A story by Gabrielle Wold, a sophomore at Cheney High School, has been judged the best of 54 entries in The Spokesman-Review’s 2019 Outdoor Writing Contest for high school students.
Her story, “My First Day in the Field: A True Story” recounts her first hunt, with all its adjacent ups and downs.
A teaser: “I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. My dad saw it, too. ‘Wait, no,’ he amended, ‘I think that’s actually a … yep, that’s a llama.’ ”
One of this year’s judges, Spokane poet and cofounder of Scablands Lit Ellen Welcker, wrote of Wold’s piece, “This gifted storyteller made me laugh and brought me in close to an experience I’ve never had (hunting) with skill and just the right amount of detail. Best of all, a tender parent-child relationship is on full display in this excellent retelling of an adventure together. As good on paper as I’m sure it is aloud.”
Runners-up in the 33rd annual contest include:
“The language is compressed and powerful, the lines are terse and evocative,” Vestal said of Grabowski’s poem.
Other writers whose entries made the final round of judging include Alex Petersen, Taylor Voelker and Alexander Hagood of East Valley High School; Jordan Mattox and Josh Braun of Mead High School; and Blake Heather, home school.
Wold 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 2019 by junior high or high school students.
National winners, who can earn up to $200, will be announced next spring.
Natalie Scott, a winner in last year’s S-R contest, won first place in the senior prose category in the 2019 Norm Strung Youth Awards.
In 33 years, 47 finalists from The S-R contest have won national awards. The contest is limited to entrants from the newspaper’s circulation area. Details of the 2020 S-R contest will be announced in September.
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