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 calling upon writers to share their works, is conducted as part of the annual celebration of the arts in Westerville during April. This marks the 14th year for the contest.

The contest

Beginning in January, writers submitted their entries to artscouncilwesterville@gmail.com according to five categories arranged by grades K-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, grades 9-12 and adults ages 18 and older. The submissions were required to be original works of 800 words or less. Any genre was eligible: poetry, free verse, short story and others.

This year, writers turned in 178 entries.

First-place winners in each category have the honor of seeing their entry published in an issue of the newspaper. First- through third-place and honorable mention entries in each age category are published online at ThisWeekNEWS.com/Westerville. Because all approved entries are printed in a compilation book, each writer becomes a published author. The 20 winners receive a complimentary copy of the book courtesy of the Friends of the Westerville Public Library. A copy is purchased by the library and made available for checkout.

Normally, finalists and their families gather at a reception in April to find out how they placed in the contest, receive their awards, read aloud their works and have their photos taken for publication by ThisWeek.

This year, for the first time, the reception was not held due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The winners

Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

Adults