River Forest Public Library River Forest Public Library

Our Short Story Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our first-ever short story writing contest. Thank you to everyone who participated. We received many excellent submissions and were inspired by your creativity and imagination. We are excited to share the winning and runner-up stories with our community. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 

Adult Contest 

Winner – Ariel Roberts 

I’ll Breathe Your Air by Ariel Roberts is about a woman who undergoes a medical procedure to have her consciousness transferred into another body—the body of her childhood friend. This thought-provoking story asks us to ponder whether one’s essence is found in the mind or the body. 

Ariel grew up in River Forest, and is currently a second-year student at Oberlin College, majoring in Cinema Studies and minoring in East Asian Studies and Creative Writing. She is hoping to work in film and media production in the future. She enjoys fiction writing as a method of meditating on world issues and the human condition.

Read the full story 


Runner Up – Emily Hampson 

Couch Debris by Emily Hampson uses an old sofa as a catalyst for memories of family and growing up. Anyone who has ever felt nostalgic thinking about the furniture in their childhood home will relate to this story.


Teen Contest 

Winner – Kian Overall 

Our teen winner is Kian Overall. His story, Two Sides: The Nazi Invasion of Poland, is set during WWII and features alternating perspectives between a soldier and a young Jewish girl.  

Kian is in 7th grade at Alcuin Montessori School in Oak Park. In his spare time, Kian enjoys reading, practicing gymnastics, and playing African drums. 

Read the full story 


Runner-Up – Cooper Jones 

Cooper’s story The Downfall is a science-fiction story about the ingenuity of the human race in the face of intergalactic space conflict. 

 Cooper is a freshman at Fenwick High School. 

 Read the full story.