Upper School Writing Contest

Writing Contest Guidelines

All Upper School students are invited to participate in the 2012 Echoes Writing Contest. You can submit up to two pieces in each of the three categories: poetry, nonfiction, and fiction.

  • Submit up to three poems, which will be judged as a set.

  • Submit a personal essay, memoir, or piece of literary journalism.
  • Must not exceed 5,000 words (up to about 16 pages, double-spaced)

  • Submit a short story, vignette, sketch, or chapter from a longer work.
  • Must not exceed 5,000 words (up to about 16 pages, double-spaced)

  1. 1.     Please do not submit previously published work. Class assignments and pieces published in the OES Art Lit magazine are acceptable. 
  2. 2.     Your work will be judged by a panel of professional writers. One winner and one runner-up in each category will be selected. Judges will also have the option of awarding a Fresh Voices prize to one talented freshman in each category.
  3. 3.     Submit your writing (as an attachment) to echoes@go.oes.edu by midnight on Friday, November 302011.
  4. 4.     All entries must include a title page showing the title of work(s), author's name, grade, category, and number of words. Submissions should be typed and double-spaced, using 12-point font.

Contest Award Winners from LAST YEAR
January 13, 2012


Fresh Voice Award for Fiction:
            Tess Oberholtzer, for “A Dance of Perfection”

            “deftly handles a sweet moment of reconciliation”

Runner-up for Fiction:
            Hana Lee, for Chapter 20 of Foxheart

“has a wonderful fluidity and what author John Gardner calls ‘profluence,’ that forward flow that keeps the reader turning pages”

Fiction Award:
            Kristin Qian, for “Queen of Reversals?” [an homage to John Updike]

“I admire this haunting little story where, in fewer than 500 words, the author develops a psychological portrait of an adolescent girl….”


Fresh Voice Award for Poetry:
            Natalie Berger, for “Between the Lines”

“Its metaphors celebrate the literary imagination of both writers and readers.”

Honorable Mention for Poetry:
            Ji Soo Hong, for “Pleasant Day”

            “A convincing evocation of complicated experience and emotion”

Honorable Mention for Poetry:
            Josh Yuan, for “Backpacking Trip Haiku” and Backpacking Trip Tanka”

            “resonant imagery and skillful navigation of traditional forms”

Runner-up for Poetry:
            Grace Hashiguchi, for “Running”

“in its carefully-formed lines and well-chosen words feelingly imagines the span of a woman’s life”

Poetry Award:
            Natalie Lerner, for “Neunzehn Vierzig Ein (1941)”

“Vivid images and metaphors, along with skillful manipulation of syntax and line endings, create visions and rhythms that draw us to fresh identification with the victims of German Nazi atrocities.”


2nd Runner-up for Nonfiction:
            Ava Zhu, for “To Be, or Not to Be, American”

            “combines thorough research and great intellectual curiosity”

1st Runner-up for Nonfiction:
            Jordan Fong, for "Live and In-Person" 

“Jordan, against the advice of teachers and friends, goes to Pioneer Courthouse Square to interview streetcorner evangelists and to check out their religious tracts. He's genuinely curious and non-judgmental…”

Nonfiction Award:
            Hana Lee, for "East and West"

            “The subject and the narrator are equally complex and appealing characters.”

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