Libraries Short Stories Fall 2018 contest winners embrace Lost and Found theme

University Libraries Fall 2018 Writing Contest illustration showing box filled with sock, umbrella and other lost and found items

Penn State University Libraries Short Stories Fall 2018 writing contest entries welcomed students, faculty and staff University-wide to submit creative writing and poetry entries based on the theme “Lost and Found.” All submissions are publicly viewable at

Credit: illustration provided by Short Edition

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries Short Stories “Lost and Found” Fall 2018 contest winners and honorable mentions represent a wide range of creative writers University-wide. Nine student honorees range from first-year through senior undergraduates to a doctoral student and represent six campuses and six colleges, while five faculty/staff honorees encompass professionals from three campuses, including a research grant coordinator and an endowed chair holder.

“The wide range of submissions came with a wide variety of interpretations of the theme, some, in ways that we could not have imagined,” Cindy Chen, Penn State Beaver sophomore and Libraries Short Stories Editorial Board member, said. “These stories and poems depicted different backgrounds, experiences, imaginations, and we were met with an abundance of feelings and raw emotions that a reader can expect while going through each journey of ‘Lost & Found.’ ”

Each of the four Libraries Short Stories Editorial Board winners and the People’s Choice winner will receive a $100 VISA gift card. All winners and honorable mentions will have their stories placed on the Libraries’ Short Edition short story dispensers. 

The People’s Choice winner, “Prayers to the Open Road,” received the most online reader votes via the Libraries Short Stories website during the contest. Its author, Grace Eppinger, is a senior history and English major at the University Park campus from Wayne, Pennsylvania.

The Libraries Short Stories Editorial Board winners, chosen by the all-student editorial team and listed alphabetically by title, are:

  • “One Hundred Dollars” by Marcelle Maureen, a first-year English major at the University Park campus from Northampton, Pennsylvania;
  • The poem “Searching the Wilderness” by Luke Lowenfield, a Penn State World Campus student from El Paso, Texas, pursuing a graduate certificate in children’s literature;
  • “She Said, He Said” by Jesse Ray Evans, a senior from State College, Pennsylvania, majoring in wildlife and fisheries science at the University Park campus; and
  • “Sole Mate” by Lily Davis, a Penn State Mont Alto sophomore communications major from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Honorable mentions, chosen by the all-student editorial team and listed alphabetically by title, are:

  • “Broken String” by Ron George, Penn State Mont Alto lecturer in English;
  • “Genealogy” by Megan Mac Gregor, Penn State Wilkes-Barre student engagement and outreach librarian;
  • “The Hunting of the Spider” by Julia LaFond, a first-year geosciences doctoral student at the University Park campus from Cary, North Carolina;
  • “The Key” by Sandy Feinstein, Penn State Berks honors program coordinator and professor of English;
  •  “Lost in LA” by Lara Dolphin, a graduating senior Penn State Altoona second degree program nursing major from Schnecksville, Pennsylvania;
  • “Many Models To Go Before I Sleep” by Kate R., a first-year architecture student at the University Park campus from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
  • “The Ring” by Mark Williams, research grant coordinator at the College of the Liberal Arts;
  • “Seasons” by Adeline Mahoney, a sophomore public relations major at the University Park campus from Buffalo, New York; and
  • “The Wild Calling” by John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at the Bellisario College of Communications at the University Park campus.

In all, seven undergraduates, two graduate students, four faculty and one staff member were selected from all contest entries. Undergraduate student honorees represent first-year, sophomore and senior students, while graduate student honorees are pursuing a graduate certificate and a doctorate, respectively. Faculty and staff honorees represent three campuses and two colleges at University Park.

The Spring 2019 Libraries Short Stories writing contest will be announced after the beginning of the semester. To read all entries from the Fall 2018 contest as well as all other past submissions, visit the Libraries Short Stories website at

Anyone with a Penn State email address — and as of Nov. 1, anyone from Centre County, Pennsylvania — can sign up for an account to submit original creative works to the site, and can vote for and also leave reader comments on other writers’ stories. Centre County writers not affiliated with Penn State will have their work considered for distribution from Schlow Centre Region Library’s Short Edition short story dispenser, and some will have their work added to the University Libraries’ four other short story dispensers, along with this fall and last spring’s contest winners.

Dispensers are available on the University Park campus at the entrances to Pattee Library and Paterno Library, the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Building at 201 Davey Lab and Grange Building. In addition, a one-month pilot program with State College Area High School will bring one of the University Libraries’ short story dispensers to the high school in early 2019, in conjunction with the State High Reads (and Writes!) 2018-19 common read program.

For more information about the Libraries Short Stories website, the student editorial board and short story writing contests, contact Hailley Fargo, student engagement and outreach librarian, at [email protected]. For more information about Penn State University Libraries’ Short Edition short story dispensers, contact Rick Riccardo, University Libraries associate director of facilities planning and construction, at [email protected].