Pierce County Showcases Teen Writing and Art Contest Winners

Pierce County teens picked up their pencils, markers, and cameras this summer and now the whole community can see their creations for itself. The Pierce County Library System celebrated the 25th annual Our Own Expressions Teen Writing and Art Contest by showcasing the up-and-coming artists’ work. 

Out of more than 700 photographs, drawings, poems, and short stories, 36 won cash prizes from the Pierce County Library Foundation. Professional writers Michael Magee and Brandi Douglas, along with photographer Lisa Roden and artist Abrian Curington, chose the winners, who ranged from seventh- to 12th-graders.

“Thank you to the hundreds of teens who shared their talent, voice, and vision in the contest,” Pierce County Library Executive Director Georgia Lomax said in a press release. “Students faced many challenges this past year due to the pandemic, learning remotely, and everything else about being teenagers. I’m happy to see the many teenagers who participated in the contest as a creative outlet to find and show enjoyment.”

Check out the winners’ work here or copies of the student artwork is available at Pierce County Libraries through the curbside service. 

Drawing Winners

Seventh- to Eighth-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Tia Norman (Tacoma) 
  • 2nd: Chelsea Bass (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Erika Rusak (Auburn) 

Ninth- to 10th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Iris Rogel (Bonney Lake)
  • 2nd: Julia Clarke (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Charlotte Southworth (Tacoma) 

11th- to 12th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Sam Johnson (Spanaway) 
  • 2nd: Chloe Brown (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Taylor Swensen (Bonney Lake) 

Photography Winners

Seventh- to Eighth-Grade Winners 

  • 1st: Michael Fulkerson (Tacoma) 
  • 2nd: Morgan Ackerland (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Natalynn Kirkendoll

Ninth- to 10th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Sofia Anderson (Steilacoom) 
  • 2nd: Alana Rojas (DuPont)
  • 3rd: Anna Salmon (DuPont) 

11th- to 12th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Jehlil Ruffner (Steilacoom)
  • 2nd: Jade Edwards (Anderson Island) 
  • 3rd: Elliot Carlsson (Stielacoom) 

Poetry Winners

Seventh- to Eighth-Grade Winners 

  • 1st: Kaylina Warren (Sumner) 
  • 2nd: Alexa Kotansky (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Natalie Bates (Tacoma) 

Ninth- to 10th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Clarisse Fowlkes (Puyallup) 
  • 2nd: Audrianna Rouse (Puyallup) 
  • 3rd: Olivia Lathrom (Graham) 

11th- to 12th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Benita Kisembo (University Place) 
  • 2nd: Lily Tamminga (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Honor Tamminga (Gig Harbor) 

Short Story Winners

Seventh- to Eighth-Grade Winners 

  • 1st: Audrey Douglass (Puyallup) 
  • 2nd: Gabriella Vonada (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Lia Hartley (Puyallup) 

Ninth- to 10th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Rylie Wood (Bonney)
  • 2nd: Jacob Lawty (University Place)
  • 3rd: Nathan Schmidt (Lakewood) 

11th- to 12th-Grade Winners

  • 1st: Mary Funches (University Place)
  • 2nd: Honor Tamminga (Gig Harbor) 
  • 3rd: Aubren Reis (Fircrest) 
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