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Fall 2017

Winners of the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers

Polyphony H.S. and the Community Foundation of Hudson Valley are pleased to announce the winners of the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers. Each year, three prize winners are chosen in Poetry, Short-Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction. The winners are selected by published authors from our annual printed volume. In addition, two ranked honorable mentions are selected in each genre. The pieces represent some of the finest published works by teen writers in the world.


Poetry Judge, Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman is the author of the poetry collection Delinquent Palaces (Northwestern University Press, 2015). Her poetry has appeared in magazines and journals such as the Atlantic, Harvard Review, the Nation, and the New Yorker. She is a critic as well as a poet, and her reviews have appeared in Poetry magazine and the New York Times. Chapman directed the publishing-industry programs for the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture from 2007 to 2012. She lives in Connecticut, where she teaches at Yale University and lives with her husband Christian Wiman and twin daughters.

  • Poetry Winner: Shira Abramovich
    Newton South High School, Newton Massachusetts

  • 1st Honorable Mention:  Valery Tarco
    Newark Academy, Newark, New Jersey
     From Adolescent Psych: A Sestina

  • 2nd Honorable Mention:  Jessica Sommerville
    William Mason High School, Mason
    Road Trip 



Fiction Judge, Ross Ritchell

Ross Ritchell is a former soldier in a United States Special Operations Command direct-action team conducting classified operations in the Middle East. Upon his discharge, he enrolled at Northwestern University, where he earned an MFA. He currently lives with family and two Labrador Retrievers in the Midwest. He is the author of the novel, The Knife.



  • Winner:  Mia Nelson
    Denver School of the Arts, Denver, Colorado

  • 1st  Honorable Mention:  Carolyn Cheng
    Head-Royce School, Oakland, California
    Artichoke Heart
  • 2nd Honorable Mention:  Elena DeBre
    Marlborough School, Los Angeles, California

Creative Non-Fiction


Creative Non-Fiction Judge, Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is an award-winning journalist, author and magazine writer based in Chicago. A former crime reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, his writing has appeared in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Utne Reader, In These Times, ABA Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Weekend, Encyclopaedia Britannica and many other publications.  He is the author of three non-fiction books on the criminal justice system, The Wrong Man, Defending the Damned and The Brain Defense. Davis has also authored eight nonfiction children’s books.  Davis teaches nonfiction writing  at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Studies, and has taught a writing class for detainees at the Cook County Jail.


    • Winner:  Nadezhda Dimitrova
      The Anglo-American School of Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
      Across from Home
    • 1st Honorable Mention: Olivia Alger 
      Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen Michigan
      Powder Blue




A student-run national literary magazine for high school writers and editors