2016–2017 Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest


Central to our work at Narrative is our commitment to providing free libraries of literature to readers around the world, and to discover, mentor, and publish the next generation of talented writers. With that in mind, we couldn’t be more proud to announce the winners of the 2016–2017 Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest.

This year we asked students from public, independent, parochial, and charter schools in the Bay Area, Chicago, and as far as Seoul, Korea, to respond to the prompt “Dear America.” The hundreds of essays that these young writers produced reveal diverse and nuanced perspectives on "America" today. Their worries, hopes, fears, and joys reflect the concerns of a generation. They remind us of the enduring power of stories to illuminate the human condition and give voice to the most essential and binding truths.

It’s an honor for all of us at Narrative to celebrate the work of these talented writers.

Dear America: a new generation is watching, creating, and speaking of you.

The winners of the Second Annual Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest:

    FIRST PLACE ($500)
    SCARLETT AKELEY   Dear America
    Sophomore, Castilleja School, Palo Alto

    SECOND PLACE ($200)
    HUGO ANAYA DE JESUS   Dear America
    Senior, Next Generation Scholars, San Rafael

    THIRD PLACE ($100)
    ZINNIA FINN   Dear America
    Sophomore, Lowell High School, San Francisco


Maximilian Bliss Depatie, Stuart Hall High School
Celeste McManus, Lowell High School
Sophia Nesamoney, Castilleja School
Laura Rosas-Lara, Lowell High School
Shania Williams, KIPP King Collegiate

Many thanks to the students and staff of our participating schools: Castilleja School, Convent of the Sacred Heart & Stuart Hall High Schools, Idyllwild Arts Academy, John Hancock College Prep High School, KIPP King Collegiate, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Lowell High School, Next Generation Scholars, Roshni Academy, Seoul Foreign School, and the Urban School.

Please help us reach more students in 2018 and beyond. Donate today.

Are you a high school teacher interested in receiving information about future writing contests? Please email us here and tell us a bit about your school.

A short video from our first Narrative High School Contest (2016):

         Narrative’s High School program is supported in part by:


And Don’t Miss:

The Spring 2017 Story Contest, with $5,000 in prizes. Open to fiction and nonfiction. Contest opens May 1, 2017. Entry deadline is July 31.
Please see the Guidelines.

The Ninth Annual Poetry Contest, with $3,300 in prizes. Contest opens May 16. Entry Deadline is July 16. Please see the Guidelines.