Outdoor Writing Contest 2018 winners announced

December 23, 2018

A story by Jaylisse Quinto a sophomore at the Salish School of Spokane, has been judged the best of 96 entries to win The Spokesman-Review’s 2018 Outdoor Writing Contest for high school students.

In “My Native Land” Quinto vividly details how “the wind and the birds tell the stories of my ancestors.”

S-R reporter Nick Deshais, one of this year’s judges, said of Quinto’s piece, “It was very evocative and descriptive, allowing readers a glimpse into a way of life and interaction with nature they may not know otherwise.”

Runners-up in the 32nd annual contest include:

“Hunting for Humility,” by Deer Park High School sophomore Natalie Scott, investigates what hunting, and taking an animal’s life, means to Scott’s family. S-R judge Deshais said Scott’s piece contained “nice clear writing on a unique subject.”

“After it Stops Raining,” by Lewis and Clark High School sophomore Amber McConnell, describes in verse, the feeling of a fresh rain in a forest. Deshais called it “a transporting poem.”

“A Journey of Pain Leads to Joy,” by Mead High School junior McKenna Ives, explores how the pain and discomfort of a hike can lead to a stronger connection with a loved one.

Other writers whose entries made the final round of judging include George Brown III of East Valley High School; Hannah Hardy, Megan Poffenroth and Nathan Tullis of Mead High School; Jadyn Malone of Lewis and Clark; and Meilin Scott of North Central.

Quinto will receive $50 for first place. Each of the runners-up will get $35. The four finalists will be entered in the Outdoor Writers Association of America Norm Strung Youth Writing Awards contest, open to outdoor writing published in 2017 by junior high or high school students.

National winners, who can earn up to $200, will be announced next spring.

In 32 years, 46 finalists from The S-R contest have won national awards.

This year’s entries were judged by Spokane novelist Kris Dinnison and by S-R reporters Deshais and Eli Francovich.

The contest is limited to entrants from the newspaper’s circulation area. Details of the 2019 S-R contest will be announced in September.

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