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Writing Competitions

Winners Announced for the 2021 High School Writers Competition

Three local teens wrote their way into fiction prizes!

Write On The River and NCW Libraries are happy to announce and to congratulate the winners of the 10th annual Chelsea Cain High School Writers Competition. $200 in cash prizes will be distributed among these three students for their excellence in original fiction writing. They will be special guest readers at Write On The River’s “Four Minutes of Fame” open mic in August.

First Place

Miranda Nayak, a sophomore at Wenatchee High School: To Fly With Unbound Wings

Miranda is a co-president and founder of the WHS Equity Club and president of the robotics club. She is an aspiring author who also reviews books online, makes movies for fun, and plays cello in the school’s chamber orchestra.

Miranda shares her writing and videos on her website:





Honorable Mention

Seleah Hisey, a freshman at Wenatchee High School: Emerald

Seleah is involved in track and drama club and in her free time enjoys reading, music, theatre, and playing with her two dogs. She enjoys writing stories and creating the worlds that go along with them. When she graduates high school, she wants to pursue medicine or theatre and intends to keep on writing.







Honorable Mention

Mya Clark, a freshman at Cashmere High School: Goodbyes and Honey Eyes

Mya’s love of reading developed into the joy of writing about fairytale lands and dystopian futures. She says with writing she’s found a way to express herself and execute the countless worlds she manages to dream up. She is thankful that writing has found its place in her life and plans on pursuing it as part of her career in the future.



Eligible students were from grades 9-12, including those privately or home-schooled and in Running Start, in the NCW Libraries’ service area. The submitting writers attend schools throughout Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan, Grant and Ferry counties.

New York Times best-selling author Chelsea Cain, who visited Wenatchee as a 2011 Write On The River Conference keynote speaker, initiated and continues to sponsor the annual competition.


To read the winning submissions, click HERE.

Writing Competitions. Posted on May 11, 2021.

Writing competition winners, 2021

Write On The River is pleased to announce the six winners of the 2021 Writers Competition. The winners share $1,200 in cash awards and will be invited readers at the next Four Minutes of Fame open mic event. You can learn more about them and read their entries at writeontheriver.org.

The winning fiction entries are:

  • First Place: “The Piggly Wiggly” by Rose Weagant, Twisp
  • Second Place: “Candy” by John Taylor, Selah
  • Third Place: “Journal of a Soldier”” by Brandi Feeks, Moses Lake

The winning nonfiction entries are:

  • First Place: “Mountain Memories” by Mary Bean, Wenatchee
  • Second Place: “Apologies, Confessions, Questions” by Ronald Smith, Malaga
  • Third Place: “Transformation on the Trail” by Nancy Atkins, Chelan

This is the 14th year of the competition, which is open to any writer in eastern Washington (or any writer in the state who is a WOTR member).

To read the winning submissions, click HERE.


First Place: “The Piggly Wiggly” by Rose Weagant, Twisp

Rose a won third place in this competition in 2017 and says her wish is for five extra hours per day, “four to think about writing and one to write.”  She produced The Burn Project at the Merc Playhouse, hosted the Trashion Show and does public art for Black Lives Matter. She currently teaches art at Okanogan High School but has been a roller girl, theater designer, and gallery/bar owner. At their Arty Farms (which is “very wild, very loud, mostly feral”) she and her partner are starting a podcast called farmlings.



Second Place: “Candy” by John Taylor, Selah

“I decided I’d try to be a writer instead of a professional football player.” That was John’s goal  after positive reactions to his first piece of fiction, published in the fifth grade. Since then, he’s been a news reporter, feature writer, digital manager and editor, and is now working at the Yakima Herald-Republic with little time for fiction. Still, he generally sets aside an hour or so each night to write the opposite of journalism: short stories, mostly unshared, about the things that mean the most to him.



Third Place:  “Journal of a Soldier”” by Brandi Feeks, Moses Lake

“Holy cow! I’m really jazzed,” was Brandi’s first reaction to learning about her award. She’s been artistic all her life, with stories always in her head but found that “Corralling the imagination long enough to write a story start to finish” was a challenge. She’s working a day job while finishing up her art degree at Central Washington University.  She says work and life have gotten in the way of doing more oil painting and writing fantasy fiction and poetry, but she’s determined to make time for them soon.


First Place: “Mountain Memories” by Mary Bean, Wenatchee

At the University of Idaho, Mary was twice awarded first place in the College of Forestry’s Excellence in Writing Contest, received the Michael Frome Scholarship for Conservation Writing and published three works of nonfiction. After a long career in the National Park Service and the Forest Service she’s sought opportunities to grow her writing and has attended numerous workshops, including the Desert Writers’ Workshop, the Sitka Writers’ Symposium, Fish Trap, Haystack and several with Write On The River. Her most recently published piece was in the Good Life magazine.


Second Place: “Apologies, Confessions, Questions” by Ronald Smith, Malaga 

After moving to Alaska from the Southwest as a young man, Ron wrote frequently as a scientist and university faculty member. His books are Interior and Northern Alaska: A Natural History, How Not to Die Hunting in Alaska, and Undeserved Punishment, a novel, and his short nonfiction pieces have appeared in Watershed Review, Cirque and Entropy. He lives with his wife Martha, “between the basalt cliffs of the Cascade foothills and the Columbia River” and returns annually to Alaska to participate in the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival’s creative writing workshop.


Third Place:  “Transformation on the Trail” by Nancy Atkins, Chelan

Nancy’s journalism degree led her to 30 years in Seattle writing for publishers, ad agencies, corporations and dot-coms. During that time, she also developed the curriculum for a learn-to-read program Superphonics and self-published the book Christmas Through Their Eyes.  She and her husband have retired to Chelan, where, inspired by her early love of the genre, she’s busy making and marketing picture books for children. She also writes poetry and been published regionally in Yakima Coffeehouse Poets anthologies, the Shrub-Steppe Poetry Journal  and the Dogs and Cats Reigning anthology.

Writing Competitions. Posted on March 31, 2021.