2013 Winners

Our first poetry contest made the news!

Contest Statistics


CATEGORY 1 WINNERS (233 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “New England, Post-Frost” by Shira Hereld (Connecticut, USA).
Winner of signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published.

“I am a senior college student studying Political Science and Theatre, but creative writing has always been my greatest love. I am incredibly honored to be a winner for this contest, and will use this experience as incentive to continue creating, reshaping, and sharing my work.” – Read Shira’s winning poem

SECOND PLACE – “Simply Beginning” Anna Voelker (Pennsylvania, USA)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

“I wrote this poem in honor of my neighbor and my friend, Lizzy, who passed away during our childhood. In addition to being an exploration of grief, guilt, and the mental turmoil that these emotions can cause, this piece also serves as a celebration of the beauty that was and will always be Lizzy. This poem is my attempt to share Lizzy’s light with the world while delving into the different ways in which people respond to loss. I am extremely honored, thankful, and excited to have had my poem selected from amongst the many fine works that were submitted.” – Anna

THIRD PLACE – “Standing in the Kitchen Listening to the RN News” by Isabel Inkster (Spain)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

FOURTH PLACE – “Sea Glass” by Jenna Rodrigues (Maine, USA)

“As a child growing up on the coast of Maine, I always wanted to find sea glass. In my impatience I’d pick up sharp bits, so “Sea Glass” is a reflection on the relentless, time-consuming efforts of the tide to shape a piece of glass into a piece of art. In the same way, people change over time, shaped by their life experiences. I am honored to have my poem chosen for commendation.” – Jenna

FIFTH PLACE – “before you go” by Ariel Martz-Oberlander (B.C., Canada)

“Thank you, it is always humbling to be recognized by others. As Robert Motherwell said, ‘What could be more interesting, or in the end, more ecstatic, than in those rare moments when you see another person look at something you’ve made, and realize that they got it exactly, that your heart jumped to their heart with nothing in between.'” – Ariel

SIXTH PLACE – “You Say Swallows” by Denisa Vitova (Switzerland)

“I got interested in poetry about a year ago after doing a research on Langston Hughes for my English class. At first, I started to write in my mother tongue, Czech. But living outside of my home country for five years now, in Switzerland, my connection to Czech grew weaker over time and I felt more and more drawn towards English poetry. Then I wrote my first poem in English called ‘You Say Swallows’ inspired by language itself and the misunderstandings and incomprehensions it causes between different cultures and mentalities. The fact my poem made it to the winners page in Laura Thomas’s contest assured me that I was on the right track. Meanwhile, I continue writing poetry entirely in English.” – Denisa

SPECIAL MENTION – “Woven: A Sestina” by Liora Baram (NSW, Australia)

“I wrote this poem after having completed a year long monologue project for my final school Drama assessment. The poem was inspired by the idea of saying goodbye to the character in whom I had become so enveloped for so long. Doing so well in the contest has further motivated me to keep writing and sharing my poetry.” – Liora


CATEGORY 2 WINNERS (554 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “Playing House” by Alesha Butler (Maryland, USA)
Winner of signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published.

“I’m honestly really shocked and really grateful to not only have participated but won this competition. Poetry has helped me get through a lot in my life and I’m glad that other people enjoy what I’ve written.” – Read Alesha’s winning poem

SECOND PLACE “An Ode to Dreich Days” by Amy Cooper (England)

Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

“Having only ever written poetry for myself, to be left in my writing books and buried under everything else, I rather reluctantly at the suggestion of a teacher decided to put my poem forwards. I’m absolutely delighted I did as well as I did and this has really inspired me to continue to write, and maybe even to enter some more competitions!” – Amy

THIRD PLACE – “Sonnet to a Ghost” by Marja Ziemer (California, USA)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

“I am so grateful to have received this award from Laura Thomas Communications! I have been writing poetry since the second grade, and every day my passion for writing grows. I feel a great kind of validation from being a prize winner, as though that passion I put into my work was recognized.” – Marja

FOURTH PLACE - “Classification of Cats” by Nyssa Rae (Alberta, Canada)

“For my entire life I have loved to read and write, but my writing has rarely made it past my own eyes. This contest encouraged me to take a spark of an idea and follow it through to its completion, instead of leaving it as a half-baked jumble of words. Having my writing recognized in this way is thrilling. It has encouraged me to believe in myself as a writer and motivated me to keep chasing those elusive sparks.” – Nyssa

FIFTH PLACE – “Ottava Rima for Richard” by Teng Wen Li (Singapore)

“Being given the honour of coming in 5th is an affirmation for me to continue to write poetry. Given that frequent rejection is a process an inexperienced writer, such as I, should accept, the contest has been a wonderful turn of events. I am heartened by the prospect of sharing my interests through poetry, and will endeavour to improve so as to communicate my ideas better. Congratulations to all the other winners!” – Wen Li

SIXTH PLACE – “The Japanese Fishing Boat” by Ian Sifton (BC, Canada)

“I got into poetry about a year ago after reading one of the samples in my English exam.  The different ways words could flow gave me new insight into writing.  I’m usually cagey about showing other people my work, but I decided to give this contest a shot and it was definitely worth it.  I am absolutely thrilled to be picked for the top six of an international group of talented writers and am fully committed to continue writing stories.” – Ian

SPECIAL MENTION – “1968” by Molly Garbutt (England)

“Doing well in this competition has replenished my confidence in both myself and my writing ability, has reinforced the success that I’ve had in other poetry competitions and has helped encourage me in my long-standing ambition to be a poet.” – Molly

SPECIAL MENTION – “Only at Idabel Lake” by Kana Wiens (BC, Canada)

SPECIAL MENTION – “Her” by Ore Arowobusoye  (Alberta, Canada)


CATEGORY 3 WINNERS (298 entries)

FIRST PLACE - “Young Winter” by Alyssa Patterson (Maine, USA)
Winner of signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published.

“When I started writing I wasn’t quite sure it would go anywhere. It took me a long time to finally build up the courage to enter one of my poems into the contest. I am so thankful to have received this honor and I can’t wait to see what is next for my writing future!” – Read Alyssa’s winning poem

SECOND PLACE – “Sominum Aeternum” by Shereen Lee (Taiwan)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

“Since I was young, I’ve wanted to become a writer who affects the world by creating art that provokes thought from and inspires people. I know I still have a long way to go before I can achieve this goal, but becoming a winner of this contest has given me hope and motivation to pursue my dreams. Thank you, LTC!” – Shereen

THIRD PLACE - “A No-Plans-Kind-of-Weekend” by Izzah Kahiri (Alberta, Canada)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

“I had this sentence stuck in my head for a while: “through the slips between blinds.” I started with that one idea, and everything else just fell into place, but maybe not perfectly; poetry isn’t about perfection: it’s about imperfection and the idea that something can become perfect. So I wrote this, thinking it’d just be another ordinary poem, but I ended up liking it enough to submit it into the contest in hopes of getting a Special Mention, at the most, and instead I won third. I like this contest so much that I don’t even care that I didn’t get first or even second — it was a great opportunity and I was happy to take part of it. To end, I simply want to thank everyone who made this contest and my “involvement” in it possible.” – Izzah

FOURTH PLACE – “The Dawn of Something New” by Ruby Evans (Victoria, Australia)

“Coming 4th in this competition came as a serious shock to me, I never expected to do so well and seeing my poem be selected on an international scale has given me so much more confidence in myself and in my work. Thank you to all the people who made this competition happen because being apart of this and placing in this is such a wonderful opportunity!” – Ruby

FIFTH PLACE – “Paper Airplanes” by Jessica Wang (Ohio, USA)

“I’ve always loved prose, so ‘Paper Airplanes’ was literally my first foray into spoken word poetry. Being honored in this competition raised my confidence level—as a writer, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only crazy person who understands what I write.” – Jessica

SIXTH PLACE – “Dusk” by Samyajit Ganguly (West Bengal, India)

“When I sent the poem ‘Dusk,’ I had no hope of winning. Doing well in this contest means that my poems are at least comparable to thousands of aspiring poets across the world. In the end, thanks a lot once again.” – Samyajit 

SPECIAL MENTION – “The ‘A’ Train” by Arianna Pachecano (Texas, USA)

“Doing well in this contest shows that I have the potential, even though I may take this to a teacher and the teacher marks it all up, and says to redo it. It gives me confidence and to push my to keep writing poetry for people. I would be happy even if I just made it through the first round. I am just so happy that I stuck to the original piece once I turned it in. I didn’t ask for help or any corrections at all, and look how far it got me, that is what makes me happy.” – Arianna


CATEGORY 4 WINNERS (75 entries)

FIRST PLACE – “The Top Team” by Jack Prebble (New Zealand)
Winner of signed copy of Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published.

“I really enjoy writing poetry and winning this award means readers round the world can share in my ideas about the emotions we go through sometimes struggling to win!” – Read Jack’s winning poem 

SECOND PLACE – “The Golden Leaf” by Saskia Jones (Queensland, Australia)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

“Being a prize winner means a lot to me. I wrote this poem when I was in Grade Three. It was similar to a poem we had learned about and we had to do it on Brisbane City. I entered thinking I might come 30th but instead I came 2nd!! Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity, Laura.” – Saskia

THIRD PLACE – “The Zombie Apocalypse” by Ornob Chowdhury (Victoria, Australia)
Winner of a $10 Amazon gift card.

This contest has really built my confidence, and I will definitely enter other poetry competitions. – Ornob

FOURTH PLACE – “The Orchestra” by Lewis Orr (West Australia)

FIFTH PLACE – “Iron Giant” by Ethan Rhys Wild (Scotland)

“It was a wonderful surprise to find my poem had won 5th place amongst so many entries from around the world.  I love reading poetry and know many poems off by heart.  Doing so well in this competition has made me think that if I keep writing, maybe one day someone will enjoy one of my poems so much that they will want to learn it and recite it to their friends.” – Ethan

SIXTH PLACE – “Shooting Star” by Evelyn Root (California, USA)

“[Doing so well in this contest] encourages me and makes me feel more confident about myself.” – Evelyn

SPECIAL MENTION – “Butterflies” by Erin Beck (Florida, USA)

“Thank you for doing the contest.  It is wonderful that you take the time to do this for young poets.  I was really excited when I learned that my poem received a Special Mention.  This was the first poetry contest I have ever entered.  I feel that great things will come in the future, and my poetry knowledge will expand.” – Erin

SPECIAL MENTION – “Taller Me, Shorter She” by Tanasia Wright (New Jersey, USA)

“Thank you for understanding my words.” – Tanasia


Congratulations to our finalists! Remember not to panic or despair if you don’t see your name. No one makes a lifelong writing career out of a single poem. Giving up now makes no sense if you are serious. Keep taking advantage of our help and support. Keep writing. Keep submitting your work. :-) Click to view contest statistics and find answers to our frequently asked questions. ~ Laura


CATEGORY 1 FINALISTS – Ages 18 to 21

Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 233 entries in this category.

“Abode Juries” by Shalett Joseph (India)

“Before You Go” by Ariel Martz-Oberlander (Canada)

“Cow Factory” by Ben Ray (UK)

“Eden” by Charlotte Steel (New Zealand)

“Feeling Like a Tahong Tonight” by Mariel Alonzo (Philippines)

“The Grouchy Old Frog” by Valerie Flokstra (Canada)

“I Am Here” by Valerie Ngai (USA)

“I Drank Poetry” by Christena Williams (Jamaica)

“Jar” by Victoria Walters (USA)

“The Last Show” by Shantara Johnstone (Australia)

“The Leaf” by Shidush Contractor (Hong Kong)

“Move On” by Amanda Tarana (USA)

“New England, Post-Frost” by Shira Hereld (USA)

“The Night” by Joy Cheng (Australia)

“Old Jazz” by César Ibarra (Mexico)

“Porta 400” by Josh Wells (Australia)

“Sea Glass” by Jenna Rodrigues (USA)

“Simply Beginning” by Anna Voelker (USA)

“Standing in the Kitchen Listening to the RN News” by Isabel Inkster (Spain)

“Submarine Queen” by Sofia Pappa (Sweden)

“Woven: A Sestina” by Liora Baram (Australia)

“You Say Swallows” by Denisa Vitova (Switzerland)


CATEGORY 2 FINALISTS – Ages 15 to 17

Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 554 entries in this category.

“1968” by Molly Garbutt (UK)

“Abyss” by Sophia Marencik (USA)

“Acquiescence” by Isabella Kominski (USA)

“All of You” by Rachel Cole (USA)

“Alone” by Antuanette Sarmiento (USA)

“An Ode to Dreich Days” by Amy Cooper (UK)

“Aphros” by Emily Ge (USA)

“Art” by Helen Yang (USA)

“Bearded Little Brother” by Abbie Snyder (USA)

“Birthday Cake” by Audrey Spensley (USA)

“Bombay Beauty” by Rebecca Gandhi (New Zealand)

“Broken Beams” by Reena Mukherjee (Australia)

“Butterfly Effect” by Khanh Nguyen (USA)

“Chilly Serenity” by Andrew Eckerly (USA)

“Classification of Cats” by Nyssa Rae (Canada)

“The Concrete Woman” by Tracy Hunyh (Canada)

“Daffodil Dance” by Rosemary Wareham (UK)

“Days (The Man With Blue Eyes)” by Rachel Simmons (USA)

“Dear Charlie” by Nazirah Fathullah (Malaysia)

“Feelings of a Shoe” by Dalton Sweat (USA)

“For Me, and No One Else” by Sarika Mahbubani (Hong Kong)

“Garden in the Woods” by Helen Lovett (USA)

“Gardening Lessons” by JoAnna Mak (USA)

“Her” by Ore Arowbusoye (Canada)

“Icy Rose” by Britta Karnarski (Germany)

“If I Ruled the World, I Would Travel the World in 19 Days and Change the World in 19 Ways” by Nidaa Iqbal (UK)

“In Your Eyes” by Nicole De Vere (UK)

“The Japanese Fishing Boat” by Ian Sifton (Canada)

“Loneliness” by Abigail Ileto (Canada)

“Mind of a Troubled Teenager” by Damin Williams (New Zealand)

“A Monsoon Shower” by Purbita Majumder (India)

“Mouth Open” by Brendan Bevan (Canada)

“My Heart a Display” by Megan Smith (USA)

“A Never Ending Story” by Katrina Hohensee (Canada)

“Observing Someone” by Emily Hughes (USA)

“Of Moon Cakes and Checkers” by Ariel Zhang (Canada)

“One Way Road” by Worood Almutawa (UAE)

“Only at Idabel Lake” by Kana Wiens (Canada)

“Ottava Rima for Richard” by Teng Wen Li (Singapore)

“The Paper Sea” by Daniel Gao (Canada)

“Perfect Goodbye” by Kasturi Pananjady (India)

“Plastic” by Ien Li (USA)

“Playing House” by Alesha Butler (USA)

“Predictability” by Morgan Carlock (USA)

“A Red Requiem” by Jessica Zhang (USA)

“Red Thread” by Avery St. Pierre (Canada)

“The Rules” by Caroline Fairclough (UK)

“Salome” by Ellen Meadows (UK)

“The Sea of Sunken Memories” by Rida Rangoonwala (USA)

“Shower” by Maya Gunther (USA)

“The Silver Years” by Hannah Kuster (USA)

“Sonnet to a Ghost” by Marja Ziemer (USA)

“Street No. 44” by Sameera Chawla (India)

“Superpowers” by Luka Zubcic (Australia)

“Things I Wish I Knew at 14” by Kelly Tokarz (USA)

“This Is for Them” by Demi Mclatchie (UK)

“Too Young” by Anne Wang (USA)

“Water Colors” by Lulu Healey (USA)



Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 298 entries in this category.

“The A Train” by Arianna Pachecano (USA)

“Accessory” by Alice Buckley (UK)

“Beyond Recognition” by Vivien Le’Sueur (USA)

“The Bottom of the Unknown” by Harriet Butler (USA)

“Box” by Maya Kanani (USA)

“Broken” by Nataly Beacham (USA)

“Car Ride” by Becca Bendele (USA)

“Comet” by Sylvia Nica (USA)

“The Court” by Molly Wancewicz (USA)

“Cracked Life” by Annabelle Fuller (UK)

“The Dawn of Something New” by Ruby Evans (Australia)

“Dusk” by Samyajit Ganguly (India)

“Empty” by Camryn Morrow (USA)

“A Fake Sea” by Laura Jones (UK)

“The Fire” by Collin Pattillo (USA)

“Flowers” by Katrina Pettitt (Australia)

“For the Boy I love on Sleepless Nights” by Maya Nakauchi-Hawn (USA)

“A Fortress of Old” by Timothy Kwan (Canada)

“Gray” by Alexandra Engelhardt (USA)

“The Inchworm” by Patrick Dinmore (USA)

“Live, Life” by Aisha Mohiuddin (UK)

“Lovely Hearts” by Olivia Parker (USA)

“Mural Kids” by Eva Rodrigues (Canada)

“My Delightful Day at the Beach: A Sestina” by Rachel Hughes (Canada)

“Nature” by Isha Bhatnagar (New Zealand)

“A No-plans-kind-of-weekend” by Izzah Khairi (Canada)

“Paper Airplanes” by Jessica Wang (USA)

“Pen on Page” by Journey Meyerhoff (Canada)

“Quiet Eyes” by Anisha RajBhandary (USA)

“The Smoker” by Joyce Fang (Australia)

“Snowflake” by Zoe Peters (USA)

“Sominum Aeternum” by Shereen Lee (Taiwan)

“Standing Opposite the Alba Madonna” by Poppy Hawkins (UK)

“A Sunflower” by Ella Somers (New Zealand)

“Synesthete” by Zoe Terner (USA)

“That One Little Bird” by Nadia Zywina (Canada)

“The Teenager” by Sam Caswell (USA)

“This is Beautiful” by Allyssa Pant (USA)

“Where Music Takes Me” by Hayden Hunskor (USA)

“Young Winter” by Alyssa Patterson (USA)



Listed in alphabetical order by title. They are not listed by score or rank. There were 75 entries in this category.

“Butterflies” by Erin Beck (USA)

“Chinese New Year” by Pablo Huneeus (Hong Kong)

“Fireworks” by Grace Atticks (USA)

“The Golden Leaf” by Saskia Jones (Australia)

“Growing Up” by Fauna Nelmes (Canada)

“I’m Too Weak to Save You” by Venika Vachani (UAE)

“The Iron Giant” by Ethan Wild (UK)

“The Orchestra” by Lewis Orr (Australia)

“Ramayana, The Final Battle” by Arnav Gunwani (India)

“Seasons” by Andrew Brink (Hong Kong)

“Shooting Star” by Evelyn Root (USA)

“Taller Me, Shorter She” by Tanasia Wright (USA)

“Ten Little Monkeys” by Isabella Scanlon (UK)

“To Every Heart Beat” by Lauren Miller (UK)

“The Top Team” by Jack Prebble (New Zealand)

“The Zombie Apocalypse” by Ornob Chowdhury (Australia)



70 comments on “2013 Winners

  1. Adnan

    Sorry,I meant is this contest really free to enter.

    • Laura Thomas

      Hi Adnan. Yes it is really free to enter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>