Library Blog

All photos by Karen Smul
All photos by Karen Smul

Winning Words! Young Writers Awards 2024

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Last week, the 22nd Annual Young Writers Awards ceremony was held in the Members’ Room. After receiving over 200 entries from children and teens, our four judges selected fourteen winners and honorable mentions. We were delighted to celebrate these achievements with their families.

This year’s panel of judges featured poet Dave Johnson, children’s author Karina Yan Glaser, children’s & YA author Carol Weston, and YA author Charlene Allen. In her first year of judging, Ms. Allen said she wouldn’t have known the entries by high school students were written by young people. 

There were two honorable mentions given in the 5th-6th grade poetry category. The tying poets, Lindeng and Baxter, posed together for a proud parent.

Ms. Glaser said she found the descriptions and imagery beautiful in the piece by 5th & 6th grade prose winner Reha, which was inspired by a wedding she attended in India.

A winner from last year, Araceli (left) took home the top prize this year in the 7th-8th grade category for her autobiographical poem, ”For Noel.” She said she feels that news of crimes like the one she wrote about often gets sugar-coated and she wanted to tell the real story.

Georgia was so happy to be honored at the event with an honorable mention for her prose piece in the 7th-8th grade category. She loves to read and write and as a longtime fan of judge Carol Weston’s regular advice column in Girls’ Life magazine, "Dear Carol", Georgia was thrilled to meet Ms. Weston in person. 

Alessia, who took home the honorable mention in the 7th-8th grade poetry category, looked over the program alongside her brother.

Winner of the 3rd-4th grade prose piece, Sasha was inspired to write her ballet story by two friends who also had big ballet performances on their birthdays. 

After the ceremony, a few winners and their siblings chatted by the refreshments.

Our thanks to the Board of Trustees chair George Frelinghuysen, Children’s Committee chair Susan Robbins, and judges Carol Weston, Charlene Allen, and Karina Yan Glaser for their enthusiasm and support for this big event! (Not pictured, but equally appreciated Dave Johnson).

We invite you to check out the award-winning entries from this stellar group. We encourage all young writers to keep writing, and we look forward to the new slate of entries destined for the 23rd annual event next year. In the meantime, if you are a fan of cartoons and graphic novels, keep an eye out for our Young Cartoonists Awards season opening this fall!

We are sad to note the passing of longtime judge Edra Ziesk. At this year’s special event, she was with us in our thoughts and memories.

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