The Orinda Junior Women’s Club is pleased to announce the winners of Youth Ink 2020, the annual creative writing contest open to all middle school students who live in or attend school in Orinda. This year’s prompt was The Gift, though entrants were welcomed to write on the theme of their choice. We are pleased to announce this year’s top three prize winners:

1st Place: Kaylin Chang, Bright as the Sun

2nd Place: Emma Wong, Jin’s Gift

3rd Place: Holly Carysforth, East

In addition, we’d like to acknowledge the honorable mentions for their commendable entries:

Carson Blair                    The Gift

Kaia Bonham                  Bea

Josslyn Grover                Song of Life

Pateel Haroupian          The Monarch Butterflies Plead for Our Help

Indie Lee                         A Well of Memories

Jewel Mendiola              The Gift

Hana Shukairy                The Everlasting Break

Elise Vansant                  Four Words

Jason Wagner                 The Gift of Immigrants

Jialei Zhang                     Home at Last

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place recipients received cash prizes of $250, $125, and $75, respectively.   The Honorable Mention recipients received gift certificates to our local Orinda Books.

While we usually celebrate Youth Ink writers at a springtime awards ceremony, given the circumstances of our global pandemic, we were unable to meet in person this year.  We thank all of our entrants for sharing their talents with us.  We are also very thankful to our Youth Ink volunteer judges, who thoughtfully provided time and expertise in reading each entry and contemplating this year’s winners among a stellar pool of entries. This year’s judges were Sally Bolger, Cynthia Leslie-Bole, Michelle Meyers and Colleen Weems.

Lastly, we’d like to thank our community sponsors who have enabled the Orinda Junior Women’s Club to offer this year’s Youth Ink writing contest to Orinda middle schoolers with their financial support: Friends of the Orinda Library, The Intuitive Writing Project, Lamorinda Arts Council and Orinda Community Foundation.


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