To recognize and encourage the talents of literary artists, the Arts Council of Westerville, Westerville Public Library and ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion invited writers of all ages to be a part of the Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest.

The contest, in addition to calling upon writers to share their works, was conceived as an addition to the month-long celebration of the arts in Westerville during April.

This marks the 13th year for the collaborative event.

The contest

Writers submitted their entries according to five categories arranged by age or grade in school.

The submissions were required to be original works of 800 words or less. Any genre was welcome: poetry, free verse, short story and others. The deadline for the 2019 contest was March 1. This year, 291 entries were received at

First-place winners in each category have the honor of seeing their entry published in the ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion, with first-, second-, third-place and honorable-mention entries published online at

All approved entries are published in a book, Celebrate the Arts Writing Contest 2019, available for checkout at the library.

Contest judges are Terry Hermsen, published poet and English and Creative Writing professor at Otterbein University, and Cheryl Ortlieb, retired teacher with the Westerville City School District who taught grades 4-6 for 30 years.

The celebration

Writers, along with their families and fans, gathered for congratulations, refreshments and the opportunity to read from their work at the Awards Reception for Writers held April 28. The Friends of the Westerville Public Library sponsored the reception.

The 2019 winners

Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12