The Winners

Adult Category

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Kim Addonizio

Kim Addonizio has published seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry. Her awards include fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation, two Pushcart Prizes, and other honors. Her collection Tell Me was a National Book Award Finalist. Her latest are a memoir, Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life and a poetry collection, Mortal Trash. Her story “Cancer Poems” is from The Palace of Illusions (Soft Skull Press).


Michael Alenyikov

Alenyikov’s “Ivan & Misha” won the Northern CA Book Award for Fiction and was a Finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. He received the 2013 Gina Berriault Award and a MacDowell Fellowship. His writing appeared in The Georgia Review, Foglifter, Catamaran Literary Reader, Descant, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Forge, James White Review, and was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. A NYC native and San Francisco resident, he’s worked as a bookstore clerk, a Boston cabbie, a clinical psychologist, and an interactive media writer.

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Anita Cabrera

Anita Cabrera is a San Francisco-based teacher and editor whose fiction, essays and poetry examine themes of family, addiction, and redemption. Her work has appeared in the Berkeley Poetry Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Colere, Brain,Child Magazine, MER, Acentos Review, Litro, and RavensPerch. Her short story That Thing received The New Guard’s 2017 Machigonne Fiction Award. Characters and events in The 14 Mission are inspired by real people who inspired the writer.


Lindsey Crittenden

Lindsey Crittenden is the author of The View From Below: Stories and The Water Will Hold You, a memoir. She had published fiction and essays in the Washington Post, theNew York Times, Best American Spiritual Writing, Cimarron Review, Mississippi Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. Lindsey lives in San Francisco, and is a member of the Writers Grotto and a trustee of the Mechanics’ Institute.


Katherine Lieban

Katherine Lieban was raised in a small town on the Gulf Coast of Texas. She then spent a glorious decade in Austin when it was still fun, exciting and cheap. After that, she moved to San Francisco with a Japanese singing cowboy and began teaching English to adult immigrants. She is thrilled that Word for Word has accepted her story for a staged reading.

Teen Category


Kenzo Fukuda

Kenzo Fukuda is an Asian-American writer born and raised in San Francisco, California. He has been published in Soul Lit Magazine, Umlaut, Alchemy Literary Magazine and Word for Word. He attends Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and is in the Creative Writing Department. He is a die-hard Warriors fan, listens to Kendrick Lamar, and can crack his elbow on command. Most importantly, Kenzo writes because he wants to revolutionize the world with his words.


Tess Horton 

Tess Horton is a student at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in the Creative Writing department. Her fiction is influenced by both her Jewish and British heritages, pulling insight from literature found in both cultures. Besides writing, Tess enjoys the company of her two scholarly cats and has played the violin since an early age.


Sofi Orkin 

Sofi Orkin is a sophomore in the Creative Writing Department at Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco. She was named a finalist for the 2018 Writopia Bay Area Teen Writing Awards, and won 3rdPlace in the 2019 Tarkovsky Essay Prize for writing on film. Her poetry has been published in Bridge Inkand The Ellipsis. She likes long walks, baking, and never misses an opportunity to gaze at her dog.


Stella Pfahler

Stella Pfahler graduated this year from the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts Creative Writing department. She acted as editor­in­chief of SOTA’s Umlaut Magazine, has published two chapbooks, and recently finished her thesis poetry collection, Cherry Season. As of June, she looks forward to participating in Youth Art Exchange’s LGBTQ youth exhibit Be Seen and publishing zines with Wet Pigeon Collective. After a gap year, she will attend Bard College.


Charlotte Anneabelle Pocock

Charlotte Anneabelle Pocock is a graduate from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts where she was a candidate in the Creative Writing program. Her work has been published in journals such as Really System and Panoply Zine, and she is a winner of the SFUSD 2019 Literary Arts Festival in the High School Poetry category. She is currently studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz and hopes to continue her writing career.


Maya Reihanian

Maya Reihanian has been passionate about writing since Kindergarten, when she’d staple together books and stories she’d written during free time instead of playing with the other kids. Since then, her love for writing has only grown, as she has written several short stories and one manuscript. She has taken every English class and elective available at her high school and looks forward to continuing to pursue her passion at UC Davis this fall.