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Announcing the Winners of the Randall Albers Young Writers Award

Randall Albers

We knew to expect great things when we opened submissions for our first annual young writers award in February 2023—and young writers, you did not disappoint! We received well over 100 entries and were so impressed by the level of quality and creativity demonstrated in each and every piece. If we learned one thing over the course of reading and judging these entries, it’s that Chicago’s literary standing is very much secure.

Sincere thanks to all of our contestants, and congratulations to our winners and honorable mention recipients. 

1st Place: Analise Budziak, 12th grade, Hinsdale Central High School, “A Trick of the Light”

2nd Place: Charlotte Hensley, 10th grade, Chicago High School for the Arts, “Stratified”

3rd Place: Louise Mari Entereso, 11th grade, Wauconda High School, “Just Right”

4th Place: Sariyah Hardy, 9th grade, Chicago High School for the Arts, “Grandfather”

Honorable Mention Recipients

  • Sharlyn Cruz, 12th grade, Wheeling High School, “The Universal Language”
  • Anushka Jain, 9th grade, Naperville Central High School, “Relationships Aren’t Recipes”
  • Rory Dwyer, 11th grade, Grayslake North High School, “Quin”
  • Oliver Rosen, 12th grade, DePaul College Prep, “Pizza, A Short Story”
  • Nadia Raza, 12th grade, William Fremd High School, “Jack of All Trades”
  • Aria Giacomino, 12th grade, Wheeling High School, “Fireworks and Friendship”
  • Avery Stults, 11th grade, Oswego East High School, “Bath Time’s Up”

Thursday, January 19, 2023 — Midwest Modern Language Association  The MMLA has selected Wherever I’m at: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry for its prestigious 2022 Book of the Year prize. “…readers move, with the poets and artists, through many neighborhoods, travel to legendary (sometimes lost) establishments, pop into the great cultural institutions, dive into historical moments, even ride the famous Ferris Wheel … a story of a city that is different things to different people, with interests and ideas that sometime overlap and sometimes diverge, but always come from a place of deep love.” Read more

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