Winners of the Young Writers for Young Readers contest
It’s official: young people are passionate about writing! We are delighted to announce the winners of last winter’s national writing contest organized in collaboration with Tensta konsthall, Stockholm. A total of 253 entries were submitted by young people from across Sweden. Our jury awarded six prizes and seventeen honorable mentions.
Maskrosbarn (Survivor) by Elisa Tallec, age 17
Shared Second Prize
Konsten att behärska kraften (The art of mastering power) by Elmi Stenkvist Manen, age 11
Tragisk gudinna (Tragic goddess) by Astrid Rimm, age 14
Shared Third Prize
Morfeus (Morpheus) by Tiyash Tasneem, age 14
Kära morfar (Dear Grandfather) by Ida Stärning, age 18
Smuts (Dirt) by Dario Raffaelli, age 17
Author Mårten Sandén, who also sits on the jury for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, helped judge the submissions:
Many of them were phenomenal at conveying emotion! I also realized from reading their stories just how much the pandemic has affected young people. It’s easy to see young people as carefree or unconcerned. But many of the texts show a worry about friends and family, feelings of isolation, or the writers musing on their own actions.
About Young Writers for Young Readers
• A writing contest initiated in December 2020 by the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) and Tensta konsthall to encourage young people to engage in creative writing and create depictions of society during the pandemic.
• The contest was open to young writers between the ages of 10 and 18. Submissions were accepted in the form of poems, short stories, science fiction, song lyrics, novels, screenplays, stage plays, comic strips or diary entries. The deadline for submissions was February 15.
• A total of 253 submissions were received from young people in cities and towns throughout Sweden. There was also one submission from Finland.
• All submissions were evaluated by a jury consisting of the following members:
Balsam Karam, author and librarian at Rinkeby Public Library
Mårten Sandén, author and jury member for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Pavlina Spanos, grade 4–6 teacher at the Enback School in Tensta, Stockholm
Amar Jašarević, teaching student, leader of the creative writing course at Kulturskolan Metapontum in Fruängen
Hanna Nordell, curator at Tensta konsthall
• The first prize winner will receive SEK 3,000. The second prize winners will each receive SEK 2,000 and the third prize winners will receive SEK 1,000. The seventeen honorable mentions will each receive a set of books by previous ALMA laureates. All of the winners have been contacted.