Congratulations to the Winners of Our Writing Contest!

Congratulations to the winners of the annual Writing Contest, co-hosted by the Community Writing Center & East Lansing Public Library! You can learn more about the authors and read their winning selections below:

Youth Fiction:

Annie Lloyd is the first-place winner for Youth Fiction with her story "After the End." Annie is a homeschooled 6th grader who loves soccer, running cross country, nature, animals, helping the environment, and she is obsessed with dogs. All her story characters are based on family pets. Annie would like to thank her mom and dad, who always support her, her sisters, and her beloved dog Maisie, who helps give inspiration for characters, helps her through tough days, and always makes a great playmate. You can read the winning story here: Annie Lloyd - After the End.

Teen Fiction:

Rachel Spitzley is the first-place winner for teen fiction with the story "The Dance Floor." More info coming soon.

Teen Non-Fiction: 

Noah Walters is the first-place winner for Teen Non-Fiction with the piece "Embracing a New Name." Noah is 16 years old and currently attending Haslett High school. Noah says, "This story is very personal to me and I’m really excited that I’m able to have it published and have people learn about me and my experiences as a trans person. Thank you for reading this!" You can read the piece here: Noah Walters - Embracing a New Name

Adult Fiction:

Victoria Irish is the first-place winner for Adult Fiction with the story "Stones." Victoria Irish, a 21-year-old student at Michigan State University, is currently pursuing a degree in Digital Storytelling with a minor in Creative Writing. Victoria enjoys crafting short stories, as well as writing music under the same name. She enjoys exploring themes of nostalgia and the passing of time, as well as queer experiences. You can read the winning story here: Victoria Irish - Stones

DM Baker is the runner-up for Adult Fiction with the story "Machine Language." DM Baker is a writer of literary fiction and horror, often following in the company of Flannery O’Connor. Paying homage to that Southern gothic street cred, Baker was raised in McKinney, an old and slightly crumbling small town in Texas. Baker doesn’t claim a childhood of magnolias and angst, but takes stake in mimosas and misery. They came out as a leatherdyke on television during a Dallas gay pride parade, and as nonbinary after proposing to their now-wife. You can read their story here: DM Baker - MACHINE LANGUAGE - PROSE POEM

Adult Non-Fiction:

Cheryl Caesar is the first-place winner for Adult Non-Fiction with the piece "Poor Little Sausage Puppets." Cheryl Caesar is a writer, teacher of writing and visual artist living in Lansing. She is an associate professor at Michigan State University, and does research and advocacy for culturally-responsive pedagogy. Cheryl’s chapbook of protest poetry Flatman is available from Amazon, and some of her Michigan poems, watercolors and charcoal sketches appear in Words Across the Water, volumes I and II, a collaboration between the Lansing and Chicago poetry clubs. In summer 2023, her short prose piece “Silver Balls in the City” won first prize in the My Secret Lansing writing contest, and appears in the subsequent anthology. Cheryl serves as president of the Michigan College English Association and secretary of the Lansing Poetry Club. You can read her winning story here: Cheryl Caesar - Poor little sausage puppets

I.M. Merckel is the runner-up for Adult Non-Fiction with the piece "Harvest." I.M. Merckel is a retired professional living in San Antonio, Texas. Since his retirement in 2019 he has turned to writing short story fiction and memoir pieces of which this work is the eleventh one accepted for publication. His stories have been published in the United States and United Kingdom. He has three sons, two of whom are published authors.  He is now finishing his first novel.  His pen name honors his father whose nickname for him was Merckel. You can read his story here: I.M. Merckel - Harvest