The One City, One Story Contest winners have been announced!  Thank you to all participants for your submissions.  We received over 50 entries, so it was a tough decision!

Congratulations to our winners!  We announced and showcased the winning entries during a reception on One City, One Story Day on March 28, 2015. The winning entries are currently featured in the Great Hall at Central Library, and will remain there until the end of the month.  We will also feature the contests in our May issue of Off the Shelf, and for teen participants, we will feature them in the Fall 2015 issue of the Teen Zine.

Both contests were based loosely on the 2015 One City, One Story selection, The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez.


“Tell Your Story” Writing Contest

Guidelines:  Submit an original short story of how you or a family member came to America.  Stories can depict a family tale (true or fictionalized) or explore the topic of what it means to be an American.  Judges were asked to consider themes of family, being an American, and immigration.

First place winners received $100 Visa gift cards; second place winners received $50 Visa gift cards; third place winners received $25 Visa gift cards.

Winners for grades 3-5


1st place

Evelyn Chen, Grade 3

Title:  “Where I Belong”

Summary:  A young Japanese-American girl, whose been adopted by an American family, ponders her mixed heritage.



2nd place

Gwendolyn Lopez, Grade 4

Title:  “The Letter”

Summary:  In Mexico, a story about a grandfather and great-uncle dreamed of the American Dream and lay in suspense as they wait for an important letter that could make that dream come true.



3rd place

Andrew Smithwick, Grade 5

Title:  “My Family’s American Story”

Summary:  A glimpse into several of Smithwick’s ancestors while marking significant moments in history, starting from 1642, the moment one of his ancestors set sail to America.



Winners for grades 6-8


1st place

Kaitlyn Chiu, Grade 6

Title:  “The Cost of Freedom”

Summary:  The harsh adventures of a 14 year old boy as he encounters communist soldiers, pirates, and generous strangers during his flight to freedom.



2nd place

Uriah Foster, Grade 7

“Jaol Esgo”

Summary:  In the 1840s, a story of a young man from Ghana named Jaol Esgo, who journeys to America, sold as a slave, and finally joins the Underground Railroad.



3rd place

Eva Lindholm, Grade 6

Title:  “A Young Girl’s Journey: Mexico to America”

Summary:  A young Latina girl moves to America, but even in a different country, she still struggles with the same injustices and emotions.



Winners for grades 9-12


1st place

Judah Foster, Grade 9

Title:  “Land of the Free”

Summary:  A thirteen year old African boy is kidnapped and subjected through the stages of being sold as a slave.



2nd place

Julia Nail, Grade 9

Title:  “Anyone Can Be Successful”

Summary:  After moving from Japan to America to seek help for her sister’s illness, Kira finds success in something she didn’t think of before.



3rd place

Elizabeth Nail, Grade 9

Title:  “Coming to America”

Summary:  A dual narrative of two immigrant girls, Eleanor from France and Patricia from Mexico, who are both afraid of being ostracized at the new school.



“My Family Story” Art Contest

Guidelines:  Submit a single frame illustration depicting your family story or what it means to be an American. Entries were judged on creativity, technical skill, and execution.  First place winners received a free class at Art Center College of Design (either for a class with Art Center for Kids or Saturday High).  Runner ups received gift cards to Blicks Art Store.

We thank Art Center College of Design for their generous donation of the grand prizes!

Middle Grade category


CaedenBecker1st placeCaeden Becker, grade 7

“United Under One Nation, We Stand Together”



NicoleKwan2nd placeNicole Kwan, grade 5




KayleeGunnoe3rd placeKaylee Gunnoe, grade 4

“Hands Across America”



High school category


JuliaSee1st placeJulia See, grade 11

“Yin and Yang”


AngelGomez2nd placeAngel Gomez, grade 12

“No Solid Soil”