Final Fourteen: Wordcrafters Announces Fiction Fantastic Youth Story Contest Finalists

Free annual short story contest for Lane County K-12 students publishes top stories in anthology

EUGENE, Ore. – Wordcrafters’ annual Fiction Fantastic youth short story contest drew 100 story entries this year, amounting to a whopping 157,853 words in total. Now, the final fourteen finalists have been selected and will be published in Wordcrafters’ annual youth anthology this June.

Eighteen judges–primarily writers and educators in our community–read and scored stories in three age categories (grades 3-5, 6-9, and 9-12), in multiple rounds of blind judging. 

Among the judges is Sander Moffit–this year’s celebrity judge. Moffit is graduating from Brown University with a degree in Biology and English this May. She has written both fantasy novels and scientific non-fiction books. Adding to her numerous accomplishments and talents, Sander Moffit was a three-time Fiction Fantastic contest winner herself in high school.

This year’s contest theme was “Realm of Forgotten Dreams.” 

Entries were separated into four age categories for judging and placement: K-2 Spotlight, elementary school (grades 3-5), middle school (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12). 

Finalists in each category are:

K-2 Spotlight

“The Falcon’s Egg” by Roya Talebreza-May, Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School

Elementary school category, grades 3-5

“Stranded” by Kane Lowell, Creslane Elementary School 

“Secret Recipe” by Jocelyne Stevenson, Pleasant Hill Elementary School

“The Strength of the Weak” by Sidney Johnson, Pleasant Hill Elementary School

“Zonglou” by Leo Kuhl, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School

Middle school category, grades 6-8

“A Murder of Crows” by Keiko Sophie Weible, Spencer Butte Middle School

“Let Go” by Nina Kuhl, Roosevelt Middle School

“Shipwrecked in the Sky” by Hunter Lowell, Creswell Middle School

“The Green Ember” by Kai Suzumura, Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School

High school category, grades 9-12

“Gold Dust Books” by L. Stepp, Creswell High School

“Orbit” by JT Myers, Elmira High School

“The Rose Theater” by Ishika Chakraborty, South Eugene High School

“To the Ends of the Earth” by Brianna R. Bird, Springfield High School

“Whispers in the Woods” by Lauren Ellison, Marist High School

Finalists will learn their placements (first, second, third, and honorable mention) at the Fiction Fantastic awards ceremony on June 6, at 6 pm, at the Downtown Eugene Public Library. Winners will receive monetary prizes and have their stories featured in the Realm of Forgotten Dreams anthology. 


About Wordcrafters in Eugene

Wordcrafters in Eugene is a nonprofit literary arts organization celebrating 10 years of helping writers find their voice and tell their story. 

Our mission: To empower writers and readers by increasing access to community, craft, and inspiration. We provide a home for sharing knowledge and stories with each other and future generations to cultivate a more empathetic, creative, and courageous world.

Wordcrafters offers classes, workshops, and community gatherings for adults and youth, including creative writing summer camps,  monthly workshops for youth, the annual Fiction Fantastic short story contest, and Writers in the Schools residencies for underserved schools in Lane County.

Instagram/Facebook: @Wordcrafters


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