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

Central to our work at Narrative is our commitment to offer
our readers an amazing, free library of literature, and to discover, mentor, and publish a new generation of talented writers. With that in mind, we couldn’t be more delighted to introduce 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 warm our hearts and give voice to the most essential and binding truths.

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

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

and read the winnings essays here:


Dear America
Sophomore, Castilleja School, Palo Alto


Dear America
Senior, Next Generation Scholars, San Rafael


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 about the High School Contest:

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

And Don’t Miss:

The Winter 2024 Story Contest, with $5,000 in prizes.
Contest opens: January 1.
Entry deadline: March 28.