2023 Sejong Writing Competition

Winning Entries


Adult division
first place - Josh Poole
second place - Sasha A. Palmer
third place (tie) - Chong McDermott
third place (tie) - Daeun Sung
honorable mention - Haeja K Chung
honorable mention - Ana Reisens
honorable mention - Josephine Suh

Pre-college division
first place - Jade McMullen
second place - Siya Sinha
third place - Eden Park
honorable mentions - Tanner Harju
honorable mentions - Sydney Kesselheim
honorable mentions - Aidan Mickol






Adult division (age 19-30 years): Contestants are to read Kim Jung-hyuk's short story “The Glass Shield” and write an essay in response to the provided prompt.

first place - Susan Habegger
second place - Linda Hout
third place - Maegan Connor

Snior division (grade 9th - 12th): Contestants are to read Ha Seong-nan's short story “Waxen Wings ” and write an essay in response to the provided prompt.

first place - Dylan Chang
second place - Rina Olsen
third place - Sungbin Choen

Junior division (grade 8th and younger): Contestants are to write an essay in response to one of two provided prompts regarding a folktale of the contestant's choice. Contestants must choose one of the stories listed on our folktales page.

  1. Write an interpretation of a folk tale of your choice. Why do you think it was created? Which character do you relate to best?
  2. If you could change one of these folk tales, what would you change and why?

first place - Ian Kim (tie)
first place - Kit Pan (tie)
second place - none
third place - Tucker Bowhall





The Sejong Writing Competition / The Sejong International Sijo Competition are supported in part by grants from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea), DB Kim Jun Ki Cultural Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, and Overseas Koreans Foundation


Major Supporters:

Bisco Charitable Foundation, Friends of Pacific Rim Foundation