, The Journey
Honorable mention:Sydney Pelz, 11, & Ella Rintoul, 10, Thrist vs. Life 

Ages 14-17

First Place: Malakai Wade, 15, 307 Walnut and Wimpole St  
Second Place: Allegra Cohen, 17, Shrewsbury Station 
Third Place: Abe Karplus, 17, Discrete-Cities 
Honorable mention: Nate Stephens, 15, Loss of a Dog
Honorable mention: Victoria M. Mazariegos, 15, You Said You'd Never Leave 
Honorable mention: Jasper T. Barnes, 14, Triceratops vs T. rex



Ages 6–9

First Place:
Ada Firth, 9, The Bird Feather Series, Book1:Tertiary
Second Place:
Kirah Mitchel, 9, Celeste’s Adventure in the Future
Third Place:
Johann Brooks, 7, The Gold Shield
Honorable Mention:
Isabella Hernández Lara, 8, Thunder the Chocolate Lab Learns How to Fly
Honorable Mention:
Zara Brandt, 9, The World of Ahleah

Ages 10–13

First Place:
Leif Daniel Frazer, 11, The Great Gold Rush
Second Place:
Laura Warfield, 13, Skywarrior
Third Place:
Kelly Buckler, 13, The Last Train to Dog Town
Honorable Mention:
Amrita Bhasin, 10, The Shreiks in the Night
Honorable Mention:
Mira Huang, 13, The Bargain

Ages 14+

First Place:
Max Lopez, 17, Shooting the Tiger
Second Place:
Tess Dunn, 16, My Mom, the Cook
Third Place:
Alice Koltchev, 13, The Town With No Internet
Honorable Mention:
Zach Bamberger, 15, If the Walls Could Talk
Honorable Mention:
Melissa Dittrich, 17, The Pink Dress