The Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards, which annually present $112,000 in scholarships to fifty-six New York City public high school seniors for original poetry, fiction & drama, memoir, graphic novel, and spoken word poetry compositions, were held on June 7. Since 1994, more than two million dollars have been awarded to students and their schools by Random House, and now Penguin Random House, through this awards competition. In this twenty-third year for the competition, more than 1,300 entries were received from a number of diverse public high schools throughout the city’s five boroughs. The awards presentation included dramatic readings, spoken-word poetry, and graphic-novel presentations, and honored the 2016 first-place winners:
- Katelyn Sasson of Edward R. Murrow High School for Poetry;
- Jason Lallijee of Townsend Harris High School for Fiction & Drama;
- Roberta Nin Feliz of Manhattan Center for Sciences and Mathematics for Memoir;
- David Ortiz of Marta Valle High School for Graphic Novel;
- and Devin Johnson of Thomas A. Edison Career Technical High School, the recipient of the $10,000 Maya Angelou Scholarship Award for Spoken Word Poetry.
Among this year’s judges were Poets & Writers Magazine Publisher Elliot Figman, Penguin Young Readers Executive Editor Rob Valois, and Random House author and former Poet Laureate Billy Collins. Melanie Fallon-Houska, director of the company’s Creative Writing Awards, said, “We applaud the thousands of students who have made creativity a priority in their lives. It has been a privilege set in motion to read their work and each of their successes. Here at Penguin Random House, we are all proud of their accomplishments and impressed by their creativity.”
For more about the Creative Writing Awards, visit the Penguin Random House Foundation’s website at .
Watch a video from the 2014 Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards below.