Meet the Spark a Story Winners: Part 4

This week we announced the winners of the first-ever Spark a Story writing contest, a short story competition created to find and encourage the nation’s best high school writing. Following the call for submissions from students across the country, HMH editors carefully selected the top twenty stories based on their creativity, originality and overall quality of writing, and published them in an anthology titled Spark a Story: Twenty Short Stories by American Teens.

In this four-post series, we will be highlighting this next generation of American writers and storytellers.




Storytelling has been an important aspect of Hanna’s life for as long as she can recall. She keeps a journal and pen with her at all times, and is always turning to new people and experiences for inspiration. During the summer of 2016 she entered and won the high school division of a local essay contest for Kids’ Standard Magazine. She has taken honors English throughout high school and is currently enrolled in AP English as a junior. She enjoys participating in the writing club, as well as in forensics —competitive public speaking — and is one of the captains of her school’s team. Hannah hopes to attend a good college and pursue a degree related to writing so that she can include her passion for storytelling in her career.




Black and White

Victoria is a homeschooled sixteen-year-old and has been writing stories since she was eleven years old. Her favorite things to do include spending time with family and friends, writing stories and reading books, and acting and singing on-stage. She’s always been interested in writing, and is exploring the possibility of becoming a social worker — right now she’s waiting to see where God wants her. She’s very excited to share her story with you and hopes you enjoy it. Soli Deo gloria!




The Letters

Destiny is currently a senior at Kennedy High School in Fremont, California. She is part of many different organizations including DESI (a Bollywood dance group), the Vietnamese Student Association, her school’s ASB, and tennis, for which she was a captain for the past two consecutive years. During her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, listening to music, and, of course, writing. Her goal is to major in English in college.





Grace is a sophomore at Apex Friendship High School in Apex, North Carolina. She has won many schoolwide writing contests and has been published twice in Saplings: The Carolina Young Artists’ Magazine. In 2012 Grace moved from New York to North Carolina with her parents, her younger sister, and her dog, Cocoa Puffs. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing guitar, and, of course, writing.




The Flood

Amelia is a senior at Waltham High School in Waltham, Massachusetts, where she is the editor in chief of her school’s literary magazine. Her work has been on display several times at the U.S. Department of Education and published in numerous anthologies and magazines, including The Best Teen Writing of 2015, The Best Teen Writing of 2016, and American High School Poets National Poetry Quarterly as a national winning entry. She has also received gold medals and regional awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. After graduation, she intends to pursue a college degree in English and continue with her writing.