Deer Park’s Young Writers Shine: 2024 Winners Revealed

Home Link writing contest winners in the picture: Gerrit Chambers, Ethan Richardson, Emmaline Prettyman, Charlene Hatley, Aleena Erickson, Anabelle Miller, Arianna Schick, Lily Boyer, and Cadi Midkiff

Photo Provided By: Shani Hunsaker

Deer Park Home Link asked students to dive into a world of creativity for the Young Writers Contest. The results are yet another collection of outstanding young narrative storytellers. Nine winners from three age brackets went home with cash prizes.

Participants were tasked with crafting an original narrative story in any genre. Each writer had to adhere to the same guidelines, ensuring that their stories engaged and were appropriate for all audiences. From sci-fi and fantasy to true-to-life and non-fiction accounts, the variety of stories was endless. Each story showcased the imagination of the twenty-five writers from 3rd to 12th grade who took on the challenge. 

Each manuscript was judged anonymously by multiple non-biased judges. Judging criteria focused on the six-trait writing standards: Ideas, organization, word choices, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions (grammar and punctuation)

The judges then have space to include thoughts about what the writer did well and what might need improvement. Scores from multiple judges are tallied to select winners.

Cash prizes were provided by a handful of generous business sponsors. This allowed the contest to give out sizable awards to the top three of each age bracket.

First-place winners each took home $125, second-place received $75, and third-place $25.

The 2024 writing contest winners are:

3rd-5th grade
1st place- Lily Boyer “A Week with Grampa”
2nd place- Cadi Midkiff “The Tiny Terror”
3rd place- Arianna Schick “Gem Protectors”

6th-8th grade
1st place- Aleena Erickson “On The Banks of Silver Creek”
2nd place- Anabelle Miller “The Inferno on Oregon Road”
3rd place- Charlene Hatley “The King and the Sacrifice”

9th-12th grade
1st place- Emmaline Prettyman “Silence”
2nd place- Ethan Richardson “Time Capsule”
3rd place- Gerrit Chambers “Why Avocados Are Bad 2”

The Deer Park Gazette extends its heartfelt congratulations to all winners and commendations to all the young writers who took on this challenge!

Explore the winning stories of the 2024 Deer Park Home Link’s Young Writers Contest at the Deer Park School District’s article: Experience tales of adventure, emotion, and insight crafted by talented young minds. Just click on the underlined text.

Contest organizer Shani Hunsaker extends a sincere thank you to this year’s judges and the businesses that sponsored the event. 

Monica Easley-Cate, Denise Porter, Crystelle Knox, Jeanne Flugel, Ellie Chambers, Rachel Dixon, Kayla Hiatt, Lydia Brown and Zach Dixon

Business Sponsors:
Alpine Power and Light Inc.
Sand Canyon Construction
Joyco Drilling
Dot Electric Inc


  • Deer Park Home Link. “The 2024 Writing Contest.” Deer Park School District, Accessed 10 April 2024.
  • Hunsaker, Shani. Email and communications to Ellie Christina. 27 March 2024.


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