D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
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The students and staff of the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop have earned numerous awards and accolades over the years. These include:

Parkmont Poetry Contest

The Parkmont Poetry Contest is an annual citywide competition which designates 20 winners in the lower school division (6th through 8th grades) and 20 in the upper school division (9th through 12th grades). For several years, Workshop students from Hart have won more awards than any other middle or junior high school in the city.

In 2017, 9 of the 40 winners were our students—Tommy Fridie, Amir Green, Christa Madikaegbu, Saquan Short and Faith Thomas from Hart Middle School, Julio Bouknight and Shannel Jones from Ballou Senior High, Tatiana Pierce from National Collegiate Prep, and Jailyn Smith from Kuumba Learning Center.

n 2016, 12 of the 40 winners were ours—Michae Copper, Albert Gordon, Saralé Hardy, Samuel Houser, Shanice Plight, Reginald Shepherd, Joeseph Smith, Christina Taylor, Cierra Thornton, Francesca Thornton, Ishawnna White and Jaymir Wise. Ten of the 20 winners in the middle school division were our Hart students meaning that Hart Middle School won more awards than any other competing school, including Sidwell Friends, National Cathedral School, St. Alban’s, and Gonzaga. As usual, ours were the only neighborhood public school students to win.

In 2015, nine of the 20 winners in the middle school division were our Hart students. In addition, four of the 20 high school winners are workshop students—two from Ballou and two from Columbia Heights Educational Campus. In fact, ours were the only neighborhood public school students to win.

In 2014, we had five winners—Seane Hamiel, Donte Harris, Shannell Jones, Daeja Joyner, and Kayla Rosemond as well as 20 finalists—Jada Brown, Shaun Brown, Jhalil Carter, Maurice Coleman, Cameron Gasque, TyJuan Hogan, Nasjae Johnson, NyCia Marshall, Raymon Mills, Chauncy Minor, Daniel Minor, Nebrea Peterson, William Sanders, Corey Simms, Tyranae Trowell, Devin Valdevia, Litzi Valdevia-Cazol, and David Woodland.

In 2013, we had six winners from Hart—DeShayla Bulluck, Seané Hamiel, Shanay Howard, La'Deisha Meriweather, Kee'Shawn Murphy, and Kayla Rosemond—and Ballou had two—Desean Forrest and William Sanders.

In 2012, twelve of the twenty winners in the Middle School category were from Hart—Alpha Conteh, Zena Craig, Kuela’H Simms, Demarco Green, Asia Chaney, Mitchel Tolar, Hailey Lewis, Daisha Wilson, Shaniyah Lesane, Ladeisha Meriweather, TyJuan Hogan, and Donte Harris. Also winning in the High School category was Zinquarn Wright.

In 2011, we had six winners from Hart—Abigail Bibb, Daiquon Felder, Myron Jones, David McIntyre, Lakeisha Thompson, and Zinquarn Wright—and Ballou had four—Aaron Brooks, Gregory Edelin, Bruce Gibson, and Maria Watkins.

In 2010, we had five winners from Hart—Stelita Better, DeArren Dawkins,Sieeda Jones, Kierra Parks and Lakeisha Thompson—and Ballou had four—Maryum Abdullah, Tamera Pearson, Nichell Kee, and Sequan Wilson. Three other DCCWW students won: Jessica Carpenter from Luke C. Moore Academy, Kee'Shawn Murphy from M.C. Terrell Elementary, and Monae Smith from Hospitality Public Charter School.

In 2009, we had nine winners from Hart—Lamara Brooks, Bernice Caldwell, Davon Ford, Devon Hudson, Khalil Jones, Shawntay Kent, Kirk Murphy, Khadijah Rashad and DarVel Suggs—and Ballou had six—Marcus Barnes, Damon Kee, Nichell Kee, Steven Reed, Renita Williams and Sequan Wilson. Two other Workshop students won: Monae Smith from Hospitality Public Charter School, and Kiana Murphy from Friendship Collegiate Academy.

In 2008, we had four winners from Hart—Rian Hayes, Cherish Carroll, Tracey Harris and Anthony Torrence—and three winners from Ballou—Yasmine Jones, Luqman Abdullah and Maryum Abdullah.

In 2007, Hart had eight winners—Luqman Abdullah, Shamia House, Antonio Spencer, Quanika Jackson, Raymond Reynolds, Monae Smith, Jasmine Murray, and Tiara Mason—and Ballou had five—Maryum Abdullah, Ashley Barber, Damon Kee, James Saunders, and Renita Williams. One Workshop student from the SAIL Public Charter School, James Tindle, also won.

In 2006, Hart had five winners—Mercede Monroe, Renita Williams, Monae Smith, Reginald Conway, James Tindle—and Ballou had four—James Saunders, Brittany Keys, Malik Battle, and Rayshaun Bernaugh.

Ten of our students won the Parkmont Poetry Contest in 2004, left to right: Alyssa Flemming, Reginald Williams, Raekala Middleton, Steven Reed, Brittany Love, James Saunders, Tayonne Casey, Ricardo Jackson, Delonte Morrow, and Sherrell Jones

Larry Neal Awards

The Larry Neal Awards, sponsored by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, honor the best writing by adults, youth, and teens in a handful of categories. Winners receive cash prizes.

In 2016, all three finalists in Youth Poetry were Workshop students from Hart: Christina Cook, Albert Gordon, and Reginald Shepherd.

In 2015, all five finalists in Youth Poetry were Workshop students from Hart. Our Executive Director was also a finalist in Adult Fiction.

In 2014, Jaymir Wise was a finalist in Youth Poetry.

In 2013, Seané Hamiel, La'Deisha Meriweather, and Daisha Wilson were all finalists in Youth Poetry.

In 2012, our students swept the Youth Poetry category: TyJuan Hogan placed first, Muhammad Ali got second, and LaShanda Jones was third. The Workshop’s Program Manager, Abbey Chung, won first place in the Adult category for fiction.

In 2011, Sharri Barnes won first place in Youth Poetry and Robin Jones won third place in teen poetry.

In 2010, DCCWW students nearly swept the prizes in Youth Poetry: David Thomas won 2nd place, Lakeisha Thompson won 3rd place, and Sharri Barnes won Honorable Mention.

In 2009, In Youth Poetry, Imani Hyman won 1st place, Kierra Parks won 3rd place, and Jason Goolsby won honorable mention. James Saunders won 2nd place in Teen Poetry, and Deamonte Gibson won 1st place in Youth Essay.

In 2008, Ishmael Perkins won 1st place in the Youth Essay category, Antione Winfield won 1st place in Youth Fiction, and in Youth Poetry, Rian Hayes won 1st place, Devon Hudson won 3rd place, and Breyonna Douglas won honorable mention.

In 2007, in the Youth Poetry category, Demond Parker won 1st place, Almus Bush, Jr. won 2nd place, and both Shaiski Johnson and Marvin McDowell won honorable mentions. James Saunders won 2nd place and Reginald Conway won honorable mention in Teen Poetry. Lance Favors won honorable mention in Teen Fiction.

In 2006, Reginald Conway won 1st place and Terry Bennett won 2nd place in the Youth Poetry category. James Tindle won 3rd place in Teen Poetry. Darcy Jones-Duberry won 3rd place in Teen Essay.

Four of our five 2008 winners of the Larry Neal awards, left to right: Rian Hayes, Ishmael Perkins, Antione Winfield, and Devon Hudson, with writers-in-residence Dwayne Betts and Drew Evans

"Finding Gabriela" and Kids Post Contests

In 2017, eight of 18 winners were our Workshop students. In teen poetry, Shannel Jones won first place, Demarco Tucker won second place, and both Remington Crawley and Mark Washington won honorable mentions. In youth poetry, Christa Madikaegbu won first place, Marcus Vick won third place, and both Shanay Lesane and Reginald Shepherd won honorable mentions.

In 2016, our winners were De’Monte Amoah, Briona Ransom, Jaleel Rush, Myniah Sweetney, and Cierra Thornton. One of our students won first place in teen poetry, one was third place in youth poetry, and three others won honorable mentions.

In 2015, nine of the winners were from the Workshop. Six were Hart Middle School students, two represented Ballou High School, and the last is a Ballou graduate who is one of our Young Writers-in-Residence.

In 2013, Kajuan Centeno won first place in Youth Poetry, Litzi Valdivia won second, and Adonis Watson won third place. In addition Kajuan Centeno won the Gabriela Mistral Foundation Award and Kayla Rosemond won the In Series Award for collected poetry.

In 2012, TyJuan Hogan and Nia Adams were both first place winners in the 3rd Annual “Finding Gabriela” D.C. Poetry Contest sponsored by the In Series, the Embassy of Chile, the Embassy of El Salvador, the Humanities Council, Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Gabriela Mistral Foundation. Adams won first place in her age group and Hogan won first place overall.

Demarco Tucker was one of the winners of the 2012 Kids Post Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Washington Post.

Junior League Teen Poetry Competition

The Junior League Teen Poetry Competition honors the best student poem in each grade from the 4th through 8th grades. Cash prizes are awarded at the annual Junior League membership meeting.

In 2017, Jaleel Rush won the 7th grade and Arman Thornton won the 6th grade citywide competitions, while Samuel Hauser won honorable mention for the 7th grade.

In 2016, Jaleel Rush won the 6th grade citywide while Michae Copper, Bernard Holmes, Jahir Gray, and Eric Vaughn won Honorable Mentions in the 7th and 8th grade competitions.

In 2014, Randre Daniels, Daeja Joyner, and Shannell Jones won first place for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades respectively. In addition, Cameron Gasque and Jermia Joyner won Honorable Mention for 6th grade, Kayla Rosemond and Steven Valdivia won Honorable Mention for 7th grade, and Jada Brown won Honorable Mention for 8th grade.

In 2011, JoVante Hall, Arnche Owens, and Cer'cia Wallace were all finalists.

In 2010, DCCWW students won three of the prizes: Sharri Barnes for 6th grade, Kierra Parks for 7th grade, and Anthony Bell for 8th grade.

In 2009, Marquise Lewis won the citywide award for 8th grade.

In 2007, Workshop students won three of these citywide awards: Reginald Conway for 8th grade, Mark Neal for 7th grade, and Robert Redd, Jr. for 4th grade.

Workshop students have also won the District Lines Poetry on Metro Contest and the Washington Post KidsPost Poetry Contest. They have had their poetry published in the Potomac Review, and have represented the District of Columbia at the National Teen Poetry Slam. Artistic Director Nancy Schwalb received 2002 “Shayne” NonProfit Leadership Award and she has won six Larry Neal awards for fiction and essays.

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Contact us at info@dccww.org or call Executive Director Nancy Schwalb at