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20 June 2022
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2 July 2022

And the 2022 YAFF winners are…

The Young Authors Fiction Festival concluded with a grand celebration on Friday 10 June.  The event, which was held in two stages, was hosted by the YAFF committee and several YAFF judges. The celebrations included the announcement of the winners, comments from the judges, and a reading of some comments from the judges for each finalist. Over 200 people attended the festivities at the library including the young author finalists and their family, friends and teachers. 

YAFF is a short story competition in English that is open to all students between the ages 5 – 18 in the greater Paris area.  It has been going strong since 2001 when it began as The Red Wheelbarrow Writing Contest with l’Ecole Massillon and a handful of Paris-based members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), who acted as judges. Since its inception it has grown significantly and in 2022 we received 685 entries from 80 schools and English programs. There were 117 judges consisting of Library staff and volunteers, and members of the Library’s community. 

YAFF Coordinator, Kirsty McCulloch Reid, YAFF Committee member Brooke Burns, YAFF Judge Carly Bisek, and Children’s and Teens’ Services Manager Celeste Rhoads.

The Young Authors Fiction Festival endeavors to instill and nurture a passion for creative writing in children. It is the only English Language initiative of its kind in Paris. The Library offers a lot of resources for aspiring young authors from books and games, to numerous writing workshops held throughout the year. We hope to inspire a new generation of writers. 

The organization of YAFF is an enormous task that takes months of careful planning from the YAFF committee and the Library is thankful to them and to everyone who participated for making YAFF 2022 a sucssess. 

The YAFF 2022 Committee was made up of; Kirsty McCulloch Reid, Coordinator and Celeste Rhoads from the Library staff and volunteers Molly Belhiteche, Brooke Burns, Lucy McCloskey, Martha Simmons, Katherine Youngblood.

The entries are judged based on originality, creativity, use of dialogue, reader engagement and more. Greater weight is given to authentic stories that are written by the young author without adult influence.  To learn more about the processes of the Young Authors Fiction Festival, please visit the YAFF FAQ page.

For YAFF 2022 each finalist received a certificate and a personalized bookmark with their grade, name and story title as the place they achieved, as well as a comment from a judge who read their story. Two YAFF celebration booklets were published by the Library, with the full stories of the 1st – 5th place winners from Kindergarten to 5th grades in the first booklet, and 6th – 12th grades in the second.

The 2022 Celebration Booklets are available to purchase from the Library in person or online. The 2022 Celebration Booklets, along with the 2013-2021 booklets, are also available for checkout from the Library collection. 

The full list of winners can be found here.

The pictures from the event can be found here.

The Library and the YAFF 2022 Committee would like to thank the YAFF 2022 sponsors The British Council in France, Marymount International School Paris and Union School.

Written by Children’s and Teen’s Services Intern, Diya Katyal. June 2022