Berkshire Athenaeum Announces Winners of Short Story Writing Contests

The Berkshire Athenaeum is pleased to announce this year’s winners of the 39th annual children’s and 20th annual young adult short story writing contests.

Each year the short story contests honor and celebrate the talents of young writers in our community.  A ceremony and reception will be held for all entrants and their guests at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18.  The event’s invited speaker will be Jana Laiz, a local published author of children’s books.  Special guest Dr. Jason “Jake” McCandless, superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools, will be presenting the awards.

Judges for this year’s contest included Marilyn Manning and Mary Kinnas, both retired high school English teachers; Bea DaSilva, retired elementary school teacher; and Sandra Gero, a retired nurse. The contests are generously sponsored by The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum.


Age category: 5-6

1st place winner:  Jocelyn Coco Gilardi, “Once upon a Penguin”

2nd place winner: Riley Burks, “Montecor, (AKA. School Tiger)”

Honorable mention: Vincent Hines, “I’m Sledding”

Age category: 7-8

1st place winner: Natalie Hines, “The hole in the Wall”

2nd place winner: Matthew Hurley, “The Mouse”

Honorable mention: Sydney Caropreso, “A Little Puppy That Was Very Small”

Age category: 9-10

1st place winner: Gabrielle Mott, “The Dreaded Ball of Honor”

2nd place winner: Sandhya Ganesh, “The Merpup and the Swimmer”

Honorable mention: Terra Lim, “Dandelion”

Young adult

Age category: 11-12

1st place winner: Teagan Maxymillian, “A Game to Remember”

2nd place winner: Madeleine Grace Rocheleau Holmes, “A Musical Spirit”

Honorable mention: Ava Maffuccio, “The Amazing Power”

Age category: 13-14

1st place winner: Keely Rose O’Gorman, “The Good Fight”

2nd place winner: Ben Prescott, “Red Stains”

Honorable mention: Bronwyn Dix, “Caged”

Age category: 15-18

1st place winner: Kailey Sultaire, “The Way of the Clouds”

2nd place winner: Sarah Stroud, “The Song of Kirkwood Hall”