Bennington Young Writers Awards 2017

Submissions are now closed for this year's Bennington Young Writers Awards. First- and second-place winning entries in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction will be posted here by April 15, 2017. We will begin accepting submissions for the next competition on September 4, 2018. Thank you for your interest and support of the Young Writers Awards.

Bennington College has a unique literary legacy, including seven Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, the youngest Man Booker Prize winner, a MacArthur “Genius,” countless New York Times bestsellers, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. In celebration of this legacy, Bennington launched the Young Writers Awards to promote excellence in writing at the high school level.

Annually students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades are invited to enter in one of the following categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), or nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). All entries must be original work and sponsored by a high school teacher. Short stories and nonfiction must be fewer than 1,500 words. Judges include Bennington College faculty and students. First-place winners in each category are awarded a prize of $500; second-place winners receive $250. The competition runs each year from September 1 to November 1 with winning entries posted by April 15.

Our goal with this competition is to recognize outstanding writing achievement by high school students. Each year over 2,000 students submitted poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to the Young Writers Awards competition. We congratulate all entrants on their extraordinary submissions, and are pleased to share past winning entries.

nonfiction poetry fiction

2016–2017 Winners

Poetry 

  • First Place, Christina Im, Sunset High School, Portland, OR
  • Second Place, Steven Chung, Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA

Fiction 

  • First Place, Catherine Wang, Chinese International School, Hong Kong
  • Second Place, Jacqueline He, The Harker School, San Jose, CA

Nonfiction 

  • First Place, Chaeyeon (Annika) Kim, Dwight Engelewood School, NJ
  • Second Place, Carlos Orozco, Sage Hill School, Newport Coast, CA

2015–2016 Winners

Poetry 

Fiction 

  • First Place, Walker Caplan, The Lakeside School, Seattle, WA
  • Second Place, Ella Zalon, Oakland School for the Arts, Oakland, CA

Nonfiction 

  • First Place, Addie Glickstein, East High School, Denver, CO
  • Second Place, Luisa Healey, Hunter College High School, New York, NY

2014–2015 Winners 

Poetry 

  • First Place, Rachel Calnek-Sugin, Hunter College High School, New York, NY
  • Second Place, Carissa Chen, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

Fiction 

  • Second Place, Sophia Gyarmathy, Northside College Preparatory High School, Chicago, IL

Nonfiction 

  • First place, Jessica Li, Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ
  • Second Place, Maryam Ahmad, Emma Willard School, Troy, NY