Storytelling Contest Winners Charm, Haunt, and Mesmerize

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Entries to the fourth annual Synapse Storytelling Contest offered an astonishing array of imaginative and captivating scenes that challenged judges to settle on the best. But settle they did. And today, we are proud to present the winners.

Winning submissions will be published on this website and in our newsletter this fall. And be sure to come back every week throughout the academic year to enjoy entries from all of our talented contest contributors.

First place

Photography — Parag Srivastava’s image Paddling with Serenity is arresting in its tranquility. The texture of the rippling water surface mesmerizes the viewer while also conveying the peaceful floating movement of the duck, who’s fluffy feathers and serene expression are exquisitely detailed.

Nonfiction — Nina Djukic’s To Be Laid Open meditates on the fascinating journey through the interior of the human body taken by a medical student in anatomy lab.

Fiction — Camille Moore’s Inside Voice is an evocative, subtly haunting story of a young girl learning how to dig for clams. The story’s themes of isolation, desire, and disillusion are woven tightly through the narrative, asking questions to which there are no easy answers.

Poetry — Nina Escueta’s Once I climbed a hill captures the strange feeling of towering over a landscape while still feeling small. By blending the simple scene of climbing a hill with the specifics of the great open spaces visible from San Francisco’s hilltops, the author makes tangible the dramatic shifts in perspective that can happen at any stage of life.

Second place

Photo — Cable Car by Cuyler Luck

Nonfiction — A Balikbayan Box For My Ballers by Gabrielle Rabadam

Fiction ‑ The Ultimate Experiment by Deepa Rajan

Poetry — gutenburg discontinuity by Coryna Ogunseitan

Third place

Photo — Pink Triangle by Ali Zahir

Nonfiction — The Infinitely Big in the Infinitely Small by Julianne Riggs

Fiction — The Hammer by Janice Goh

Poetry — as we made to leave the bagelry by Nina Djukic

Honorable Mentions

Photo — Santa Monica Pier by Ruth Chincanchan; Got My Eyes On You by Parag Srivastav; With Arms Wide Open by Parag Srivastav; North on Van Ness by Yash Huilgol; Domesticated Spirits by Victoria Turner; Winter in NYC by Sham Rampersaud.

NonFiction — Behind Their Wheels by Michelle Bui, Untitled by Catherine Oksas, and Ours Is Not To Reason Why – Caring For A Retired Military Surgeon by Abu Tahir Taha.

Fiction — Hannah the Ghost by Camille Moore

Poetry — Discovery by Matthew Klope; Heavens on Sunday March by Camille Moore; Tinderdating by Eszter Kish.