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Lafayette Youth
Arts Society
We're an organization run by kids, for kids. We're here to provide a place for the kids of Lafayette to showcase their artistic talents (and artistic doesn't necessarily mean painting and drawing alone).
Our Mission
Our mission is to create a contest that isn’t so much about competition (paradoxical as it is), but about inspiring a love of writing and photography in kids. That's why our judges will be looking for creativity and a love of your medium, not just how "correctly" you handle it.
​The Second Annual Writing and Photography Contest

• Who's it for? Middle school (grades 6-8) students who either live in Lafayette, or attend a Lafayette school.

• Who are the judges? Click here to go to the Judges' Page!

• What's the point? To get kids to realize how much fun writing and photography can be.

• What can I win? There are almost 30 prizes to be won! Look here for more information.

• When are the topics/themes announced? November 15th, 2014

​• When did the contest close for entering? Entries should have been postmarked January 31st, 2015 or earlier
Congratulations, 2014 winners!
The results are in! To see the writing winners, click here. For the photography winners, click here.

The contest had a great turnout, receiving almost 150 entries! Thank you to everyone who entered, for making this contest such a success!

The judges all commented that the general quality of the entries was very high, and they found that picking the winners was a difficult task. Many said that they wanted to choose tied winners for first place, because the entries were all so good that it was impossible to choose.
Coming Attractions
April 2014 awards ceremony at Lafayette Library and Learning Center
This year's photography contest is going international! The 2nd Annual Photography Contest will be open to middle schoolers at Tingstrup Skole, a middle school in Thisted, Denmark. Separate prizes will be given, but the prompts will be the same for everyone. After the winners are chosen, both the Danish and Lafayette winners' photos will be posted on the Royal Danish Embassy's website (and on lyas.org). Get your cameras ready!
Building Bridges
Meet our workshop tutors!
                          Emily Jiang                             is the                                     author of                                 Summoning                             the Phoenix:                           Poems &                                 Prose about   Chinese Musical Instruments. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary's College of California and a BA in English from Rice University. Her writing has been published in Apex Magazine, Stone Telling, Strange Horizons, and Goblin Fruit. She blogs at www.emilyjiang.com
Emily Jiang
Melissa Burke
Here's where we held the workshops!
Saint Mary's College, Moraga
Lafayette Community Board 2013
Lafayette Community Board 2014
(Left to right: Isabel RurkaUma UnniSam Swan)
Copenhagen, Denmark
                           Melissa                                Burke is a                            graduate                              student                                researcher                            at Saint                                Mary's                                  College. She also moonlights as a Poetry Editor and Social Media staff member at Omnidawn Publishing, as well as an Education & Children's Events Assistant at Book Passage in Corte Madera.
How to: Lafayette Youth Writing and Photography Contest
Ani Tascian
                          Ani is a Bay                             Area native,                           Cal graduate                           writing her                             first memoir                           in Berkeley.                             Currently an M.F.A. graduate student at St. Mary's College, she is also assistant editor of MARY Journal.
                          Brenna McNab                           is a writer and                           actor in the                               Bay Area and                           Los Angeles.                             She received                             her MFA in                               creative nonfiction from Saint Mary's and continues to plug away at her first novel. In her free time, Brenna enjoys chocolate, yoga, and creating adventures with family and friends.  
The lucky winner of our Arts and Wine Festival raffle, Elizabeth!
Thank you, judges!
Thank you to Mr. Hass, Mrs. Burke and Mr. Twain for their time and effort in choosing the writing winners. Thank you also to Dr. Johnson, Mr. Fillinger and Mr. Crabbe for judging the photography contest.

To meet these judges, visit our 2014-15 Judges Page!
Brenna McNab
Thank you to the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club and the Lafayette Community Foundation for their generous grant and support!
Uma Unni (left), Zoe Portnoff (right)
Results for the 2nd Annual Writing and Photography Contest have been announced!
2nd Annual Writing and Photography Results
The suspense is over—the results are in! Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. This year, we had about 350 entries, and there were so many exceptional entries that we've added a few extra prizes to acknowledge them.

Click on the links below to see the winners and their entries!


1st prize: Charlie Keohane

2nd prize: Katherine Gunn

3rd prize: Noam Franbuch

*Creativity prizes:
Tommy Balmat
Hannah Galdes
Harrison Seymour
Adina Levin

Honorable mentions:
Isabella Gonzales
Samuel Vanskike
John Kalil
Kira Niyogi
Samantha Merrick
Sarenna Ben-Zeev
James Cain

Junior prizes (6th grade):
Annika Olson
Jacob Cherayil

* This year, we are awarding four creativity prizes. The judges had a difficult time choosing just one creativity prize winner because there were so many exceptionally creative entries. 

Photography (Lafayette):

​1st prize: Jenna Stedman

2nd prize: Isabel Rurka

3rd prize: Sophia Benveniste

Creativity prize: Noam Franbuch

Honorable mentions:
Charlie Keohane
Amanda Fingerut
Sasha Pesternikova
Hannah Johnson
Jamie Lattin
Natalie Seiler
Ariel Goldman
Leah Macarewich
Katya Tcheprasova
Ellie Guthrie

Photography (Thisted):

1st prize: Ida Kristensen, Asta Enevold Højberg, Cecilie Riis Kirk

*2nd prize: Helena Kristensen, Anna Brogaard Bach, Caroline Lamphoonsap Dragsbæk

3rd prize: Ida Mommer Damsgaard

Honorable mentions:
Agnethe L. Jensen
Mathilde Emelie Hajen Olesen
Marie Rysgaard Madsen
Ida Thorup
Camilla Lyhne
Maria Zbroja
Kristine Sejersbol
Ida Johanne Bach
Cecile Gyrup Nielsen
Simone Kloster Palm

* Helena, Anna and Caroline collaborated on their entry and are sharing second prize.