Mount Mercy University’s Creative Writing Contest for High School Juniors

Jot, compose, scribe, or scribble. 
Write it down, then type it up. 
Send it in. 
Test your idea.
Innovate.  Stimulate.  Integrate.
(If you like, you can even syncopate.)

Mount Mercy's Creative Writing Contest is designed to encourage eleventh graders to sharpen their writing skills, while also providing a teaching and learning opportunity for Mount Mercy faculty and students.

The grand prize winner will receive a $200 Amazon Gift Card and be published in Mount Mercy’s annual creative writing magazine, Paha Review. All contestants will receive written feedback on their work from a Mount Mercy English professor or upper-level creative writing student.  Several contestants, including the grand-prize winner, will be invited to read their work at Mount Mercy on April 8, 2016.  Entries are due February 1, 2016.   

Here’s how to enter:

  • Send one original work of no more than 500 words (poem, story, or piece of creative non-fiction) to Mount Mercy as a Microsoft Word© document.
  • Submit your entry here!
  • Prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners—honorable mentions will also be awarded.
  • Entries are due February 1, 2016.



2015–16 Winners

We applaud all the high school juniors who participated and congratulate the award winners and honorable mentions.

First-place winner Allison Chen was awarded a $200 Amazon gift certificate for her winning story, “Obsessive in Scarlet,” which was published in Mount Mercy’s annual creative writing magazine, Paha Review. The top three winners and the writers who received Honorable Mentions were also invited to Mount Mercy's campus to read their work.

First Place
Allison Chen
Queen Creek, Arizona
Read her awarding winning entry, "Obsessive in Scarlet"

Honorable Mentions
Nick Battles, Indianola, Iowa
Morgan Bruns, North English, Iowa
Peyton McGuire, Hiawatha, Iowa

Second Place
Savanna Johnson
Dexter, Iowa
Read her awarding winning entry, “Untitled

 

Third Place
Moria Green
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Read her awarding winning entry, "Letter to Deirdre" 

 


Past Winners

2014–15:

First Place
Lisa Zou
Chandler, Arizona
Read her awarding winning entry, "Serving in Ben Hai"

Honorable Mentions
Maren Findlay, St. Paul Academy (MN)
Emma Hartwig, Regina HS (IA)
Luke Harvey, Williamsburg HS (IA)
Melvin Munoz, Postville Community Schools (IA)
Austin Rickertsen, Calamus-Wheatland HS (IA)
Allie Spensley, Avon Lake HS (OH)
Cameron Verducci, Regina HS (IA)

Second Place
Tiffany Wang
John Guyer HS (TX)
Read her awarding winning entry, "The Lucky Ones"

 

Third Place
Erin Cox
Iowa City HS (IA)
Read her awarding winning entry, "Untitled"

 

2013–14:

First Place
Sara Lyon
Mount Vernon High School
Read her awarding winning entry, "A Wish Too Late"

Honorable Mentions
Cali Cinkovich, North Cedar High School (IA)
Maria Theresa Dizon, Marianas High School (Saipan)
Nicholas Green, Iowa City Regina High School (IA)
Zhane Johnson, Jefferson High School (IN)
Hatte Kelley, North High School (IA)

Second Place
Christine Stuppi
Springville Secondary
Read her awarding winning entry, "Untitled" 

 

Third Place
Lauren Clapp
Iowa City Regina High School
Read her awarding winning entry, "Seven" 

 


2012–13:

First Place
Courtney Griggs
Pella Christian High School
Read her awarding winning entry, "Whiteout"

Second Place
Grace Larew
Iowa City Regina High School
Read her awarding winning entry, "One Instead of Two"

Third Place
Anna Wolle
Cedar Rapids Washington High School
Read her awarding winning entry, "The Sound of Horror"

Honorable Mentions
Carley Dale, Clear Creek Amana High School (IA)
Meredith Hemphill, Atkins Academic and Tech High School (NC)
Laura Hu, Troy High School (CA)
Ashley Lodwig, Marion High School (IA)
J.D. Love-Epp, Rockhurst High School (MO)
Afsheen Raza-Faisal, Jamnabai Narsee School (Mumbai, India)
Karalee Smith, Clear Creek Amana High School (IA)
John Ver Mulm, Rock Valley High School (IA)
Bailey Zaputil, Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School (IA)

2011–12:

First Place  
Brennan Bogert, from Regina High School in Iowa City. Read his award-winning entry, “My Neighbor’s Daughter.”

Honorable Mentions:
Natalie Bonthius, Regina High School
Catherine Boyle, Columbus Catholic High School
Michael Clapp, Regina High School
Xena Fitzgerald, Mount Vernon High School
Katherine Jamtgaard, West Hancock High School
Kassie Kittredge, George Washington High School
Elizabeth Schwendinger, Woodward-Granger High School
Kimberly Shiu, Regina High School
Nicole Tuttle, BGM Community High School
Elizabeth Wilson, Regina High School

Second Place  
Sarah Mork, from Marion High School in Marion. Read her story, “Loneliness.”
Third Place  
Marissa Bouska, from North Fayette High School in West Union. Read her essay, “Washed Away.”

 

For more information about Creative Writing at Mount Mercy email CreativeWriting@mtmercy.edu or phone 319-368-6460