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Nantucket Book Festival Young Writer Award

Celebrating the craft of writing and encouraging the development of finding one’s voice through the expression of words on a page, this annual prize is usually awarded at the Opening Night of our Book Festival. The winner and four finalists are selected from the essay competition held for high school students.

We believe in the power of words to shape and change lives. Our hope is that our students will find a platform of words and a love of reading to understand that while they may live on an island, there is no limit to imagination.

Click here to read the 2023 Nantucket Book Festival Young Writer Award essay submissions.

Winner: Anna Popnikolova will be a senior at Nantucket High School next year. She is the editor-in-chief of Veritas, a member of National Honor Society, and enjoys reading poetry and philosophy. She is currently working on a documentary about PFAS, and will talk for hours about it if prompted.

Finalist: Kipper Buccino is a graduating senior on his way to the University of Maine in Fall 2023. He intends to study Ecology and Environmental Sciences, a continuation of his interests from the Environmental Club and Clean Team. In addition to his passion for the environment, Kipper is an avid musician and performer. From Drama Club and Spring Musicals to guitar and vocals, Kipper hopes to continue participating in the arts in college.

Finalist: Goshi Gonzalez is a junior who is almost always writing something; whether it be a poem, a short story, or even tackling novellas. When he's not writing, he's babysitting, performing for kids, or studying history and mortuary science with the goal of attending FINE Mortuary School to become an embalmer/mortician.

Finalist: Sarah Swenson is a graduating senior heading to Smith College with plans to study psychology. In high school, she was editor-in-chief of Veritas and president of the Nantucket Youth Climate Committee, and she is passionate about advocating for human rights. She enjoys going for walks in nature, listening to music, writing, and boxing.

Finalist: Joseph Costanzo is a graduating senior who will be pursuing a career in music. He is a musician on the island. Joseph has been writing songs since the fifth grade, but this is his first time being recognized in the art of poetry. Joseph would describe his poetry style as “Spoken Word”.