Announcing the 2021-2022 Young Writers Awards Winners
Nine students from high schools around the world were selected as winners of Bennington College’s 2021-2022 Young Writers Awards.
This annual competition, which accepts entries in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, is free to enter and open to high school students. A first-, second-, and third-place winner is selected in each of the categories, with cash prizes up to $1,000 awarded.
Young Writers Award finalists and winners are also eligible for undergraduate scholarships at Bennington. Finalists who enroll at Bennington will receive a $10,000 scholarship every year for four years, for a total of $40,000. Winners who enroll at Bennington will receive a $15,000 scholarship every year for four years, for a total of $60,000.
The 2022-2023 Young Writers Awards will officially open beginning on September 1. Sign up to receive notifications about the competition.
Bennington College has a unique literary legacy, including twelve Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, four MacArthur Geniuses, countless New York Times bestsellers, and two of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.
Each year, over 5,000 students submit poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to the Young Writers Awards competition. Bennington College congratulates all entrants on their extraordinary submissions and is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 winning entries.
2021-2022 Young Writers Awards Winners
- First Place, "How Did Li Bai Die? / How to Turn Into the River / Suns," Ran Zhao, King George V School, Kowloon, Hong Kong
- Second Place, "Broken Abecedarian for America / Ghazal for K / Fish-bodied," Jessica Kim, La Canada High School, La Canada, CA
- Third Place, "In Which My Mother Asks When the Hell I’m Getting Baptized / Etymology of Paternity / Bible Study Ghazal," Ashley Wang, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville NJ
- First Place, "Observations made at the Lu Family Dinner Table, New Year's Eve, 2019," Sunshine Chen, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA
- Second Place, "A Language is a Story," Olga Musial, 33 Copernicus High School, Warszawa, Poland
- Third Place, "I Leave the Six Blank" was written by Rachel Kenley Fry and attributed to another writer, who submitted the work. This never should have happened as the contest requires students to submit original work. We apologize to the writer for this wrongful attribution. Measures have been taken to guard against plagiarism in the future.
- First Place, "The—Lovely—Red—Skirt," Youjaye Daniels, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenvile, SC
- Second Place, "Somewhere in Southern Florida," Vivian Zhu, Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL
- Third Place, "Family Portrait as a Gutted Fish," Danny Liu, Lake Highland Prep School, Orlando, FL
About Bennington College
Bennington College is a liberal arts college in southwestern Vermont that has distinguished itself as a vanguard institution within American higher education. It was the first to include the visual and performing arts in a liberal arts education. It is the only college to require that its students spend a term—every year—at work in the world. Bennington students work intensively with faculty to forge individual educational paths around their driving questions and interests.
Bennington is also the home of the Robert Frost Stone House Museum and the Bennington Review, a national biannual print journal of innovative, intelligent, and moving poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and film writing.
Notable literary alumni from both the undergraduate and MFA in Writing program include Donna Tartt, Bret Easton Ellis, Kiran Desai, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Pollan, Ann Goldstein, Safiya Sinclair, Anaïs Duplan, Anne Waldman, Mary Ruefle, Cynthia Sweeney, Jamie Quatro, Amy Gerstler, Morgan Jerkins, and Charles Bock.
More about Literature at Bennington
More about the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program