2021 Carnegie Library Teen Media Awards Recognize Broad Range of Creative Work

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

Through Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Teen Media Awards teen creators have invited us to examine what we think we know. They invite us to reflect on beauty, to dwell in complexity, and to celebrate joy where we find it.

More than 200 young writers, visual artists, musicians, filmographers and inventors in Allegheny County vied for honors in the Library’s 2021 Teen Media Awards. The Awards, which serve as a platform for celebrating teens and their original content are divided into two parts – The Ralph Munn Creative Writing Awards and the Labsy Awards — and recognize a broad range of creative work.

First place winners in each category received $250 and second place winners received $100.

2021 Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest Winners
Open to high school students who live or attend school in Allegheny County (grades 9 – 12)

All “entries of quality” are published in an anthology, which is distributed to all of the public libraries in Allegheny County, as well as to the schools whose students are published in the book. Each published teen also receives an anthology.

Judging the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest were author Deesha Philyaw (Short Prose) and Emerging Poet Laureate of Allegheny County Paloma Sierra (Poetry).

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and will be the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

Paloma Sierra is a Puerto Rican writer, translator, educator, and curator. She writes poetry, plays, screenplays, musical theatre books, and opera librettos. As the Emerging Poet Laureate of Allegheny County 2020-2021, Paloma curated a virtual workshop series with City of Asylum. The series, titled “Between Poetry and Performance,” reimagined Poetry through theater and film. Paloma has developed plays, musicals, and operas with various theater companies, including Project Y, Theatre Now New York, Poetic Theater Productions, and Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Her poetry and translations appear in Bridge: The Bluffton University Journal, Persephone’s Daughters, and Sampsonia Way. Her screenplay “Open Frame” is a finalist for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenwriting Grant 2021.A Fulbright Scholar 2021-2022, Paloma plans to study Theater Translation at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Short Prose

1st place: “High Flyin” by Ariel Riccobon, Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, Grade 10

2nd Place: “the thing about the sun: a short piece” by Riley Kirk, Gateway High School, Grade 10

Short Prose Honorable Mentions (published in anthology)

  • Aria Narasimhan, Winchester Thurston School, Grade 10
  • Maya Weaver, Oakland Catholic High School, Grade 12
  • Riley Kirk, Gateway High School, Grade 10
  • Miles Kantor, Taylor Allderdice High School, Grade 10
  • Julia Stern, Winchester Thurston School, Grade 11
  • Olivia Smathers, Oakland Catholic High School, Grade 12
  • Alaina Cain, University of Nebraska Online High School, Grade 11
  • Jessica Tang, Mt. Lebanon High School, Grade 10
  • Robin Troup, Hampton High School, Grade 11
  • Maanasa Reddy, Upper St. Clair, Grade 10


Poetry

1st place: “Fell a Victim” by Elena Johnson, Carlynton Junior/Senior High School, Grade 10

2nd place: “Blood Sisters” by Emily Rhodes, Upper St. Clair High School, Grade 12

Poetry Honorable Mentions (published in anthology)

  • Gwendolyn Nace, Quaker Valley High School, Grade 12
  • Sarah Gallogly, City Charter High School, Grade 10
  • Samantha Silk, The Ellis School, Grade 12
  • Maanasa Reddy, Upper St. Clair High School, Grade 10
  • Finn Lawrence, Northgate Middle/High School, Grade 9
  • Grey Weatherford-Brown, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 12
  • Aliyah Scott, Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Grade 10
  • Clara Kelley, Fox Chapel Area High School, Grade 9
  • Evelyn Sorg, Oakland Catholic High School, Grade 9
  • Aneri Shethji, North Allegheny Intermediate High School, Grade 9
  • Oladunni Bejide, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 10
  • Allen Fiejdasz, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 10
  • Shana Reddy, Upper St. Clair High School, Grade 11
  • Connor Dalgaard, West Allegheny High School, Grade 11
  • Saanika Chauk, North Allegheny Senior High School, Grade 11


2021 Labsy Award Winners

Open to Allegheny County students in grades 6 – 12.

A panel of 31 Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh staff judged this year’s Labsy Awards.

Ralph Munn Cover Art Design for 2022 Anthology

“Portrait of Truths” by Makenzie Sing, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 9

Filmmaking

1st place:Suspected Cinephile” by Simon Nigam, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 9 

2nd place:How to Make a Stop Motion Video” by Lamar Abushaban, Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy, Grade 8

Honorable Mentions:

  • Oday Abushaban, Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy, Grade 12
  • Deven Doshi, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 8
  • Jacob Kaltz, Chartiers Valley Middle School, Gr. 8
  • Lila McClelland, Falk Laboratory School, Grade 8
  • Julia Stern, Winchester Thurston School, Grade 11
  • Grishma Unadkat, Falk Laboratory School, Grade 7


Music & Audio Recording
 

1st place: “More” by Elizabeth Zavadil, Upper St. Clair High School, Grade 11

2nd place: “Eclipse” by Brianna Cobbey, North Allegheny Senior High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mentions

  • Lindsay Liebro, Hampton High School, Grade 12
  • Jack/John Harding, Falk Laboratory School, Grade 7
  • Aaron Huffman, Homeschool, Grade 8
  • Sloane Simon, Shady Side Academy, Grade 11

 

Invention

1st place: “Ozone” by Oday Abushaban, Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy, Grade 12

2nd place: No 2nd place winner awarded

 

Photography

1st place: “Water and Sky” by Qingqing Zhao, Shady Side Academy, Grade 12

2nd Place: “Snow Mountain” by Anker Zhao, Shady Side Academy, Grade 11

Honorable Mentions

  • Clara Gordon, Winchester Thurston School, Grade 7
  • Akshay Lath, Shady Side Academy, Grade 7
  • Sydney Morningstar, Bishop Canevin High School, Grade 9
  • Sofia Rinaldo, Falk Laboratory School, Grade 7
  • Abigail Sison, Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Grade 6


3D Art

1st place: “Paper Notes” by Amalia Glowczewski, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 7

2nd place: “The Great Threaded Wave” by Julianna Umalin, Bishop Canevin High School, Grade 9

Honorable Mentions

  • Anjali Aiyangar, Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, Grade 6
  • Leila Barber, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 7
  • Sydney Killebrew, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade 10
  • Cecilia Sciullo, Bishop Canevin High School, Grade 11
  • George Shorthouse, Bishop Canevin High School, Grade 11


2D Art

1st place: “Why Can’t I Stop and Smell the Flowers?” by Makenzie Sing, Pittsburgh CAPA, Grade


2nd place: “Henry” by Sophia Eager, West Allegheny High School, Grade 11

Honorable Mentions

  • Alexa Berman, Fox Chapel Area High School, Grade 11
  • Natalie Cohen, Commonwealth Charter Academy, Grade 12
  • Sophia Eager, West Allegheny High School, Grade 11
  • Emma Kim, Fox Chapel Area High School, Grade 9
  • Natalie Makovics, Serra Catholic High School, Grade 12
  • Gwendolyn Nace, Quaker Valley High School, Grade 12
  • Paige Nichols, Quaker Valley High School, Grade 10
  • Basil Wedig, Steel Valley Middle School, Grade 8
  • Elizabeth Zavadil, Upper St. Clair High School, Grade 11

 

Fashion

1st place: “2021 Prom Dress” by Paige Nichols, Quaker Valley High School, Grade 10

2nd Place: “Flappers” by Ariella “Ariel” Riccobon, Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, Grade 10

Honorable Mentions

  • Sarah Gallogly, City Charter High School, Grade 10
  • Nicole Mendt, North Allegheny Intermediate School, Grade 11
  • Alena Riccobon, Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, Grade 8
  • Jane Windsheimer, Chartiers Valley High School, Grade 10

 

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