To encourage the endeavors of young writers, each year the Tri-Valley Writers, the local branch of the California Writers Club, holds a contest that includes nonfiction, poetry and short stories.
"It takes great courage for students to submit writing to strangers to evaluate and comment on it," club newsletter editor Patricia Boyle said. "I'm proud of the students who entered the contest and took the risk of sharing their work."
This year 53 young writers took part, submitting 72 entries that included 20 literary nonfiction pieces; 32 poems; and 20 short stories. Winners are receiving cash awards, plus first-place recipients will be published in the Tri-Valley Writers' next anthology.
Top finishers for literary nonfiction include first place, Smriti Davey (grade 11, Foothill High School) for "Slow Down"; second place, Jessica Luan (grade 12, Amador Valley) for "The Da Jie Agenda: How I Learned to Embrace My Sea Sponge Siblings"; and third place, Rohan Chandran (grade 10, Monte Vista) for "Rebel with a Cause."
Honorable mentions were awarded to Sanjana Bhanvadia (grade 12, Granada) for "The Story of My Life"; Madeline Day (grade 11, Amador) for "What I Remember"; Ananya Iyengar (grade 9, Dougherty Valley) for "Tug of War"; Elaine Yang (grade 12, Dougherty) for "Monkey"; Simoni Regmi (grade 11, Amador) for "Unforgettable Road Trip"; Rahul Almeida (grade 11, Amador) for My Passion"; and Nivriti Krishnamurthy (grade 11, Dublin) for "The Taste of Home."
In the poetry category, first and second places went to Kanchan Naik (grade 11, Quarry Lane) for "To Proud Boys" and "A Postcard from Mumbai," respectively. Third place went to Mikayla Marinko (grade 9, Livermore) for "Depression." Honorable mentions included Eva Shen (grade 10, Dougherty) for "Self-Portrait as a Tree"; Vivien Song (grade 11, Amador) for "Letters from the Kitchen Pantry"; and Calvin Shawler (grade 9, Granada) for "Twenty Seconds."
Top finishers for short story fiction were first place, Kirin Yadav (grade 11, Monte Vista) for "The Girl Who Grew Dragon Wings"; second place, Macie Calvert (grade 10, Monte Vista) for "Ferryman"; and third place, Roshni Aradhya (grade 11, California) for "The Revolutionary."
Honorable mentions were earned by Soumya Sahay (grade 11, Amador) for "Silent Soft Strokes Scare Me to Sleep"; Myrsini San Marchi (grade 11, Amador) for "Tale of the Trees"; and Kylie Jones (grade 11, California) for "House of Mirrors."
The awards are funded by a Tri-Valley Writers silent auction, with gift certificates, items and services donated by members and businesses in the community.