ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE
13TH ANNUAL PALO ALTO WEEKLY 1998

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Adult Winners
It's been more than six months since we sent out the call to all writers of fiction interested in the 13th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest.
In all, we received more than 200 entries in both the adult and young writers categories. This week, after a long selection process, we publish the three top stories in the adult category. Next week, we'll publish the winners in the three young-adult categories.
The winners in this year's adult category are among the strongest since the contest began in 1986. First-place winner Sarah Marion of Palo Alto writes about a son, banished from the family home after a tragedy, returning to mend a fractured relationship with his father. Menlo Park resident Amy Mar, who captured second place, offers a story about the compromises families make as they grow. And third-place winner Tara Cottrell of Palo Alto tackles the feelings of a woman who killed a man who had been abusing her.
The winning entries were chosen from a field of 10 finalists selected by members of the Weekly editorial department, who read all 112 adult entries. A distinguished panel of judges reviewed the finalists to pick the winners.
The judges were Tom Parker, a novelist and writing instructor; Pam Gullard, a fiction writer and historian; and Linda Gray Sexton, a novelist and biographer.
During the judging process, the names were removed from all stories so that neither the editorial staff nor the judges knew the names of the winners until after the judging was complete.
The adult winners received $500 for first, $300 for second and $200 for third place. Young adults will receive gift certificates from Kepler's Books and Magazines, Printers Inc. and Linden Tree.
First Place
Sarah Marion, Seven Years from Never

Second Place
Amy Mar, Little Hearts

Third Place
Tara Cottrell, Dying With the Last

Young Writers Winners

It is our pleasure to bring you the winning stories in this year's fiction-writing contest for young people. The stories follow last week's publication of the winning stories in the adult part of the Weekly's 13th Annual Short Story Contest.
The contest for young writers was divided into three age groups: 6 to 9 years old, 10 to 13 years old, and 14 to 17 years old. We are extremely proud of the winning stories.
In the group for 14- to 17-year-olds, Gunn senior Dawn Wood takes us to Bakersfield in the 1860s in a haunting tale about growing up. Laura Gaynon, a seventh-grader at Jordan Middle School, captured the prize in the 10- to 13-year-olds category with a touching story about a handicapped young girl finding her way to social acceptance. Elijah Guo, a fourth-grader at Palo Verde Elementary School, won in the 6- to 9-year-olds group with his story about appreciating who you are.
In selecting the winners, the Weekly's editorial staff screened the 91 entries in the three categories, then passed along the finalists to our panel of judges.
In the 14- to 17-year-olds category, the judges were Tom Parker, a novelist and writing instructor; Pam Gullard, a fiction writer and historian; and Linda Gray Sexton, a novelist and biographer. In the other two categories, the judges were Katy Obringer, who supervises the Palo Alto Children's Library, and children's authors Shirley Climo and Bruce Balan.
During the judging process, the names were removed from all stories so that neither the editorial staff nor the judges knew the names of the winners until after the judging was complete.
The winners in the youth categories received a $100 gift certificate to either Printers Inc., Kepler's or Linden Tree. The second- and third-place winners received $75 and $50 gift certificates, respectively.
Ages 6-9

First Place
Elijah Guo, Max the Doorknob

Second Place
Jessie Carr, Why There are Seven Continents? (A "Pour Quoi" tale)

Third Place
Madeline Raffel, The Diary


Ages 10-13

First Place
Laura Gaynon, Anny's Flaw

Teen Second Place
Taylor Chiu, Generations of Hockey

Teen Third Place
Alia Salim, Sometimes The Dragon Wins


Ages 14-17

First Place
Dawn Wood, Broken Wings

Young Adults Second Place
Abigail Stone, Conversion

Young Adults Third Place
Yaamini Lalitha Rao, Silent Treatment

Honorable Mention
Sarah Marquess, Losing Too Late


JUDGES

TOM PARKER, Novelist & Writing Instructor, Foothill College, UC Extension Program
PAMELA GULLARD, Fiction Writer and Local Historian
LINDA GRAY SEXTON, Biographer and Novelist
KATY OBRINGER, Supervisor, Palo Alto Children's Library
SHIRLEY CLIMO, Children's Book Author
BRUCE BALAN, Children's Book Author

Past winners:

2012-2013 winners | 2011 winners | 2010 winners
2009 winners | 2008 winners | 2007 winners | 2006 winners | 2005 winners
2004 winners | 2003 winners | 2002 winners | 2001 winners | 2000 winners
1999 winners | 1998 winners | 1997 winners | 1996 winners

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