Congratulations to the winners of the 2020-2021 Young Authors Writing Competition!

We are excited to announce the three winners in each category—creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry—of the 2020-2021 Young Authors Writing Competition, hosted by the English and Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago! Our judges selected the winning pieces from over 2,400 stories, poems, and essays that we received from around the country and all over the world.

This year brought us an incredibly talented group of writers, and we are thrilled 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 2021-2022 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: “Sticky Notes on the Lennon Wall” by Faith Tsang

Second place: “NeveRland” by Robert Socas

Third place: “Thirteen” by Sabrina Huang



First place: “Green Gables” by Erin Kim

Second place: “Love of my Life” by Romola Cavet

Third place: “The Boy with the Red Bicycle” by Ashley Theilacker



First place: “Ghazal for K” by Jessica Kim

Second place: “Reincarnation” by Anjali Pajjuri

Third place: “Life Raft/Casket” by Angela Wei