Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 Winner Spotlight

 I'm very proud to announce our excellent winners of this year's Call to Pens competition! Read below to find out a little bit more about them, click the links to read their stories, and consider entering next year!

Division 1

First Place | Sarah McCleskey, 15, Virginia | "Princesses"
I’m a 15-year-old high school freshman, I’ve been homeschooled my entire life, and I get a lot of ideas for my writing through my position as the second-oldest of 7 kids!  When I was little, I used to just go off and write in my free time. However, my serious interest with words began when I was diagnosed with a challenging chronic illness at age 12.  Since then, I have discovered a passion for writing that God has used in amazing ways.  Witnessing to the world through the poems, novels, essays, and short stories I create has become one of the greatest joys of my life!  I also enjoy photography and caring for people.

Second Place | Hannah Williams, Oregon | "The Mailman and the Princess"
I am a 10th grade homeschooler living in Oregon with my parents, Grammie, and big brother.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved storytelling, and writing stories has developed into my passion over the past few years.  I am currently working on fantasy novels which I plan to publish.  Occasionally, I write a lighthearted fairytale such as the one in the contest.  I also love to illustrate my books.  I hope to use my gifts for God's greater glory!

Third Place | AnneMarie McPherson, 15, Virginia | "As Many As the Stars"
I am a fifteen-year-old 10th grade home schooler who loves all things book related! I've always enjoyed reading, and as a natural outcome I spend much of my time writing my own stories. My favorite genres to write (and read) are fantasy and science fiction, but I also like poetry. There are many reasons why I write, such as I appreciate a creative outlet, but my main purpose is so that I can communicate Christ's love with form and feeling.

Fourth Place/Honorable Mention | Spencer Kolssak, 15, Illinois | "The World Above"
I am a fifteen-year-old homeschool sophomore. I currently live with my mom and dad, three brothers, and two cats. I have been writing stories ever since I first learned to write. Since then, I have penned many short stories and even a few novels. I also tell stories in other forms, including art and video. I hope to continue my pursuit of creative writing in the future. Most importantly, I hope to glorify God in my writing and use my gifts for the good of His Kingdom. 

Division 2

First Place | Shelby Griffith, 17, Tennessee | "The Writing Desk"
My name is Shelby Griffith, and I am a 17-year-old homeschool senior with a passion for words. My tastes range from Shakespeare to Star Trek, and when I’m not writing, you can find me reading, playing piano, making birthday cards, or watching Alias. Job 32:18 says, “For I am full of words, and the Spirit within me compels me…” This verse is who I am. I love to write because it makes my soul sing. When I’m at the computer keys or scratching a pen across the page--that’s when I know I’m where I belong. It doesn’t matter what I write; whether poetry, fan fiction, blog posts, or short stories, I write them because I must. My greatest dreams are to serve the Lord with every word that I write, and to let my readers know that I understand.

Second Place | Olivia Heisey, Idaho | "The Wind Forgets"
My name is Olivia Heisey. I am 17 years old and live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where I am homeschooled. I’ve always loved writing, and can never remember a time when I wasn’t writing books. I used to make picture books with construction paper and put them together with yarn and give them to my parents. Giving stories as gifts to my cousins, grandparents or aunts and uncles was something I was famous for. I am also an avid reader, and can never get enough of the written word. It’s pretty convenient that I have a part time job working at our local library. I love hanging out with friends. We like going for walks, watching movies, and swimming at the lake. In the winter, we go sledding and skiing. Photography is another hobby of mine and I have won ribbons at the North Idaho Fair for my pictures and drawings.

Third Place | Emma Justis, Nevada | "The Cost of Leaving"
Emma is currently a junior in high school and is homeschooled. She is a writer fascinated by history and inspired by travel. Her pen is carried with her everywhere because story ideas always seem to arise unexpectedly! Writing, for Emma, has always been a passion. Recently she has taken to the skies and found the love of flying as well. Her goal is to find ways to do both of the activities that she is devoted to.

Fourth Place/Honorable Mention | Scott Bradley, 17, Missouri | "Become the Mask"

My name is Scott Bradley, and I am a home-educated lover of the art of written expression of thought. I am 17 years old, and doing everything I can to build the skills necessary to become a professional writer. Currently, I am working on a novel, the first draft of which I plan to finish by the end of my senior year (summer 2012). The short story I submitted for the Call to Pens contest is placed in the same world (though the events do not coincide with those in the novel).

My interest in story writing has evolved naturally from a voracious appetite for good fiction. This is true of many others, but Tolkien and his grand tales have inspired me more than perhaps anything else. Though my own stories are often not as hopeful in theme, I suspect traces of Tolkien's influence can be seen in my works.


  1. Hi! Just wanted to say that I love you blog tittle! So awesome and inspiring =)

    Leah Nicolette

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