Writer's Competition

The Writers Competition at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library is one of the oldest and most prestigious contests of its kind in the Inland Northwest. In 1987 Library Director Julie Meier perceived the need to discover and recognize talented writers in our regional community and to challenge young people and adults to take an interest in writing and to hone their skills. Another goal of the Writers Competition is to reveal great authors living in our midst. 

To add a tangible reward to the honor of winning the competition, Hecla Mining Company agreed to fund cash prizes for the winning entries for the first contest in 1988. Hecla continued to fund the prizes through 2001. Beginning with the 2002 competition cash prizes were funded by a grant from the Coeur d’Alene Kiwanis Club. The Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library provide volunteers to organize the competition and host the annual Awards Ceremony. 

The Writers Competition is judged by a group of volunteers composed of professional writers and editors working in North Idaho and Spokane. 

Official Writers Competition entry forms and rules are available beginning Jan. 31 each year. Forms can be picked up at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library or downloaded by clicking this link. Requests for mailed forms must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Entries must normally be returned to the Library by March 31. Judging is completed by the end of April and the Awards Ceremony is scheduled in May. 


Click here to view and print the current rules and entry form. 

Click here to see what your entry should look like. 

2011 Writers Competition Winners Recognized


Left to right from back row, James Thomas Ball, Sue Coleman, Holly Cooley-Nelson, Jacqueline Gedeik, Donna J. Williams, Taylor Kowalski, Alexsandra Logan, Brooke Sausser, Jacob Ryan Smith, Kaye Thornbrugh, Kierah Thurgood, Amy E. Hanson, Gabe Johnson, Jeanette Leptich, Garrett Thomas Oetken, Logan Elizabeth Ortiz, Emma Ployhar, Elisha Bennett Coad, Arthur G. Elliott, Justin Gates, Melia Lane Hannigan-Luther, Sydney Christine Morrison, Dylan Hansen, Haydn McKee. Not pictured: Patricia Kuhns, Hailey Smith, Conner Conigliaro, and Robert Z. Southern.

The winners of the 2011 Writers Competition at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library were recognized Saturday, May 14, 2011, during a ceremony hosted by the Friends of the Library.

The competition was in its 23nd year. The program was begun by former Library Director Julie Meier with the goal of encouraging excellence in writing and “to discover great writers living among us.

Writers submit fiction and nonfiction entries of 2,000 words or less in age groups ranging from 6 years to adult. This year there were 198 entries in the competition.

Cash prizes were first awarded by Hecla Mining Co. and more recently have been provided by the Coeur d’Alene Kiwanis Club. Prizes include $100 for first, $50 for second and $25 for third. In case of matching scores, duplicate prizes of the full amount are awarded. Based on scores, first-place prizes may not be awarded in every category and age group.

The entries are judged each year by volunteers who include published authors, journalists, editors and writing educators.

The winners and their entries are:

  • 6-8 Nonfiction: No entries received
  • 9-11 Nonfiction: First, Elisha Bennett Coad, Sagle, “Bennett the Bomber Pilot;” Second, Conner Conigliaro, Coeur d’Alene, “Candy;” Third, Arthur G. Elliott, Hayden, “My Trip to the Oregon Coast.”
  • 12-14 Nonfiction: First (tie), Gabe Johnson, Coeur d’Alene, “98 Yards and Counting;” First (tie), Garrett Thomas Oetken, Coeur d’Alene, “Building the Boat;” Second, Jeanette Leptich, Coeur d’Alene, “A Day With My Dad;” Third, Logan Elizabeth Ortiz, Coeur d’Alene, “My Time at Camp Bighorn.”
  • 15-18 Nonfiction: First, Taylor Kowalski, Coeur d’Alene, “Death Is;” Second, Brooke Sausser, Post Falls, “Carnage in the Illegal Rosewood Industry: It’s Causes, Effects, and Victims; ”Third (tie), Alexsandra Logan, Spokane, “Camp Dishwashers Night Out;” Third (tie), Hailey Smith, Post Falls, “Heart: An Autobiography Through the Eyes of Hope.”
  • 19-Plus Nonfiction: First, Donna J. Williams, Coeur d’Alene, “Charlie’s Eyes;” Second, Sue Coleman, Troy, Mont., “A Patchwork World;” Third, James Thomas Ball, Coeur d’Alene, “Logical Power and Transportation Policies.”
  • 6-8 Fiction: First, Dylan Hansen, Athol, “The Discovery;” Second, Robert Z. Southern, Coeur d’Alene, “The Hamster’s Donut;” Third, Haydn McKee, Coeur d’Alene, “The Pirate’s Journey.”
  • 9-11 Fiction: First, Melia Lane Hannigan-Luther, Coeur d’Alene, “A Chance;” Second, Sydney Christine Morrison, Hayden, “Dance in the Rain, Chapter 1;” Third, Justin Gates, Hayden, “Dogsled Race.”
  • 12-14 Fiction: First, Emma Ployhar, Coeur d’Alene, “A Name to Be Proud Of;” Second, Amy E. Hanson, Coeur d’Alene, “Mandie Carter; ”Third, Emma Ployhar, Coeur d’Alene, “A Meaningful Life.”
  • 15-18 Fiction: First, Kaye Thornbrugh, Hayden, “Sacrifice of the Sea: A Drowning in 13 Glances;” Second, Kaye Thornbrugh, Hayden, “The Naming of Names: An Origin;” Third (tie), Jacob Ryan Smith, Rathdrum, “Hateful Disgrace;” Third (tie), Kierah Thurgood, Post Falls, “Cursed Wings and Blessed Guns.”
  • 19-Plus Fiction: First, Jacqueline Gedeik. Hayden, “The Intruder;” Second, Patricia Kuhns, Rathdrum, “Grounded;” Third, Holly Cooley-Nelson, Coeur d’Alene, “Abandoned.”