The Orinda Junior Women’s Club is thrilled to announce the winners of Youth Ink 2024, the annual creative writing contest open to middle school students who live in or attend school in Orinda. The prompt for this year’s event was “Roots,” though participants had the freedom to explore other topics. Here are the talented winners of this year’s top prizes:

  • 1st Place: Harmony Yu, The Hidden Web
  • 2nd Place: Olivia MacDiarmid, California Wishes
  • 3rd Place: Natalie Zhen, Root of Harmony
  • 4th Place: Brandis Hatzicallis, Eighth Grade
  • 5th Place: Ava Marchiel, Just go for it!

In addition, we’d like to acknowledge the honorable mentions for their commendable entries (in alphabetical order):

  • Raunav Agarwal, Identity
  • Marie-Gisele Anagnost, Hope Among the Ashes
  • Sophie Davis, Scratching the Surface: A Memoir
  • Owen Gettell, The Forest Floor
  • Lorelei Keenan, Garlic & Ginger
  • Aavya Khanna, India: My Heart’s Home
  • Emmeline Lew, The Marking
  • Trisha Madannavar, The Arizona Walnut
  • Tess Morici, The Books Behind the Door
  • Raelyn Tellis, Bittersweet

The awards ceremony took place at the Orinda Library Auditorium, with guest speaker, Kathy Cordova, Executive Editor of The Orinda News. We extend our gratitude to all participants for sharing their talents with us. We are very grateful for our volunteer judges – Linda Bizzarri, A.J. Brown, Anne Lowell, and Sana Shukairy. Their commitment, expertise, and careful consideration were instrumental in reviewing each entry and selecting this year’s winners from an outstanding pool of submissions. Lastly, we’d like to thank our community sponsors: Friends of the Orinda LibraryThe Intuitive Writing ProjectLamorinda Arts Council and Orinda Community Foundation.


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