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29th Annual Larry Neal Writers' Competition

The Larry Neal Writers’ Competition commemorates the artistic legacy and vision of Larry Neal, the renowned author, academic and former Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH). Cash awards are given for artistic excellence to adult, teen and youth writers that reside in the District of Columbia. Awards were presented at the 29th Annual Larry Neal Writers’ Awards Ceremony on May 7, 2012, in partnership with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Winners were awarded at the Larry Neal Writers’ Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 4, 2012 at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Elizabethan Hall, held in partnership with the PEN/Faulker Foundation. Julie Otsuka, 2012 winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction provided opening remarks. The ceremony was the culminating event for the writing competition, which was open to writers who reside in the District of Columbia. DCCAH received more than 150 submissions in 2012. 

“The writing is outstanding” says Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. “The creativity and talent of DC’s writers never ceases to amaze me. I am truly proud of all of this hometown talent.”


Adult Categories

Poetry Finalists

  • 1st - Sandra Beasley
  • 2nd - Holly Bass
  • 3rd- Fred Joiner
  • Fiction Finalists

  • 1st - Abbey Chung
  • 2nd- Robert Williams
  • 3rd- Gabriel Louis

Dramatic Writing Finalists

  • 1st - Randy Baker
  • 2nd - Paco Madden
  • 3rd - Danielle Mohlman

Teen Categories

Poetry Finalists

  • 1st- Asia Alston (Ellington High School)
  • 2nd- Lauryn Nesbitt (Ellington High School)
  • 3rd- Idia Leigh (Ellington High School)

Fiction Finalists

  • 1st - Kehinde Dosunmu (School Without Walls High School)
  • 2nd- Marcus Brown (Ellington High School)
  • 3rd- Cara Rancin (Ellington High School)

Youth Categories

Poetry Finalists

  • 1st- TyJuan Hogan (Hart Middle School)
  • 2nd- Muhammad Ali (Hart Middle School)
  • 3rd- LaShanda Jones (Hart Middle School)

Fiction Finalists

  • 1st- Shu Yu Offner (St. Peter School)
  • 2nd- Claire Schmitt (Lafayette Elementary School)

For more information, contact Carlyn Madden, Arts Education Manager or call (202) 724-5613.