2017 Writing Awards Winners Announced

For more than 30 years, students have submitted short story, essay, flash fiction and poetry pieces to the school's annual writing contest. The competition, started by retired teacher Jim Brooks, was taken over this year by English teacher Katlyn DeLong '98.

"I participated in the contest when I was a student, but I can't remember if I won," reflected DeLong. "I talked about it with my siblings and my little brother remembers winning."

This year, more than 430 entries were submitted. While freshmen and sophomores in honors English classes were required to submit a piece, the contest was open to all students. DeLong recruited readers, including many outside the walls of CJ, to help judge the pieces.

"We read the entries blind," shared DeLong. "Students completed an entry form with their name on it but their name was not on their work anywhere else. 

"When it came out that three of the four overall winners were freshmen, it was shocking," DeLong continued. "We made a few changes from last year by combining all grade levels. We thought the seniors would sweep the categories but the opposite happened."

Winners from this year's contest were:

Short Story

  • First Place: Carolyn Marshall '21 "Secure"
  • Second Place: John Lander '20, "Another Day at the Office"
  • Third Place: Erin McGraw '20 "Chocolate""
  • Honorable Mention: Selena Aungst '18 "An Incendiary Quest"
  • Honorable Mention: Nikki Gabriel '18 "This Must be What Death Feels Like"
  • Honorable Mention: Sarah Hartley '18 "Paradise"

Flash Fiction

  • First Place: Grace Delaney '21 "The Strange Room"
  • Second Place: Haley Kraft '19 "It's Okay"
  • Third Place: Olivia Boch '18 "A New Start"
  • Honorable Mention: Veronica Stephens '19 "My Beloved Sun"
  • Honorable Mention: Jacob Fisher '18 "Penalties"
  • Honorable Mention: Timothy Lehner '20 "The Cottage in the Crater"


  • First Place: Aidan Kelly '21 "Sunshine Smile"
  • Second Place: Kate Schinaman '21 "The Sun Still Shines"
  • Third Place: Natalie Feucht '18 "Grandma Betty"
  • Honorable Mention: Pasquale Cristiano '21 "The King and the Pawn"
  • Honorable Mention: Allie Bardine '21 "A Crazy Florida Relative"
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Peltier '18 "This I Believe--The Way of Life"


  • First Place: Madeline Hofstetter '20 "What They Did, What They Continue to Do" and "Mother vs. Mother Nature"
  • Second Place: Elizabeth Blackshire '20 "Summertime" and "Wintertime"
  • Third Place: Andrew Buchanan '18 "My Honest Poem" and "God"
  • Honorable Mention: Bethany Wilson  '20 "Ode to the Sun"
  • Honorable Mention: James Blackshire '19 "Sonnet 13" and "Blackboard" and "Lock and Key"
  • Honorable Mention: Ellie Reeves '20 "Spectator" and "Tepid Dreamer's (Undeserved) Recognition"

Congratulations to all participants!

Attention students in grades 5-8 

The CJ youth writing contest will be held in Spring 2018. Stay informed about participation information, once it's released, through the CJ Facebook page.

Posted December 11, 2017



Category winners (L-R): Poetry, Essay, Flash Fiction and Short Story. Students not pictured in the large group photo: Grace Delaney, John Lander and Ellie Reeves.