The 2015 Narrative High School Essay Contest Winners

“Where I’m From and Where I’m Going”

Since Narrative began, it’s been central to our mission to discover, mentor, and publish the next generation of talented writers. And for a long time now we’ve been hearing from teachers around the world who use Narrative’s free library as a vital tool in their classrooms. How best then, we wondered, to reach into those classrooms and hear from writers in their teens? This year, we partnered with six California high schools to launch the First Annual Narrative High School Essay Contest. We say first, since it is our great wish to expand the contest to more schools across the country and around the world. Imagine that.

What We Were Looking For
A good essay tells a great story—it has exciting language, powerful narration, and fierce originality. As our name suggests, we’re always on the lookout for compelling and cohesive narratives. Pull us into the scene, and seat us next to your characters. Surprise us with a unique point of view, a revelation, an unexpected ending, or all of the above. Given that this year’s prompt was “Where I’m From and Where I’m Going,” we were looking for pieces that conjure a singular and distinct journey.

So, without further ado, the winners of the First Annual Narrative High School Essay Contest:

    FIRST PLACE ($500)
    CHARLEY BURLOCK   Shattered
    The Urban School, San Francisco

    SECOND PLACE ($200)
    ZOE HARRIS   As a Girl, I’ve Been Taught
    Lick-Wilmerding High School, San Francisco

    THIRD PLACE ($100)
    HUGO APARICIO   The Great Awakening
    PUC Community Charter Early College High School,
    Lake View Terrace


Lily Dodd, the Urban School
Sophie Drukman-Feldstein, the Urban School
Natalie Podell, Convent of the Sacred Heart High School

Many thanks to the staff and students of our participating schools: Convent of the Sacred Heart and Stuart Hall high schools, Lick-Wilmerding High School, Lowell High School, PUC Community Charter Early College High School, the Urban School

Please help us reach more students in 2016 and beyond. Donate today.

In the future, we’re hoping to expand our high school essay contest program. If you’re a high school English teacher interested in more information, please contact us.

And Don’t Miss:

The Fall 2023 Story Contest, with $5,000 in prizes.
Entry deadline: November 30.