Rita Williams-Garcia with the winners of the 2019 Young People's Creative Writing Contest
2023 Young People's Creative Writing Contest promotional graphic - a tree made of art tools on a dark red background

Entering the Contest

Each year in late winter, Tulsa Library hosts the Young People's Creative Writing Contest for students in Tulsa County ages 10-18. The 2022 contest is now closed. The 2023 contest will open from February 1st through February 28, 2023.

Enter the 2023 Young People's Creative Writing Contest online here, starting February 1, 2023!

Find the 2022 winners' names and entries below.

Young People's Creative Writing Contest FAQs

2022 Winning Entries

2022 Young People's Creative Writing Contest Winners

Below are this year's winners - congratulations! Click on each entry title to read the winning entry.



1st Place: Abigail Woodward, "Fruit"

2nd Place: Collin O'Hara, "Extraordinary Individuals"

3rd Place: Macyn Gutierrez, "What Is So Different About Us?"


1st Place: Lilly Orr, "Daisy"

2nd Place: Addison Cabell, "Snack"

3rd Place: Emerson Snider, "My Voice"


1st Place: Emma Cinocca, "Golden Ratio"

2nd Place: Adi Jones Radford, "Hyacinthus"

3rd Place: Natalie Reyes, "Take a Bow"

Short Story


1st Place: Abigail Woodward, "Father"

2nd Place: Luca Warde, "Washed Up"

3rd Place: Lucy Treanor, "Trapped in Ink"


1st Place: Eowyn Garringer, "Unnatural"

2nd Place: Adria Vega, "An Owl"

3rd Place: Camaryn Rodriguez, "Going Home"


1st Place: Presley Boschert, "Wild Coyote"

2nd Place: Elaine Gao, "Lost Soul Found"

3rd Place: Abby McLean, "Brick Days"

Informal Essay


1st Place: Azmerrah Teav, "The Human Library"

2nd Place: Ella Victor, "The Importance of Life Lessons"

3rd Place: Ava Martin, "Making the Girls Bathroom Better at School"


1st Place: Phoenix Crunelle, "Dear T,"

2nd Place: Annabella Elliott, "Watch Your Words/Swing Your Sword"

3rd Place: Eowyn Garringer, "Curse Margin"


1st Place: Trace Burchart, "The Typographer's Manifesto"

2nd Place: Al Wong, "I Hate Birthdays"

3rd Place: Michaela Blakestad, "Fear and Fate"

Short Play


1st Place: Abigail Woodward, "The Page"

2nd Place: Adelyn Jamar, "Midieval Play"

3rd Place: Ava Martin, "The Guard and the Fair"


1st Place: Elisa Dill, "Children These Days"

2nd Place: Jo Shaw, "Help Me Remember"

3rd Place: Harini Senthil, "Everything We Wanted"


1st Place: Jacob Shaddock, "Better Read"

2nd Place: Callie Schurr, "The Unimaginable Crime"

3rd Place: Denise Dominguez, "Rhythym of Dread"



1st Place: Alexa Sevrinus, "Pengolin's Adventures: A Desert Friend"

2nd Place: Fatma Nur Altinalan, "Spy Pets"

3rd Place: Hope Jennings, "The World Needs Color"


1st Place: Ash Garringer, "The Dojo"

2nd Place: Olivia Ragan, "The First Flamingo"

3rd Place: Charlotte Palmer, "A Right Sock's Adventure"


1st Place: Aloria Sewell, "Little Adventures"

2nd Place: Claire Reynolds, "Murder of Crows"

3rd Place: Jenna Pogue, "The Wrong War"

Writer to Watch Award

The Writer to Watch Award is given to a current winner who has won the most times previously and is aging out of the contest. This year's Writer to Watch will be announced at the ceremony on May 6, 2022.

2023 Contest Promotional Materials

Educators and others who want to promote the contest may request promotional materials from their local library, or can use these files:

2023 Young People's Creative Writing Contest Entry Form (to attach to print entries)

2023 Young People's Creative Writing Contest Entry Brochure

2023 Young People's Creative Writing Contest Poster

2023 Young People's Creative Writing Contest Social Media Graphics, version 1 (English) and version 2 (Spanish); alternate size 1 and alternate size 2

Remember, young writers may enter the contest online here, starting February 1, 2023.

Who can enter the contest?

You may enter the contest if you are: 

  • Between the ages of 10 and 18 by the last day of the contest, and
  • Live in Tulsa County
    • Or attend school in Tulsa County
    • Or have a non-expired Tulsa City-County Library nonresident library card.

What are the age divisions, categories and rules for each category?

There are three age divisions - 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18. There are five categories for entries: Poetry, Short Story, Informal Essay, Short Play, and Comix. You may enter ONLY one manuscript per category, but you may enter all categories within your age division.

  • Poetry - One poem, no more than 300 words
  • Short Story - Each entry no more than 1,500 words
  • Informal Essay - A short composition on a topic or issue giving your opinion or recounting a personal experience. Limited to 1,500 words.
  • Short Play - No more than six characters, no more than three locations, no more than 10 pages. Limited to five to 10 minutes in length.
  • Comix - Entry must be complete in and of itself, and not a fragment of a larger work. No more than eight pages. Work can be with or without words, in black and white or color, and fiction or nonfiction. Computer-generated images are acceptable as long as they are original works (no clip art). Use 8 1/2" by 11" (standard) paper and submit as a flat work, not as a booklet.

How should I format my entry?

Make sure your entry adheres to the following rules. Manuscripts that are illegible, single-spaced, or that otherwise don't meet the following requirements will not be judged.

  • Do not put your name anywhere on your manuscript. That information should only be on the entry form.
  • Double-space and TYPE or PRINT LEGIBLY in blue or black ink on 8 1/2" by 11" (standard) paper. Do not use lined notebook paper.
  • Include the title and page number in the upper right-hand corner of every page, including the first page.
  • A completed and signed entry form MUST accompany each individual entry, even for the same contestant entering multiple categories.

How do I enter the contest?

Before you submit your entry:

  • Double-check that you have adhered to all the instructions regarding entries.
  • If submitting by mail or at your library, staple your manuscript and completed entry form together.
  • Don't be late! The deadline for entries in the 2023 contest is February 28, 2023.

Eligible entrants can enter their work in the contest by submitting entries:

  • In person at any library location, with a separate entry form for each entry
  • Online, by uploading their entry as a PDF file at this webpage
  • By mail, with a separate entry form for each entry (though all entries with their forms may be mailed in one envelope):

Young People's Creative Writing Contest
c/o Youth Services Department
Tulsa City-County Library
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK 74103-3857

Do not send your only copy of your entry. Keep a copy for yourself. Manuscripts will not be returned.

How are entries judged?

All entries are judged on the basis of content, originality, and quality of expression. Judges' decisions are final. Judges do not critique entries. All entries are anonymous when given to judges.

When/how are winners notified?

Winners will be notified by phone each year in early April, prior to the award ceremony.

Can teachers enter their students' work?

If you are a teacher submitting students' works, make sure that you have the current year's entry form and that each student completes and signs an entry form for each of their entries. Entries with incomplete forms are not judged. Please determine that your students' manuscripts comply with all contest rules before submitting.

What are the awards given?

Cash prizes are awarded as follows: $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. Winners will be notified by phone and in a separate mailing from the awards program invitation.

All entrants will receive an invitation to the awards program, which will be held on the first Friday in May. The current winner of the Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young People's Literature will be the featured speaker and will congratulate the award recipients.

Entrants, winners, and their families are invited to attend the awards program.

Can more than one person work on the same entry?

No, for this contest, each entry must have only one author.