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Poul Anderson
Creative Writing Contest

Open to all Orinda high school students, the Creative Writing Contest encourages aspiring young authors to submit their work for expert review.

About the Contest

The Poul Anderson Writing Contest encourages young writers to share their talents with others. The contest was created by the Friends of the Orinda Library and, beginning in 2002, was named for famed science fiction writer Poul Anderson, a long-time Orinda resident. The contest gives aspiring young writers the opportunity to submit their work for review by a panel of experts. Individual private critiques are also available if the writer requests.

Open to all high school students who reside in Orinda or attend school in Orinda, the contest takes place every spring. Students may create up to three entries but no more than one in each of the following categories:

  • Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Poetry
  • Essay/memoir/biography
  • Short Story

The entries will be judged by local writers and educators who volunteer their time to read and evaluate. Up to four winners and four honorable mention recipients will receive cash awards, underwritten by the Friends of the Orinda Library. There will not always be winners in each category. Winning entries will be published on this website, at the library, and may also receive recognition in local media.

About Poul Anderson

Poul Anderson was born in 1926 in Bristol, Pennsylvania. His family relocated multiple times during his youth but eventually moved to Minnesota, where Poul attended the University of Minnesota. His first stories were published while he was still an undergraduate. After he received his BA, with honors, he chose writing as a career. He and his wife, Karen, moved to the Bay Area and settled in Orinda. He wrote over eighty stories and books, mostly in the science fiction and fantasy areas. He was even president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Well known throughout the Bay Area, he gave many readings at the Other Change of Hobbit bookstore in Berkeley. He was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000. His many books include The Broken Sword and Brain Wave. He passed away in Orinda in 2001.

Anderson was an intelligent and talented man who pursued a career path that led to a happy, successful, and creative life. We hope that this contest will encourage young writers to follow their own creative paths.

Author, Poul Anderson, whom the writing contest was named after
Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword
Poul Anderson, Brain Wave
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