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The 2016 Contest Winners Are…

The judging is complete, and we have our winners!  All these young authors will be published in the 2016 edition of Bluefire, our compilation of 1000 word stories from the contest.  Copies are available for a donation to our foundation.  Without further delay….

$1000 Scholarship Winners

Priya Thomas, 11th Grade, Palo Alto, CA, for her story Color Wheel.

Bella Horn, 6th Grade, Stevenson Ranch, CA, for her story Birch.

$100 Prize Grade Winners

Kyelee Fitts, 12th Grade, Seoul, ROK (APO), for her story Summer Cicadas.

Tiffany Liu, 10th Grade, Warrensburg, MO, for her story Bird Blood Icarus.

Kaitlyn Penchina, 9th Grade, Los Altos, CA, for her story The Girl Without a Flower in Her Chest.

Michael Simon, 8th Grade, San Carlos, CA, for his story Royal Revere.

Maggie Grether, 7th Grade, Pasadena, CA, for her story Three Giants.

Honorable Mention

Lesley den Toom, Invercargill, NZ; Emily Babcock, Mesa, AZ; Grace Nehls, Batavia, OH; Allie Spensley, Avon Lake, OH; Morgan Hutchison, Alachua, FL; Allison Neggers, Evanston, IL; Shelby Garnier, Jupiter, FL; Kexin Cathy Sun, Irvine, CA; Jesse Miller, Pasadena, CA; Jasmine Zou, Mercer Island, WA; Bridget Pegg, St. Ann, MO; Niamh O’Farrell-Tyler, Blackrock, Ireland; Malaina Kapoor, Redwood City, CA; Eileen Peng, Hoffman Estates, IL; Rosalynne Jones, Leemore, CA; Annika Hunsaker, Chattaroy, WA; Sydney Roberts, San Francisco, CA; Salome Augusto, Ashburn, VA; Gloria Zhang, Longmeadow, MA; Keane Davis, San Francisco, CA; Andrew Chu, Palo Alto, CA; Shivani Verma, Gilroy, CA; Sachi Laumas, Stamford, CT.  

Congratulations to all these outstanding young authors, and to the over 1300 students who participated in this year’s contest!

Special thanks to the members of the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission for their partial support of this year’s scholarships.


Award Celebration – Join Us!

May 1st at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, CA

Join us Sunday, May 1st, at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park as we celebrate the Bluefire authors!  You will hear readings from this year’s winners, get to ask them questions in a panel moderated by YA author and foundation board member Lindsay Tam Holland, and enjoy a mixer.  The event is free, but seating is limited, please register to save your spot.

Register Now


Joan Bauer – 2016 Guest Judge

YA author and Newbery medalist to select scholarship winners.

We are happy to announce that award-winning Young Adult novelist Joan Bauer has agreed to be our guest judge for the 2016 $1000 for 1000 Words fiction-writing contest!  Joan will select the two $1000 scholarship winners from the seven grade-level stories – one for the best middle school story, and one for the best high school story, previously chosen by the foundation’s Editorial Committee.  The winners will be announced in April.  Join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date on the latest.

Joan Bauer is a NY Times best-selling author of twelve novels for young readers.  She has won numerous awards including the Newbery Honor Medal, the LA Times Book Prize, and the Golden Kite Award, among others.  Her latest book, Soar, is available now in bookstores and online.  Visit her website at to learn more.

Welcome Lindsay Tam Holland!

We are happy to announce that YA author and educator Lindsay Tam Holland has joined our Board of Directors.  Lindsay was the guest speaker at our inaugural award celebration, and joined our Editorial Committee last year.  She is the author of The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong, and is a graduate of Stanford University and has an MFA from the University of San Francisco.  Lindsay used to teach high school English and coach water polo, but now mostly folds laundry, makes mac & cheese, and thinks about what she could be writing if she weren’t folding laundry and making mac & cheese!  Thanks, Lindsay, and Welcome!

Welcome Jay Richards!

We are happy to announce that Jay Richards has joined our Board of Directors! Jay teaches 8th grade English at Central Middle School in San Carlos, CA. He has been involved with our foundation and contest since our first year, as a first round judge and, last year, as a member of our Editorial Committee. Many of his students have entered the contest, and one, Zachary Lo, was the winner of the inaugural $1000 middle school scholarship. In addition to being a director, Jay will take on the duties of Editorial Committee Chair, and be a member of the Executive Committee. Thanks Jay, and welcome!