The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) revealed nine winners from among 119 entries for its annual fiction contest. To commemorate the city’s tricentennial celebration, students in grades 7-12 were asked to put their imaginations to work and write a story on the theme of “MISSION: San Antonio.” They were asked to pick a place that exists in San Antonio—iconic or personal—and write a tale of mystery, action, history, or lessons learned.
Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar, a 12th grader at Providence Catholic School, won first place in the 11th/12th grade division for her story, “Timeless.” In the 9th/10th grade category, Ryan Jacob, a 10th grader at O’Connor High School, won first place with his story, “A Search for Spirit.” Delaney Dwyer, a 7th grader at St. George Episcopal School, won first place in the 7th/8th grade category with “Crushed.”
“Every year our contest judges remark on the talent of young, San Antonio voices, and this year was no different,” said fiction contest chairperson Tracey Lammert. “The winning stories are a wonderful representation of our city’s bright, young minds.”
SABF’s fiction contest is sponsored by the Texas Cavaliers, who provide the cash prizes for all winners, first place through third, in each of the three categories. First-place winners receive $500 for themselves and $500 for their schools, second-place winners receive $250, and third-place winners receive $150. All the winners will also be recognized at a special awards ceremony during the 6th annual Book Festival on April 7.
“We recognize the importance of investing in our city’s youth,” Texas Cavalier King Antonio Richard A. Sparr, Jr. said. “The fiction contest allows the Cavaliers to reward imagination and creativity, and we truly enjoy celebrating these students’ writing achievements. Our River Parade theme this year is Magnificent Missions, so we were particularly delighted to read Delaney’s story, which focuses on an imagined history of the Mission San Jose.”
All three first-place winners were surprised in their classrooms on Tuesday with by Texas Cavaliers, the students’ family members, SABF Fiction Contest chairperson Tracey Lammert, and SABF staff.
One of the winners, Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar, was a 1st place winner of the SABF contest two years ago in the 9th/10th grade category when she was a sophomore. She also placed second in the Texas Book Festival’s fiction contest in 2016. Lynette Baker, Providence Catholic School librarian, described Anaïs as a “fantastic writer” and shared a video of Anaïs’s experience at the Book Festival in 2016.
In addition to cash prizes, the three winning stories are published in the Texas Cavaliers program and the three first-place winners are invited to ride on the Cavaliers float in the River Parade during Fiesta. Whataburger also provides meals for one year to the first-place winners.
The 6th Annual SABF will take place on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 9 am to 5 pm at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art. It is free and open to all. The Festival draws thousands for author presentations, panel discussions, book sales and signings, children’s and teen activities, food trucks, and a vibrant marketplace. A schedule of events will be available in mid-March.
7th/8th Grade Division:
1st place – Delaney Dwyer, “Crushed,” St. George Episcopal School, 7th grade
2nd place – Marlowe R. Garcia, “The Gunshots Ringing in My Ears,” Robert L. Vale Middle School, 8th grade
3rd place – Gloria Kunnapilly, “Stories Through the Centuries,” Lopez Middle School, 7th grade
Miguel Melendez, “Snatched!”, Whittier Middle School, finalist
Taylor Neely, “Praying to the Stars,” Rawlinson Middle School, finalist
Mackenzie Nocker, “Mission Seer,” Rawlinson Middle School, finalist
Sofy Partida, “Majestic,” St. George Episcopal School, finalist
Delaney Pence, “Time Travel: A Native American Journey,” Bradley Middle School, finalist
Gabby Trevino, “My Superhero,” San Antonio Christian School, finalist
Emileen Tuohy, “The Impossible Escape,” San Antonio Christian School, finalist
9th/10th Grade Division:
1st place – Ryan Jacob, “A Search for Spirit,” O’Connor High School, 10th grade
2nd place – Julia Ross, “Coma White,” Alamo Heights High School, 10th grade
3rd place – Savannah A. Hill, “Something Worth Saving,” Taft High School, 10th grade
Andres De la Garza, “My City, My Love,” Keystone School, finalist
Corinthian Ewesuedo, “Remember the Alamo,” Keystone School, finalist
Daniel Hayes, “The Bump,” Keystone School, finalist
Sam Hodgson, “Lee and Jeremiah,” Alamo Heights High School, finalist
Christopher E. Johnson, “The Riverwalk,” NESA, finalist
Mirdula Shan, “Snow in El Mercado,” Basis Shavano, finalist
Allison Wu, “Never Once White Lollipops,” Keystone School, finalist
11th/12th Grade Division:
1st place – Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar, “Timeless,” Providence Catholic School, 12th grade
2nd place – Jordan David West, “Up Off the Pavement,” Alamo Heights High School, 11th grade
3rd place – Kendall Hunt, “The Fable of the Blue Hole,” Alamo Heights High School, 11th grade
Catherine Conway, “Home,” Alamo Heights High School, finalist
Libby Fellbaum, “It Isn’t That Bad,” Alamo Heights High School, finalist
Anirudha Karla, “A Message in the Dark,” Keystone School, finalist
Ellie McGrath, “Battle of the Alamo in the Eyes of a Woman,” Alamo Heights High School, finalist
Conor Liam McMunn, “Revelations,” Alamo Heights High School, finalist
Sarah Richardson, “Family Vacation,” Judson Early College Academy, finalist
Elisabeth Wang, “Home is Beyond the Yard,” Health Careers High School, finalist
About the San Antonio Book Festival
The mission of the San Antonio Book Festival is to unite readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries and literary culture. The signature program of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, SABF was first presented in April 2013. Founding Partners are the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Public Library, and Southwest School of Art. Through active partnerships with school districts and community organizations focused on literacy, education and culture, the Festival connects with educators, parents and students, pre-K through college. SABF reaches out to those who are well read and those who need to read well.