California Writers Club Young Writers Contest Winners!

Congratulations to all of the winners of this incredibly competitive contest!  All entries were  creative and talented works of art.  Thank you for your participation!

Below you will find the winner’s name, their school, teacher and the title of their entry.  

The Betty Tenney Memorial Essay/Personal Narrative Awards

6th Grade

1st  Calia Ann Lockey

Walnut Creek: Jann Taylor-Geyer

“Three Words, One Meaning” 

2nd  Katelyn Downing

Pleasant Hill: Holly Latz

“What Is This?”

3rd  Megha Bhargava

Windemere Ranch: Diana Kaplenko

“The Adventures in Cave Swimming”

7th Grade

1st  Alexandra Desmedt

Walnut Creek: Jana Palmquist

“Unsilent Night”

2nd  Lauren Russell

Windemere Ranch : Jeff Osborn

“Ready, Set, SHOT!”

3rd  Karina Ting

Orinda: Cecilia Kilmartin

“A Lesson to Last”

8th Grade

1st  Mia Stripling

Stanley: Donna Gallagher


2nd  Ahab Chopra

Dorris-Eaton: Melissa Parker

“Biking to a New Life”

3rd  Emma Cottrill

Dorris-Eaton: Melissa Parker

“The Night My Life Changed Forever”


6th Grade

1st  Sasha Hassan

Windemere Ranch: Diana Kaplenko

“Midnight Wish”

 2nd  Rashmi Pradhan

Windemere Ranch: Diana Kaplenko

“A Song is Drowned” 

3rd  Sihyun Na

Windemere Ranch: Diana Kaplenko

“What Does it Feel Like?”

7th Grade

1st  Jasmine Steele

St. Isidore: Amy Burgin


2nd  Rebekah Mangels


“Who Knows What I Think?”

3rd  William Francis

Martinez: Anne Martin

“A Day’s Work as a Dishonest Man” 

8th Grade 

1st Ahab Chopra

Dorris-Eaton: Deeni Shoenfeld

“You Will Never Find Me”

2nd  Meher George

Dorris-Eaton: Melissa Parker

“Carpe Diem”

3rd  Kismat Dhaliwal

Dorris-Eaton:  Melissa Parker

“An Unlikely Savior”

Short Story

6th Grade

 1st  Aaron Ouyang

Dorris-Eaton: Mary Dickens

“Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle”

 2nd  Sasha Hassan

Windemere Ranch: Diana Kaplenko

“Search and Rescue”

 3rd  Sasha Hassan

Windemere Ranch: Diana Kaplenko

“What is Right is not Always Popular, What is Popular is not Always Right”

 7th Grade

 1st  Lucy Caitlin Shaw

Walnut Creek: Jana Palmquist

“The Escape”

 2nd  Ingrid Lam

PineValley: Dianna Longhery

“My Eyes”

 3rd  Alexandra Desmedt

Walnut Creek: Jana Palmquist

“The Caterpillar and the Worm”

 8th Grade

 1st  Lauren Hui

Gale Ranch: Kimberly Carter

“House of the Rose”

 2nd  Emily Hui

PineValley: Sarah Gibbons

“Blue Skies”

 3rd  Julie Deng

PineValley: Susan Banks

“It All Proves Nothing”


No Responses to “California Writers Club Young Writers Contest Winners!”

  1. Lauren Russell says:

    Hi, do you know what time the award luncheon is at? My invitation didn’t have a time on it! Thanks, Lauren

  2. ventanas says:

    Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share views.
    Great website, continue the good work!

  3. marjorie says:

    Hi, I am one of the winners and I am wondering: what do we do at the banquet?

    • lizbooks says:

      You will meet the other winners, adult writers, see all the winning manuscripts, play a game/quiz with them, eat a delicious banquet, hear a delightful published author speak (I hear he is also hysterical!) receive your awards and get your picture taken for the local newspaper. It’s fun! See you soon!

  4. Alexandra says:

    Hi, I am wondering about next year’s contest: are we allowed to resubmit entries that we have already entered in last year’s competition? Even winning entries? When will the submissions for next year’s contest start? Thanks!

    • lizbooks says:

      Hi Alexandra – Great question! Thank you for writing. A winning entry from last year would not win the following. It would be disqualified, I’m sorry. (Yes, we do save them.) You may submit as soon as the new guidelines are posted. I’m hoping this will be soon. I do know there will be a new award for humor writing. I will post the guidelines as soon as I get the “A-Okay” to do so. Hope you’ll join our writing workshop at the Walnut Creek Library on Feb. 1, 2014. In the meantime, keep writing!

  5. Alexandra says:

    Thanks! I am excited to enter next year’s contest! But I have one more question: can we resubmit nonwinning entries or edited versions of them? Also, last year I thought it was kind of hard to write a story in 3 pages. Is it possible that the guidlines could change? For the humor category, what is the page limit?

  6. lizbooks says:

    Hey Alexandra – Your original question is so good I used it as a regular blog post. Yes, you can submit nonwinning entries BUT just use the theme and don’t look at your old entry. REWRITE IT FRESH. Revision is your friend! My bet is you are a better writer now. Make your reader experience emotion, or humor, or whatever you need. Check for action verbs, etc. If you are talking about 3 pages, then you have a personal narrative. It’s tough, but that is why you need to rewrite it. I once wrote a personal experience “down” from 1000 words to 300 – – and it was actually BETTER! It should be a writing exercise in every English classroom.

    For short stories, we do allow more words to develop the story. Five pages. We have discovered the BEST stories are written “tightly.” Without any extra words. It is fine to ask your teacher for suggestions. Thanks again for writing! Would love to be your teacher! Liz

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