Best of the Storytelling Contest

Mirror Need I scream even with this coat, you refuse to see me. my sweet alto
[This submission earned Woodger Faugas first place in the Storytelling Contest personal essay category.] Imagine finding yourself: the center of attention, in a distant, though familiar, land, before a large and spirited audience, composed largely of learned, revered men.
[First place for the Storytelling Contest photography category.] This picture was taken a few months before the 2020 US presidential election, so it seemed only appropriate that a surly-looking bald eagle would appear...
I grew up with a passion for stories and storytelling. This was in large part due to my grandfather’s influence. His story began in 1925, born to a Kurdish family in Syria. The Kurds are an ethnic minority in Syria who have been historically oppressed and denied civil rights, including government representation and access to education.
[Victoria Turner’s submission won first place in the Storytelling Contest’s science writing category.] As the pressures and restrictions of 2020 begin to lift, we could all appreciate some well-earned time off, but even those of us who try to unwind outside work are frustrated by the gentle chime of email at all hours.
Ninad Bhat’s “Batteries” is the winner of the Synapse Storytelling Contest Creative Writing category. The poem introduces an everyday, offhand idiom of the pandemic and turns to search for deeper meaning about stolen time, privilege, and racial injustice.
The results are in! Our judges have awarded the 12 best submissions to the Synapse Storytelling Contest by talented UCSF student writers and photographers. Find out who took the top prizes.

A spontaneous nighttime stroll through Golden Gate Park, led me to seeing the Conservatory of Flowers for the first time.

This is a photo of my dog Zayneh who passed away
As I walked below the Golden Gate bridge along the chain-wire fence meant to keep me safe and out of the bridge-side slope, I looked up and saw this little cut out.