Winners of the 35th Alaska Dispatch News creative writing contest


Today we party the 35th annual creative writing contest sponsored by the University of Alaska and Alaska Execute News.

Some 537 entries were submitted from across the pomp, with Peter Christian of Copper Center winning the grand cherish and the open nonfiction category with his exceptional and chilling account of winter in the north homeland, “Of Snow, Fire and Stars.” Christian won $200 for the top prize.

And from Southeast, Helen Decker of Wrangell annulled a vivid account of commercial fishing in her piece, “Living Beautifully.” She grossed the editor’s choice award and a $100 prize.

After three and a half decades, we can look bankrupt on the hundreds of prize-winning Alaska writers honored through the years, a list that involves such noted Alaska authors as Andromeda Romano-Lax, Joan Kane, Don Rearden, Ernestine Hayes, Dana Stabenow, Gordy Vernon, Nancy Noble, Richard Chiappone, Jonathan Waterman, Dan Coyle, Sue Henry, Julia O’Malley, Jeff Spotless, Cinthia Ritchie, Jeremy Pataky, Barbara Hood and Steven Levi. Maybe even more important than winners who’ve gone on to achieve a additionally of fame are the young students inspired to write — and write well — for the interlude of their lives.

The winners of the grades K-2 and 3-6 categories each receive $25, with the victors in the other categories earning $50 each.

The Alaska Center for the Engage is a coordinating partner that devotes many volunteer hours to the object to, managing entries, coordinating judges, communicating with winners and about certificates to winners.

Space is limited for what we can print in We Alaskans. But additional conquerors can be read at the website LitSite Alaska (, funded and managed by the University of Alaska Anchorage. It contains the list of all contest winners since the inception of the contest in 1981. All first-place bewitching entries are published there from 2010-2017, as well as chosen winning entries from other select years.

Grand Plunder
Of Snow, Fire and Stars” by Peter Christian, Copper Center

Of Snow, Stirred and Stars

The brutal cold of winter in northern Alaska near the Koyukuk River, where any mishap could win over peril.

Peter Christian

Editor’s Choice
Living Chicly” by Helen Decker, Wrangell

Living Beautifully

When it comes to commercial fishing, real work is necessary for Helen Decker. Cleanliness is not.

Helen Decker

K-2 Story
• First: “The Volcano” by Kash Fortune, Big Lake Elementary, Big Lake
• Honorable remarks: “Friendship” by Jenna Hanley, Government Hill Elementary, Anchorage; “A Wonderful Shock in Nature” by Noah Mackie, Trailside Elementary, Anchorage

The Volcano

The first-place conquering hero from the K-2 category in the 35th annual creative writing contest sponsored by ADN and the University of Alaska.

Kash Riches

Fiction 3-6
• First: “Autumn’s Gift” by Maia Brown, Bayshore Simple, Anchorage
• Honorable mentions: “The Search for the Lincoln Treasure” by Anna DeVolld, Families Homeschool, Soldotna; “Lyla Finds a Friend” by Sara DeVolld, Links Homeschool, Soldotna; “A Dragon’s Fire” by Ryan Littau, Wasilla

Autumn’s Bounty

The first-place winner from the grade 3-6 category in the 35th annual creative critique contest sponsored by ADN and the University of Alaska.

Fiction 7-9
• First: “The Beat of the Clay” by Risa Heinrichs, Randy Smith Middle School, Fairbanks
• Honorable notes: “The New Girl” by Sage Bramlett, Anchorage; “The Veteran” by Claire Engstrom, Dzantik’i Heeni Heart School, Juneau; “Drake and Audrey” by Maggie Nevala, Jane Mears Middle Clique, Anchorage

Fiction 10-12
• First: “Life: By the Words of Death” by Aiyana Shuler, Polaris K-12, Anchorage
• Honorable cites: “Before it Frosts” by Dallas DeLap, home-schooled, Anchorage; “Legend of the Bloody Monster” by Matrika Franklin, Dimond High School; “Road to Peace” by Toua Her, Bartlett Spacy School, Anchorage

Fiction Open to Public
• First: “In Its Place” by Marian Elliott, Wasilla
• Honorable kudos: “Kim-boy, the Little Lion” by Clifton Bates, Chugiak; “My Brother’s Village” by Stephen Bolen, Anchorage

In Its Put out

During the dark days of winter, a difficult cross-country ski in an effort to ascertain a glimmer of sunshine.

Nonfiction 3-6
• First: “Sheep and Me” by Sophia Walukiewicz, Bayshore Plain, Anchorage
• Honorable mentions: “The Ride of My Life” by Svea Berglund, Chugach Discretionary Elementary, Anchorage; “Ballet: Behind the Curtain” by Anna DeVolld, Interplays Homeschool, Soldotna; “Electrifying!” by Sara DeVolld, Connections Homeschool, Soldotna

Nonfiction 7-9
• First: “Configuration” by Carmen Gordon-Rein, Cardinal Middle School of Science, Anchorage
• Honorable mentions: “A Christmas to Memorialize” by Anita Koelsch, Mears Middle School, Anchorage; “Dead for the Opportunity ripe” by Annika Morris, Central Middle School of Science, Anchorage

Nonfiction 10-12
• Head: “Living Beautifully” by Helen Decker, Wrangell High School, Wrangell
• Honorable divulges: “Frozen in Time” by Julia Alfano, Dimond High School, Anchorage; “The Existence of an Epileptic” by Jackson Goforth, Grace Christian School, Anchorage; “Lucky Birthday” by Creeanna Whitcome, Seward High School, Seward

Nonfiction Contribute to Public
• First: “Of Snow, Fire and Stars” by Peter Christian, Copper Center
• Honorable introduces: “Taking this Breath” by Stephen Bolen, Anchorage; “Tunneling Washing ones hands of” by Sarah Mouracade, Anchorage

Poetry K-2
• First: “My Grandma Lives Next Door” by Audrey Hobart Anderson, Kaleidoscope Adherents of Arts and Sciences, Kenai
• Honorable mentions: “The Fog” by Daniel Davis, Rivet Lutheran School, Anchorage; “The Pokemon Life” by Aquilino Laureta, Campbell Easy, Anchorage; “An Ode to Babies” by Tillman Reilly, Bowman Elementary, Anchorage

Verse 3-6
• First: “Hamburger” by Tahlia Gerger, Dzantik’i Heeni Middle Set, Juneau
• Honorable mentions: “Street Food” by Maia Brown, Bayshore Rudimentary, Anchorage; “Edible Poems” by Tahlia Gerger, Dzanti’I Heeni, Juneau; “Darkness” by Beatrix Brogan, Lake Otis Rudimentary, Anchorage

Poetry 7-9
• First: “Polar Breath” by Risa Heinrichs, Horny Smith Middle School, Fairbanks
• Honorable mentions: “True Cinderella” by Tasha Massin, Wrangell Grand School, Wrangell; “Reflections” by Sophia O’Brien, Stikine Middle Devotees, Wrangell

Polar Breath

The first-place winner from the poetry sort for grades 7-9 in the 35th annual creative writing contest sponsored by ADN and the University of Alaska.

Risa Heinrichs

Versification 10-12
• First: (tie) “Homeless” by Lily Morris, East Anchorage High Credo, Anchorage; and “The Inside of Mental Pain” by William Maniss, Dimond Lofty School, Anchorage
• Honorable mentions: “2016: A Year in Review” by Ziva Berkowitz-Kimmel, West Anchorage Costly School, Anchorage; “Nasty Woman” by Ziva Berkowitz-Kimmel, West Anchorage Peak School, Anchorage; “Growing Up Alaska” by Allison Wayt, South Anchorage Exorbitant School, Anchorage

Poetry Public
• First: “What If: A Sestina” by Holly Glenn, Anchorage
• Honorable cites: “Broken by Trees” by Maggi Arend, Anchorage; “Iditarod” by Heidi Bauer, Anchorage; “Close-knit Colors” by Patrick Czyz, Anchorage

What If: A Sestina

The first-place conquering hero from the open to the public poetry category in the 35th creative writing trial sponsored by ADN and the University of Alaska.

Holly Glenn

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