Teens Dive Deep in Writing Contest

Announcing this year's winners and finalists!

More than 80 short stories were submitted by teens as part of the 2022 Library Summer Challenge: Teen Writing Contest. The wide array of entries all demonstrated the amazing talent and imagination of Jefferson County teens and perfectly echoed this year's Summer Challenge theme: Dive Deep. Both the quality and quantity of submissions received this year far exceeded expectations. 

As part of the contest, teen storytellers were challenged to write a short story based on the quote from author Cornelia Funke: "The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure." Entries were judged by a group of six published authors who specialize in young adult writing, and final votes were submitted on August 29. 

Volunteer judge Irene Lawless commented, "I love seeing how creative these kids are — so much potential!"

A hearty congratulations to this year's winners and finalists:


  • High School, First Place:  Riona Fryer
  • High School, Second Place:  Mariah Barrett
  • Middle School, First Place: Kenya Larsen
  • Middle School, Second Place: Catharine Whitney


  • High School: Rhys Bernier, Haylee Griffith, Morgan Tanner
  • Middle School: Maggie Brown, Ryan Conroy, Kyra Riveland

We want to extend a special thank you to the author and literary agent judges who helped us select our finalists:

Explore the works of some of our teen winners and finalists  or foster your own love of writing at the Library. Check out our Writing Guide for online resources to help you explore your craft and rewatch previous author events. Or, browse this list of writing resources specifically made for teens!