Spencertown Academy Announces Young Writers’ Contest Winners

Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces the winners of its fifth annual Young Writers’ Contest.

Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces the winners of its fifth annual Young Writers’ Contest. Held in conjunction with the Academy’s Festival of Books (which will be virtual this year), the contest was open to writers in grades 9 through 12 attending school or homeschooled in Columbia County, NY and Berkshire County, MA.

“While this was a difficult year for students everywhere, we received 30 fiction and non-fiction entries from both public and private high schools. There was wonderful diversity among authors and subject matter. The Young Writers’ Contest has no required themes, which allows students room to explore what’s important to them,” says Kelly Kynion, coordinator of the contest. “There are many dedicated writing teachers and passionate young writers in our region, and we’re delighted to create an opportunity for them to receive recognition at the high school level. This year, two talented freshmen surprised us by taking the top honors!”

The contest was judged by accomplished authors and publishing professionals, including Jamie Cat Callan, Alan Gelb, David Highfill, Daphne Kalotay, and Wendy Schmalz.

The top three winners in each category received cash prizes ($250, $150, and $100 respectively) and the first-place winning story and essay are now published on the Academy’s site at  spencertownacademy.org.

Nonfiction/Essay or Memoir

Alyssa Mowris
Alyssa Mowris

First Place: Alyssa Mowris,
Chatham High School freshman,
“If Walls Could Talk”

Second Place: Anthony Smith,
Germantown School senior,
“How to Properly Waste Your Summer”

Third Place: Rida Farsanza,
Hudson High School senior,

Fiction/Short Story

Taibat Ahmed photo
Taibat Ahmed

First Place: Taibat Ahmed,
Taconic High School freshman,
“The Boy In The Clouds”

Second Place: Piper Nayowith,
Hudson High School senior,

Third Place: Malina Jackson,
Berkshire Waldorf High School senior,
“A Part of Something Bigger”


Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact info@spencertownacademy.org.

LOCATION: Spencertown Academy
790 NY-203
Spencertown, NY

Phone: (518) 392-3693


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