Congratulations to the winners of the 2019-2020 Young Authors Writing Competition!

We are thrilled to announce the three winners in each category—creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry—of the 2019-2020 Young Authors Writing Competition, hosted by the English and Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago! Our judges selected the winning entries from over 1,900 stories, poems, and essays that we received from around the country and all over the world.

This year brought us an admirably talented group of writers, and we are delighted to honor the top pieces. The judges noted that there were many submissions that earned their admiration, and that selecting the winners was a challenging task. If you are one of the finalists or winners, don’t forget to check your email for more information.

On behalf of the English and Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, we want to thank our writing community for your patience and resilience during this really difficult time. We greatly appreciate every entry that we received, and we hope that everyone who will still be in high school next year will submit their best work to the 2020-2021 Young Authors Writing Competition next fall.

In the meantime, please come back to this space soon to read some of the winning stories, essays, and poems.


Thanks again everyone! Stay strong and keep writing!

Young Authors Writing Competition Team


Creative Nonfiction

First place: “Under the Same Sun” by Hannah Ahdab

Second place: “Turmeric Stains” by Priyanka Shrestha

Third place: “We Do Not Apologize Now” by Jordan Ferdman



First place: “Valley of Saints” by Yasmeen Khan

Second place: “One Child” by Hannah Han

Third place: “New Year” by Alexis Yang



First place: “El Tercer Oido (The Third Ear)” by Sofia Angulo-Lopera

Second place: “Firing Clay” by Jenny Oh

Third place: “Three Poems” by Annie Cao