Bucks Announces the Winners of the Annual High School Short Fiction Contest

Monday, April 15, 2024 at 3:40 PM

High School Short Fiction Winners
Spring 2024
Last updated: Monday, April 15, 2024 at 3:38 PM

The Bucks County Short Fiction Contest for High School students is pleased to announce the winners for the Spring 2024 contest. There were 38 entries this year.

Olivia Beno, a junior at Pennsbury High School, and a Yardley resident, was awarded first place for her story, “Death and Dreaming on the Golden Coast.” Alaina Kass, a junior at Neshaminy High School and a resident of Levittown, won second place for “The Sin of a Smile.” Katie Krom, a senior at Neshaminy High School, and also a Levittown resident, captured third place for “Forever, Shattered.” Dr. David Venditto, a faculty member at Bucks County Community College, made the final selections.

Venditto said of Beno’s work, “This story had a dreamlike quality to it that mirrored the protagonist’s own mental state, stuck going through memories and imagined future scenarios. The writing is beautiful and heartbreaking, realistically conveying the feelings of loss that accompany an untimely death. It taps into a deeply relatable feeling that lingers long after reading the story.”

Of the story by Kass, Venditto said, “The writing itself is engaging, with carefully chosen words that reveal a truly surprising ending. The textured and grounded world of the story isn’t incongruous with the more supernatural conclusion, due to the foreshadowing sprinkled throughout. Furthermore, excellent pacing and development of the protagonist give the twist a visceral impact.”

In Krom’s “Forever, Shattered,” Venditto noted, “The basic premise is simple, but thematically intriguing. The story turns what would ostensibly be a typical teenage romance into a fantastical tragedy. In addition, a lot of interesting visuals are conjured from the author’s eloquent writing.”

A reception for the winners and their friends and family will be held on the Newtown Campus later this month.

Bucks County Community College is the sponsor of the Bucks Short Fiction Contests. The contest receives support from the Department of Language and Literature.

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