2024 Young Author Writing Program

2024 St. Perpetua Young Authors Program Guidelines

Student Checklist 

You must fill out this form and submit it with your completed Young Author book.

What is the Young Author's Writing Program?

Young Author's is a writing competition held at St. Perpetua catholic school. All students are encouraged to participate.  Students participate by writing an original book with original artwork.  Our school will review all books submitted and select the best writing to be recognized by our school community.  

What are the types of books that I can write?

Books can be submitted in any of the following categories:

  1. (Auto)Biography.  A true life story written about self, a family member, a friend, or a pet.
  2. Children's Picture Book.  These books have a large layout with illustrations taking up the entire page and text layered on top of the illustrations.  Example, "Good Night Moon".
  3. Graphic Novel / Comic Book.  Written and illustrated in the comic-book style where the story is told via picture cells/panels with word/thought bubbles.
  4. How-to factual book.  Illustrated instructions how-to do something such as care for a pet, tie shoes, cook, or make a craft.
  5. Poetry.  A collection of poems or a novel written in poetic free verse.
  6. Religious-theme.  spiritual book can be about faith, prayer, sacraments, saints, bible stories, or nature.
  7. Short story.  A made-up, fiction story.
  8. Class Books.  Created by an entire class and submitted by the teacher.

What are the rules I need to know?

  • No special binding required.  Pages stapled together are allowed.
  • All students who write and illustrate a book must attend St. Perpetua School. 
  • One to three students may write and illustrate a book.  No more than three (3) students may submit a book together.  Students may be in any grade, as long as they both attend St. Perpetua School.
  • ALL work must be original.  Students must do original writing and illustration.  Images and writing copied from the internet is not allowed. 
  • If an adult assists with binding, typing, editing, photography, etc., there must be a clear statement on the title page as to the type of assistance given.  For example, "Typing by Mom"  "Binding by Mrs. O'Sullivan"
  • Books must include:  Front and Back Covers, Title Page, and Page Numbers.  Please use the Student Checklist to make sure you've thought of all the elements that must be included in your book.

What are the judges looking for in a Young Author book?

The judges evaluate each book using four criteria.  

  1. Design:  Book is neat and assembled with care.  Judges look at the illustrations, book cover, page layout and overall look of the book.
  2. Story:  Story line is interesting and holds the reader's attention.  It has a clear beginning, middle, and end.  There is a clear-cut conflict or problem that is resolved.  Judges also look at the setting, characters and details.
  3. Writing Style.  Narration and point of view is consistent and appropriate to the story.  Dialogue sounds natural.  Word choices are precise.  There is sentence variety and a natural flow.
  4. Writing Mechanics.  The book has been edited.  Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are relatively accurate.  Paragraphing is appropriate.  Sentences are well formed.  Grammar is generally accurate.

To whom should I submit my finished book?

Completed books should be submitted to Mr. Foti in the front office or in the library.

When is my book DUE?

Books are due to BEFORE Friday, March 22nd at 4pm.  We strongly recommend you turn in your book the week before the due date.  Late entries are not accepted.

Who do I contact for more information?

If you have questions, contact Mr. Foti 



************************ prior year's results ******************

2023  Award winning young authors

Thank you to all the students who wrote and illustrated books for our young authors writing competition.  The judges, Mrs. Conway, Mrs. Hinton and Mrs. Lindquist, enjoyed reading your books!  Please congratulate the following award winning students for their well-written and well-illustrated books.


Mrs. Semenchuk's TK Class won 1st place for "TK Sees the Good"

1st Grade

Mrs. Kelly's 1st grade class won 1st place for "A Retelling of 'Time for bed'"

Claire Stevens won 1st place for her biography, "The life of my fish, Flishy"

Grant Hemkin and Thomas Voelker won 1st place for their informational book, "The Amazon"

Oliver Semenov won 1st place for his picture book, "A Tale of dog and squirrel"

Honor book was awarded to Olivia Haro and Adeline Rolando for "The Apple Tree"

Honor book was awarded to Rawson Cobo and Charlie Bolger for "A.J. at the zoo"

2nd Grade

Mrs. Heiskell and Mrs. O'Sullivan's 2nd grade class won 1st place for "Home grown habitats"

Chase Rothenberg won 1st place for his graphic novel, "The Evil gets revenge"

Amelia Christensen and Hope Lazzareschi won 1st place for their picture book, "Lucky the Leprechaun saves St. Patrick's Day"

Anna Stangl won 1st place for her short story, "A Leprechaun's wish"

3rd Grade

Logan Gaulke won 1st place for her biography, "Game on"

Harper Eyet and Abigail Rolando won 1st place for their informational book, "Here is the life time of Secretariat!"

Addie Harter won 1st place for her buddy biography, "Rosie in the suburbs"

4th Grade

Gus Toben won 1st place for his graphic novel, "Jerry the Rabit"

Wells Colhoun won 1st place for his picture book, "Just ski"

Sadie Bond won 1st place for her short story, "The Secret unicorn"

5th Grade

Lyla Christensen won 1st place for her picture book, "Secret diaries of a baby"

Molly Hawkins won 1st place for her buddy biography, "Rosie in the suburbs"

6th Grade

Charlotte Nguyen and Harper Swanson won 1st place for their short story, "Hope"

Congratulations to all our young authors!


2022 St. Perpetua Winners

Congratulations to our wonderful writers and illustrators.  Great Job!

First Place Winners

Let's be Friends For Ever by Catie Mae Hawkins (Fiction)
Fairy Fun by Rosie McCoy (Children's Picture Book)
Don't Play Soccer with a Walrus by Oliver Semenov (Illustrations)
Yummy Flavors of Ice Cream by Amelia Christensen (Children's Picture Book)
Fun Facts About the Beatles by Caroline and Andrew Fairbourn (Sibling Book)
What is Love Love Love Love by Anna Stangl (Poetry)
Home Sweet Home by the 2nd Grade Class
Hello Easter by Scarlett Burns (Religious Theme Book)
St. Perpetua School from A-Z, A Children's Alphabet Book by Lyla Christensen (Children's Picture Book)
Sports Diary by Emma G., Quinn B., and Darby S. (Fiction)
Where the Animals Sleep by Laurence E. Dengler (Children's Picture Book)
A Creepy Warning by Charlotte Nguyen and Harper Swanson (Fiction)

Honorable Mention 

Under the Sea by Valentina Burns
Monster Friends by Claire Ella Stevens

2021 St. Perpetua Winners

First Place Winners

TK's Mask by the TK Class
Our Heritage Around the World by the 2nd Grade Class
Keisha the Amazing Girl that became Famous for Catching a Leprechaun by Amelia Christensen
Dog's Diary by Charlotte Harter, Lauren Meinbress & Molly Hawkins
Dances Around the World by Lyla Christensen

Honorable Mention

Best Sports Fiction, Tough Shot by Luke Harris
Best Friendship/Fantasy Fiction, Quinn's Magical sleepover by Emma Gillette, Ella Nackord and Quinn Blanz


2020 St. Perpetua Winners


 “TK and Treat” by Jessica Semenchuk’s TK Class



“If I were a Superhero” by Holly O’Brien’s Kindergarten Class



“We are the Good” by Jennifer Heiskell and Sue O’Sullivan’s 2nd Grade Class

“There is a Monster Under My Bed” by Keenan Moran

“The Adventures of Scout and Peanut” by Lauren Meinbress

“Facts and Details About All Holidays” by Susana Ochoa

“Famous Works of Art” by Charlotte Harter and Eva Hartvickson



“The Night Before the Nutcracker!” by Clara Maduck and Campbell Sabarese

“Spring” by Ava Wedel and Kristina Patskevich

“Brendan’s Dessert Cookbook” by Brendan Whelan

“Cars of the 50s and 60s” by Matthew Motto


“Magic in my Backyard” by Estelle Hall and Elena Portillo

“Animals vs. Prey” by Annie Sena and Poppy Tomich

“Animal Facts” by Sophie Wedel

“Revolution of Dance” by Molly Kroger and Lena Moggan



“Nicholas and the Runaway Papers” by Isabella Polson Flanagin

“Tortoise Time!” by Jonah Mateo



“Wreck this Diary” by Claire Francesca Johnston, Libby Hathaway, and Lilly Walper

“Winter Wonderland” by Kaitlin Motto and Tatum Schmedding

“History of the Philippines” by Adam Haro and Maximus Munzinger

“Zodiac Animals” by Gianna Miller and Claire Cassidy

“God’s Gifts” by Emma Larose and Seri Hoban

“The Bad Seed” by Peter Kroger and Joe Boccabella

“Lunar New Year” by Jack Moran and Milo Moggan

“The Apocalypse” by Nora Maduck and Kyra Silvestri



“The Peculiar Pals” by Jordan Silvestri and John Kemner

“Mark of the Phoenix” by Caden Hastings



“Shining Light” by Tyler Bergren

“The Great Bike Race” by Nicholas Aiken

“Exotic Bird Encyclopedia” by Marina Miller

“A-Z Countries” by Ben Boccabella

“God’s Creation” by Annelise Motto and Katie Kostolansky

“Colorful Cows” by Natalie Aiken and Maddy Jerge

“On the Inside” by Tatum Haggerty and Ana Pieper

“Green” by Marina Castilla-Liu



2019 Diocese of Oakland Young Author Winners:

1st GradeChristmas Scavenger HuntLauren Meinbress “Creatures in the Ocean” SECOND PLACE
1st Grade Class “What does the Tooth Fairy do with all those teeth?” HONORABLE MENTION

2nd Grade
Sawyer Fogel “The Christmas Scavenger Hunt!” FIRST PLACE
Madeline Harvey “My Owner is Crazy” HONORABLE MENTION

My Grandpa's Story

3rd Grade

Colin Hale “My Grandpa’s Story” FIRST PLACE
Libby Hanover and Ava Rojas “Reverso Poems” SECOND PLACE
3rd Grade Class “Shimmery Poems, Bright Colors” SECOND PLACE
Santino Voltattorni, Hunter Ward and Cade Winter “The Journey into the Jungle” HONORABLE MENTION

4th Grade
Jonah Mateo “Sam’s New Bot” HONORABLE MENTION

5th Gradethe Pickle and Cucumber Battle
Gavin Wang “Amoeba” SECOND PLACE
5th Grade Class “Chickens After Hours” SECOND PLACE
Nora Maduck and Isaac Smith “The Pickle and Cucumber Battle” HONORABLE MENTION
Kaitlin Motto, Hailey Hanover and Kyra Silvestri “Ocean Blue” HONORABLE MENTION

8th Grade
Brighid Hogan “Until Fear Do Us Part” SECOND PLACE
Rowan Moffett “The Life of Rowan Moffett” HONORABLE MENTION

St. Perpetua School 2019 Young Author Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of St. Perpetua School’s Young Author competition. This year, we received entries from 165 students. Each young author benefits from the experience of writing a book. The following students and books stood out from the crowd. These books will represent St. Perpetua School at the Diocesan competition. All young authors are invited to celebrate their accomplishments at St. Mary’s School on April 13th at 1:00pm. Arrive early to view entries from schools across the Oakland Diocese. 

TK in ConstructionTK
TK Class “TK in Construction”

1st Grade
Lauren Meinbress “Creatures in the Ocean”
1st Grade Class “What does the Tooth Fairy do with all those teeth?”

My Owner is Crazy

2nd Grade

Madeline Harvey “My Owner is Crazy”
Ava Wedel “Poetry”
Dominic Byra and Dylan Moran “D Squad’s 2018-2019 Top Ten NBA Players”
Sawyer Fogel “The Christmas Scavenger Hunt!”
2nd Grade Class “Baby Jesus Smiled”

Journey into the Jungle
3rd Grade

Santino Voltattorni, Hunter Ward and Cade Winter “The Journey into the Jungle”
Libby Hanover and Ava Rojas “Reverso Poems”
Colin Hale “My Grandpa’s Story”
3rd Grade Class “Shimmery Poems, Bright Colors”

Sam's new bot

4th Grade

Jonah Mateo “Sam’s New Bot”
Charlotte Tschann “5 Poems Inspired by Living the Faith”
4th Grade Class “Martin Luther King, Jr. Acrostic Poems”

Pickle and Cucumber
5th Grade

Nora Maduck and Isaac Smith “The Pickle and Cucumber”
Kaitlin Motto, Hailey Hanover and Kyra Silvestri “Ocean Blue”
Seri Hoban “Guess What It Looks Like? Yoga Poses”
Gavin Wang “Amoeba”
5th Grade Class “Chickens After Hours”

ABC's of Baby Jesus
6th Grade

Georgie Wackowski and Kiyah Watenmaker “Disney ABC’s”
Danica Duque and Maddie Ingham “The Chase”
Sofia Beltran and Jordan Silvestri “Bored in Winter”
Caroline Griffith and Aerin Haro “ABC’s of Baby Jesus’s Birth”
Audrey Flitter and Delaney Mein “How to Bake: A Children’s Cookbook”

8th Grade
Brighid Hogan “Until Fear Do Us Part”
Rowan Moffett “The Life of Rowan Moffett”

PAST (2018) Winners of Oakland Diocese Young Authors Faire

Grand Prize Winners of Oakland Diocese YA Faire

St. Perpetua's TK Class, "TK's Construction Site"
St. Perpetua's 5th Grade Class, "Writing the Way to Freedom"

First Place Winners of Oakland Diocese YA Faire

Jake O. (poetry) "The Best Book of Sports Poems"
Charlotte T. (special genre) "10 Things to do When You Are Bored"
Jonah M. (graphic novel) "The Stellar Ring"
Billy O. (fiction) "Super Cookie 3: Cookie Gone Bad!!?"
Beatrice R. (biography) "St. Francis of Assisi"
Marina C. (children's book) "Benny Next Door"
Katie K. (children's book) "A Day at the Zoo"
Maddy J. (religious theme) "Prayers for Support"

Second Place Winners of Oakland Diocese YA Faire

Madeline H. & Decker L. (fiction) "The Two Princesses and the Dragon"
Kate S. & Anna P. (children's book) "The Unwanted Pencil"

Honorable Mentions at Oakland Diocese YA Faire

Matthew M. (special genre) "What Was Dunkirk?"
Jacob S. (fiction) "The Medallion Mystery"
Matthew B. (religious theme) "Outside the Lines"

St. Perpetua's 2018 Winning Class Books:

TK:  TK's Construction Site
2:  Baby Jesus Tried to Sleep
3:  Kindness K'ounts
4:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Acrostic Poems
5:  Writing the Way to Freedom

4th MLK     5th Book

St. Perpetua's 2018 Winning Student Books:

1st Princess and DragonFirst Grade:
"The Two Princesses and the Dragon" by Madeline H. and Decker L.
"What was Dunkirk?" by Matthew M.

2nd MysterySecond Grade:
"The Medallion Mystery" by Jacob S.
"Sofia Likes her Dance" by Sophie W.
"The Best Book of Sports Poems" by Jake O.
"The Crazy Week of Puppy" by Estelle H. and Elena P.
"Snake Eats the Days of the Week" by Julian D. and Owen M.

3rd Awesome Play Third Grade:
"An Awesome Play" by Jefferson B. and Paul B.
"10 Things to Do When You Are Bored" by Charlotte T.
"The Stellar Ring" by Jonah M.

4th Super Cookie Fourth Grade:
"Super Cookie 3: Cookie Gone Bad!!?" by Billy O.
"Adolf Munzinger: The Man The Myth and Legend" by Maximus M.
"In Hawaii" by Kaitlin M.
"We Are..." by Kyra S.
"Jalapeno Jeff's Guide to Some Very Unfortunate Events in History" by Gavin W. and Milo M.

5th Iron Curtain Fifth Grade:
"Iron Curtain, Book One: Consequences" by Caden H.
"Outside the Lines" by Matthew B.

6th Benny Sixth Grade:
"An Adventure of a Lifetime" by Tatum H.
"St. Francis of Assisi" by Beatrice R.
"Flower People" by Roisin M.
"My (Incredible) Adventure with Moses" by Tyler B.
"Prayers for Support" by Maddy J.
"A Day at the Zoo" by Katie K.
"Benny Next Door" by Marina C.

6th Prayers Seventh Grade:
"The House" by Rowan M.
"Sporty" by Chloe S. and Sierra P.
"The Little Flower" by Eliza H. and Ellie S.
"Tommy Tomato didn't fit in" by Gillian D. and Melissa K.

8th Pencil Eighth Grade:
"A Stirring" by Tommy W.
"The Library after Dark" by Liv D. and Maggie H.
"The Unwanted Pencil" by Kate S. and Anna P.

6th Lily26th Annual Oakland Diocese Young Authors Awards 

All the books listed above will move on to the next stage of competition, at the Diocesan Level.  Winners of the Diocese-wide competition will be announced.  The winners are invited to attend an Awards Ceremony at St. Mary's School in Walnut Creek.  Arrive early for parking and to shop with your Scholastic prize money.