Libraries short stories fall 2019 contest winners announced

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The winning writers of Penn State University Libraries Short Stories’ “Brunchin’ Around” fall 2019 contest have been announced. Representing seven Penn State campuses, the latest writing contest challenged Penn State students, faculty and staff across the commonwealth to unleash their best original short stories or poetry on the theme "Brunchin’ Around." 

"I think the submissions for the contest were some of the most unique and creative that we have seen yet! They were a pleasure to judge," said Sarah Williams, a Penn State University Park student and member of the all-student Editorial Board. 

Each of the four Libraries Short Stories Editorial Board winners and the People’s Choice winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card. All winning stories, including honorable mentions, will be added to the Libraries’ Short Edition short story dispensers, located around the University Park campus and six campus libraries, and at Schlow Centre Region Library

The People’s Choice winner, “Breakfast with Souls,“ received the most online reader votes via the Libraries Short Stories website during the contest. Its author, Kelsey Cramer, is a marketing and management student at Penn State’s Abington campus.

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

  • "The Daffodil House," by Isaac Barringer, a first year finance and accounting major at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College from Union City, Pennsylvania. 
  •  “An Island Brunch,” a poem by RRRadan (pen name), a second year doctoral candidate in plant pathology and international agriculture and development (INTAD) at University Park from Greene, New York. 
  • "To Brunch?" A short story by Sam Cabot (pen name Johann Z. Lecker,) a senior mechanical engineering major at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • "The Paranormal Sunday Brunch," a short story by Megan Crisafulli, a senior biology major at University Park from Wilmington, North Carolina.

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

  • "Brunch in the Mountains," a poem by Felicia Bellamy, a first-year human development and family studies major at World Campus from Glassboro, New Jersey. 
  • "Brunch Crunch," a poem by Michael Polgar, associate professor of sociology at Hazleton.
  • "Bloody Mary," a short story by Sherry Roush, professor of Italian at University Park.
  • "The Last Brunch," a short story by Layne Deakins, a junior English and Italian major at University Park from Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.

To read all entries from the fall 2019 contest as well as past contest submissions, visit the Libraries Short Stories website at

Anyone with a Penn State email address and 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’ nine other short-story dispensers, along with other previous contest winners.

Penn State Libraries short-story dispensers at the University Park campus can be found at: 

  • Paterno Library entrance
  • Pattee Library mall entrance
  • Grange Building entrance at Pollock  

In addition, Penn State Libraries short-story dispensers also are at, or near:

  • Schlow Centre Region Library, State College, Pennsylvania
  • Penn State Abington College Library  
  • John M. Lilley Library at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Berks Thun Library at Penn State Berks
  • John D. Vairo Library at Penn State Brandywine
  • Penn State Harrisburg Library
  • Lee R. Glatfelter Library at Penn State York

For more information about past or upcoming writing contests, visit Questions about the Libraries Short Stories writing contests, the Libraries Short Stories online platform, or short-story dispensers’ curricular or co-curricular use can be directed to Student Engagement Coordinator Hailley Fargo at [email protected].