Welcome to the 2022 Young Writers Contest

Thanks to all who entered the 2022 KET Young Writers Contest! The judges were overwhelmed by the quality and creativity they saw from our Kentucky writers. We received over 1,200 entries from all corners of the state. Congratulations to our winners listed below and to ALL those who submitted work! What you have created is quite an accomplishment. In the following weeks we will post the winning stories and poems – including audio versions – here on our website, so check back soon!

And the Winners Are…

Graphic Novel

  • Finalist, Penelope Reynolds, A Cat’s Great Adventure, Kindergarten Grade, Reynolds Academy, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Maci Blevins, The Element Sisters, 3rd Grade, Black Mountain Elementary, Evarts, Harlan Co
  • Finalist, Emersyn Wood, Save for the Winter, 3rd Grade, Newton Parrish Elementary, Owensboro, Daviess Co
  • Finalist, Evan Troutman, Captain Clothes, 3rd Grade, St. Aloysius, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Jameson Watson, Slug-cat, 3rd Grade, Locust Grove Elementary School, Crestwood, Oldham Co
  • Finalist, Braxton Voils, Cupcat, 4th Grade, St. Gregory Elementary School, Coxs Creek, Nelson Co
  • Finalist, Liam Wood, The Last Spartan, 4th Grade, Northern Elementary, Somerset, Pulaski Co
  • Finalist, Wyatt Cisell, Inferno Volume #1, 4th Grade, St. Gregory Elementary School, Coxs Creek, Nelson Co
  • Finalist, Ibraheem Gauhar , Chop, Chop, BOOM!, 5th Grade, Greathouse Shryock Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Avnita Sherigar, Magic Magnolia, 5th Grade, Model Laboratory, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Sylvia Mason, Perfection, 6th Grade, Noe Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co

Illustrated Story

PreK/Kindergarten

  • 1st Place, Hadassah Iocco, Cassie’s Garden, Kindergarten Grade, Iocco Family Homeschool, Corinth, Grant Co
  • 2nd Place, Hadiyah Gauhar, Different Types of Cats, Kindergarten Grade, St Matthews Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • 3rd Place, Luke Banks, The Polar Bear Rescue, Pre-Kindergarten Grade, Crossroads Preschool, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Hayden Hatfield, Field of Flowers, Kindergarten Grade, Norton Commons Elementary, Prospect, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Alexander O’Connor, The Adventures of Blacktail, Kindergarten Grade, Brandeis Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Ewan Curtis, The Brave Alien, Kindergarten Grade, Norton Commons Elementary, Prospect, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Tess Randall, The Stolen Unicorn, Kindergarten Grade, Norton Commons Elementary, Prospect, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Hothri Balla, The White Tiger, Kindergarten Grade, Norton Commons Elementary, Prospect, Jefferson co
  • Finalist, Everett Wiley, I Am a Monster, Pre-Kindergarten Grade, Deep Springs Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Kasey Spillman, BIRDIE GOES TO HEAVEN, Pre-Kindergarten Grade, Sunshine Friends, Berea, Madison Co

1st Grade

  • 1st Place, Caroline Reynolds, Double & Trouble, 1st Grade, Reynolds Academy, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • 2nd Place, Wriston Iocco, Poky the Porcupine, 1st Grade, Iocco Homeschool, Walton, Boone/Kenton Co
  • 3rd Place, Anishka Sherigar, What can you see, 1st Grade, Model Laboratory, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Eleanor Gann, Little Llamas Adventure, 1st Grade, Louisville Classical Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Lydie DeHoag, Marvin the Mooncow, 1st Grade, Cassidy Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Amelia Collier, Blossom and Lily, 1st Grade, Glenn Marshall Elementary, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Esme Calvert-Azzarella, When Uno Went on Adventure, 1st Grade, Louisville Classical Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Nora Lechleiter, Ribsy Runs Away, 1st Grade, Saint Albert, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Sawyer Lyczkowski, The Magic Forest, 1st Grade, Glenn Marshall Elementary, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Suhina Singh, Mumma’s Love !, 1st Grade, Stopher Elementary School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Yuqi Lin, Stuffy Planet Living, 1st Grade, Rosa Parks Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Carter Stafford, Andy the Astronaut goes to Mars, 1st Grade, Northview Elementary, Mount Sterling, Montgomery Co

2nd Grade

  • Finalist, Nathan Hardin, There’s No Space Like Home, 2nd Grade, Cirque Hardin, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Christian Beamus, Space Piggy, 2nd Grade, Greathouse Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Marlee Carter, Gusy and the Missing Scarf, 2nd Grade, Carter’s Wonder Academy, London, Laurel Co
  • Finalist, Latcher Harbison, “Adventures in Phoenix Royals Academy”, 2nd Grade, Red Cross Elementary, Glasgow, Barren Co
  • Finalist, Maryam Gauhar, My Life: A Tail of Wander, 2nd Grade, Greathouse Shryock Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Cason Thompson, A Day With Coco, 2nd Grade, YHWH Discipleship, Salvisa, Mercer Co
  • Finalist, Eloise Davila, The Cloud Girl, 2nd Grade, Davila Schoolhouse, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Oliver Daugherty, While Grandma’s Gone, 2nd Grade, Pleasant Ridge Private School, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Dorothy Dobson, Super People, 2nd Grade, Bloom Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Marcos Taquira Paz, Are you a Bear?, 2nd Grade, Toliver, Danville, Boyle Co

3rd Grade

  • Finalist, Jackson Middleton, The Last Oreo, 3rd Grade, Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown, Grant Co
  • Finalist, Courtnee Holland, A Slice of Cake, 3rd Grade, Lincoln Elementary School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Emma Moore, The Ocean Friends, 3rd Grade, Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown, Grant Co
  • Finalist, Nakshatra Reddy vemula, Lost in the jungle, 3rd Grade, Bridgeport elementary school, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Eden Reis, The Escape of Stuffed Things, 3rd Grade, Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown, Grant Co
  • Finalist, Annistyn Flynn, Poppy with No Friends, 3rd Grade, Model Laboratory School, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Easton Madden, The Selfish Wolf, 3rd Grade, Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown, Grant Co

Intermediate (4th-5th)

  • 1st Place, Sidney DeBord, Journey of a Leaf, 5th Grade, Northern Elementary, Somerset, Pulaski Co
  • 2nd Place, Yasmeen Esmail, Camping Adventure, 4th Grade, Homeschool, Elizabethtown, Hardin Co
  • 3rd Place, Claire Stites, Pip the Flying Penguin, 5th Grade, Daniel Boone Elementary School, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Ava Williams, The Talent Show, 4th Grade, Laurel Elementary, Vanceburg, Lewis Co
  • Finalist, Bingqi Lin, Rainbow Adventure, 4th Grade, Meadowthorpe Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Aaron Smith, The Cool Croc, 4th Grade, St. Gregory Elementary School, Coxs Creek, Nelson Co
  • Finalist, Abby Toutant, The Fashion Show, 4th Grade, Model Laboratory School, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Levi Galloway, The Three Eyed Monster Living in my Backyard, 4th Grade, St. Gregory Elementary School, Coxs Creek, Nelson Co
  • Finalist, Nolan Jones, The Friend, 4th Grade, Good Shepherd, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Lily Marie Schneider, Circus Chaos, 5th Grade, Emmet Field Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Lucas Glasnovic, Dental Distress, 5th Grade, Homeschool, Louisville, Jefferson Co

Middle Grades (6th-8th)

  • 1st Place, Jubilee Bodager, Huakaʻi home, 6th Grade, Homeschool, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • 2nd Place, Adah Hardin, The Distraction, 6th Grade, Cirque Hardin, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • 3rd Place, Sylvia Mason, Curious’s Cursed Collar, 6th Grade, Noe Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Eden Winkle, One Girl, One Dream, 6th Grade, Williamstown Independent, Williamstown, Grant Co
  • Finalist, Avery Garffie, The Little Bunny, 6th Grade, Woodford County Middle School, Versailles, Woodford Co
  • Finalist, Sarah Gauhar, Abu Hurayra, 7th Grade, Barret Traditional Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Ivy LaRocco, A Family Of My Own, 7th Grade, St. Andrew Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Claire Thieneman, Goldie The Cow, 8th Grade, St. Andrew Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Owen Hutchinson, The War Of A Decade, 8th Grade, St. Andrew Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Nevaeh Perkins, The Food Thief, 8th Grade, St. Andrew Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co

Poetry

Primary (K-2nd)

  • 1st Place, Arjun Reddy Vemula, I love my Family, Kindergarten Grade, Bridgeport Elementary school, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • 2nd Place, Pippy Raymond, Athena’s Inventions, 2nd Grade, Tully Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • 3rd Place, Latcher Harbison, Ear Hair, 2nd Grade, Red Cross Elementary, Glasgow, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Gyeol Lee, Animals, Kindergarten Grade, Pathfinder School of Innovation, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Keira Asher, Spring, Kindergarten Grade, Ash Valley Academy, Bedford, Trimble Co
  • Finalist, Beckett Schwieterman, My Bearded Dragon, 1st Grade, Cassidy Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Caroline Reynolds, Our Critters, 1st Grade, Reynolds Academy, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Kenzie Fredrick, Deep Water, Deep Feelings, 2nd Grade, Walton Verona Elementary School, Verona, Boone Co
  • Finalist, Sara Sokolowski, ONE, TWO, THREE, Unicorns Can Be, 2nd Grade, Model Laboratory School, Richmond, Madison Co

Intermediate (3rd-5th)

  • 1st Place, Fia Gani, The Power of a Book, 5th Grade, W R McNeill Elementary School, Bowling Green, Warren Co
  • 2nd Place, Zoe Kasacavage, My Dragon Voice, 5th Grade, Ashland Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • 3rd Place, Madison Iocco, Nature’s Voice, 3rd Grade, Iocco Homeschool, Walton, Boone/Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Mia Hernandez Conejo, The Night Parade, 3rd Grade, T.C.Cherry Elementary, Bowling Green, Warren Co
  • Finalist, Nakshatra Reddy Vemula, America: Let us be united like a “Rose”, 3rd Grade, Bridgeport Elementary School, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Liam Sweeney, Nayley, 4th Grade, SCAPA Bluegrass, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Kathryn Dirksing, The Forest, 4th Grade, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Burlington, Boone Co
  • Finalist, Nasir Tayabee, Sunny June, 4th Grade, River Ridge Elementary, Fort Mitchell, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Nova White, Me and You, 4th Grade, Bloomfield Elementary School, Bloomfield, Nelson Co
  • Finalist, Eden Calhoun, Summer Colors, 5th Grade, Piner Elementary, Morning View, Kenton Co

Middle Grades (6th-8th)

  • Finalist, Khrystiana Kearney, Rising, 6th Grade, Eastside Middle School, Mt. Washington, Bullitt Co
  • Finalist, Presleigh Hill, Pretty, 6th Grade, Newburg Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Jolie Griffiths, Hope Is, 7th Grade, Newburg Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Maxwell Rosel, A Poem, 7th Grade, Redwood Cooperative School, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Zadee Kenzer, Revival, 7th Grade, Newburg Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Arson Rai, Within the Flames, 8th Grade, Newburg Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Della Peron, The One Who Dared, 8th Grade, Louisville Classical Academy, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Sophia Patton, An Okay Man, 8th Grade, Paris Middle School, Paris, Bourbon Co
  • Finalist, Liam Rowland, The Stick, 8th Grade, Covington Classical Academy, Covington, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Lillianne Berfield, The Grandfather Clock, 8th Grade, Noe Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co

High School (9th-12th)

  • 1st Place, Isabella Hardin, The Love of a Sun, 12th Grade, Tates Creek High School, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • 2nd Place, Emma Garner, Choices, 9th Grade, Martha Layne Collins high school, Simpsonville, Shelby Co
  • 3rd Place, Jessica Ridgway, Sense of Ambition, 12th Grade, Martha Layne Collins High School, Shelbyville, Shelby Co
  • Finalist, Nina Tay, liberosis, 9th Grade, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Bella Cornett, The End of an Adventure, 9th Grade, Covington Classical Academy, Covington, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Medrith Norman, Old Timer, 10th Grade, Frankfort High School, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Rohan Ketron, cherry popsicles, 11th Grade, Simon Kenton High School, Covington, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Victoria Korchuk, Imagine, 11th Grade, Woodford County High School, Versailles, Woodford Co
  • Finalist, Ryan Caldwell, Around the world, 12th Grade, Simon Kenton High School, Independence, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Abigail Kane, My Eulogy, 12th Grade, Dixie Heights High School, Crestview Hills, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Caitlin Rott, Little Green Man, 12th Grade, Simon Kenton High School, Latonia, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Josh Shamsuddoha, Moving, 12th Grade, Eastern High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Kadilyn Garrett, Fruitless, 12th Grade, Anderson County High School, Lawrenceburg, Anderson Co
  • Finalist, Maira Faisal, Greed, 12th Grade, Dixie Heights High School, Florence, Boone Co
  • Finalist, Rebecca Campbell, Player One, 12th Grade, Barren Academy of Virtual and Expanded Learning, Warsaw, Gallatin Co

Short Story

Primary (K-2nd)

  • Finalist, Acey Houchens, They Call Me “Boss”, Kindergarten Grade, Red Cross Elementary School, Cave City, Barren Co
  • Finalist, Kurt Raymond, Nate & Ethan Fight A Trash Monster, 1st Grade, Tully Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Stella Dix, Mister Sparkles Old Life, 1st Grade, Metcalfe Elementary School, Edmonton, Metcalfe Co
  • Finalist, Joseiyah Abduallah, The Story of a Dragon and Boy, 2nd Grade, William Wells Brown Elementary School, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Korrigan Gift, Maddie’s Best Easter Ever!, 2nd Grade, LaFontaine Preparatory School, Richmond, Madison Co
  • Finalist, Grant Ross, Henry and Elvis, 2nd Grade, Ross Roost, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Lincoln Manion, The Haunted House, 2nd Grade, Pleasant Grove Elementary School, Mt Washington, Bullitt Co
  • Finalist, Savannah Wilder, Dinosaurs Dynamic Decision, 2nd Grade, Bates Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co

Intermediate (3rd-5th)

  • Finalist, Kinley Talpas, Wild: An Autobiography of a Loving Parrot, 3rd Grade, Lemons Mill Elemetary, Georgetown, Scott Co
  • Finalist, Evelyn Lawson, Trapped, 3rd Grade, Glendover Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Madison Iocco, Alexa’s Math Discovery, 3rd Grade, Iocco Homeschool, Walton, Boone, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Eliana Hofmann, The Aliens Took Over The School, 3rd Grade, Jesse Stuart Elementary School, Madisonville, Hopkins Co
  • Finalist, Charlotte Sykes, The Misunderstood Monster, 4th Grade, Ashland Elementary School, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Isla Dawahare, A Tiger on the Trail, 4th Grade, Dawahare Family Academy (Homeschool), Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Fia Gani, Our Only Home, 5th Grade, W R McNeill Elementary School, Bowling Green, Warren Co
  • Finalist, Zoe Kasacavage, The Beaver and the Swan, 5th Grade, Ashland Elementary, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Atticus Goodrich, The Magical Library, 5th Grade, Goodrich Home School, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Aubrey Rice, The Special Cherry Blossom Tree, 5th Grade, Lexington Christian Academy, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Maya Lynn Carbone, Lonely Leo, 5th Grade, Luhr Elementary, Louisville, Jefferson Co

Middle Grades (6th-8th)

  • Finalist, Adrienne Clark, Flight of the Moon, 6th Grade, Bluegrass Middle School, Elizabethtown, Hardin Co
  • Finalist, Maryam Huda Hasnain, Rabia Learns to Spell, 6th Grade, Islamic School of Louisville, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Charlotte Garman, My Secret Weapon, 6th Grade, St.Albert the Great, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Prajna Pathak, The Burning Secret, 6th Grade, Murray Middle School, Murray, Calloway Co
  • Finalist, Prathibha Seshabhattar, Ink Spills, 6th Grade, Meyzeek Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Maggie Stone, A Merciless Sea, 7th Grade, Samuel V. Noe Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Aubrey Naber, The Red Serpent, 8th Grade, Calloway County Middle School, Murray, Calloway Co
  • Finalist, Lillianne Berfield, The Labelmaker, 8th Grade, Noe Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Michael Mehaffy, Storm, 8th Grade, Capital Day School, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Atlas Lewis, Kelpie, 8th Grade, Covington Classical Academy, Covington, Kenton Co
  • Finalist, Alyssa Pollard, Grandmother’s Secret, 8th Grade, Noe Middle School, Louisville, Jefferson Co

High School (9th-12th)

  • 1st Place, Christine Dreitzler, Sailboat, 11th Grade, Meade County High School, Brandenburg, Meade Co
  • 2nd Place, Kaitlyn Choat, One Town at a Time, 11th Grade, Eastern High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • 3rd Place, Bailey Cromer, The Itch, 12th Grade, Rockcastle County High School, Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle Co
  • Finalist, Ariel Fader, Snowglobe, 10th Grade, Larry A. Ryle High School, Union, Boone Co
  • Finalist, Kiran Koul, Grass, 10th Grade, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Morgan Larkins, Shooting Star Burial, 11th Grade, McLean County High School, Calhoun, McLean Co
  • Finalist, Emma Henderson, Curiosity Killed the Cat, 11th Grade, Eastern High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Parker Lonesky, Exerts of The Lost, 11th Grade, Somerset Christian School, Somerset, Pulaski Co
  • Finalist, Brennan Eberwine, Substance in Vanity, 11th Grade, duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Victoria Korchuk, Roses and Carnations, 11th Grade, Woodford County High School, Versailles, Woodford Co
  • Finalist, Sarah Bodager, Krasota, 12th Grade, Homeschool, Lexington, Fayette Co
  • Finalist, Russhaun Townsend, A Loud Lamp, 12th Grade, Eastern High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Adelyn McCollum, The Donut Day Disaster, 12th Grade, Eastern High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co
  • Finalist, Hailey Martin, suffer the scarring, 12th Grade, Western Hills High School, Frankfort, Franklin Co
  • Finalist, Jillian Ingram, Captured, 12th Grade, Eastern High School, Louisville, Jefferson Co

Contest Categories

Illustrated Stories | PreK-12

Written work with associated visual illustrations, created through any choice of mediums. 

Open Rules PDF | Open Scoring Rubric PDF

Graphic Novels | K-12

Written work with strongly integrated visual illustrations that has a purposeful narrative.

Open Rules PDF | Open Scoring Rubric PDF

Poetry | K-12

Written work made of carefully chosen words to create images or explore an idea

Open Rules PDF | Open Scoring Rubric PDF

Short Stories | K-12

Well-crafted work of fiction that consists only of text and has a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Open Rules PDF | Open Scoring Rubric PDF


Additional Resources

About Judging

Learn more about the Young Writers Contest judging process.

Past Winners

Enjoy a selection of past Young Writers Contest winners.

Associated Rights

Review the rights associated with the Young Writers Contest.

Virtual Author Visits

Hear about process straight from professional poets, graphic novelists, authors and visual artists.

Toolkits and Resources for Writers

View free writing and art resources to instruct and inspire students, including our NEW free Graphic Novel and Poetry Toolkits.