More than 600 writers from across the state entered the competition with the field being narrowed down to 10 semi-finalists for each category, adult, teen, youth and Spanish. A panel of celebrity judges in each category will select the Judge’s Choice, who will receive $250, and the Judge’s Choice Runner-up Awards, each receiving $100.
There is also a public voting for the $250 Readers’ Choice Award. Voting runs through Jan. 31 and is at www.writemichigan.org.
The local semi-finalists are: Breanna Harris, a resident of Kentwood who attends Byron Center High School is in the Teen semi-finals for her piece “A Whisper.” In the youth division, Morgan VanDorp, who lives in Kentwood and attends Grand Rapids Christian Middle School, with her piece “Two Bad Ants: First Person Point of View.” From Wyoming is Yareli Paulina Gonzalez Velazquez. who attends San Juan Diego Academy. Velazquez’s piece “Cuando vine a Estados Unidos” is in the Spanish division.
Winners will be announced Feb. 3 and honored at an awards ceremony at 2 p.m. March 18 at KDL’s Service and Meeting Center. Mardi Jo Link, author of the memoirs “Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm” and “The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friends Beyond Time and Chance” will be the keynote speaker.
The top five stories in each age category chosen by the celebrity judges as well as the Readers’ Choice winners will be published by Chapbook Press using the Espresso Book Machine. Copies will be available in March 2017.