FFRPL Home | RPL Home | MCLS Home

RPL Fall 2023

Central Library, all City Branches and FFRPL will be closed …

Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Monday, October 9
Staff Training Day: Friday, October 20
Veterans’ Day (Observed): Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 23

ffrpl logo
FFRPL is the 501(c)(3) charity that raises funds, presents programssupports special projectshelps create specialized spaces, and purchases supplemental materials & equipment for the Rochester Public Library.

2023 Sokol High School Literary Awards Contest

The Sokol High School Literary Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday, April 27.

Read/download the 2023 Sokol booklet, including all winning student entries, judges’ remarks

Thank you to MCLS/RPL Library Director Patricia Uttaro and our Sokol Chair, Andrew Iserson; our Committee Members: David Hou, Cynthia Dana, Mary Heveron Smith, Emily Hessney Lynch, Chad Cunningham, and Iditi Fruitwala; and our three Judges: Joshua Pettinger (Performance); Prof. Kristen Gentry (Prose) and Charles Cote (Poetry).



1st place ($300): Flesh Eating Ants, Shamil Canbolat, 12th grade, Pittsford Sutherland High School 

2nd place ($200): The Alaskan Choice, Myles Able-Kehoe, 10th grade, School of the Arts  

3rd place ($100): The Family Tree, OlaRose Ndubuisi, 10th grade, Our Lady of Mercy High School 



1st Place ($300): Surrounded, Nicholas Cutaia, 10th grade, School of the Arts  

2nd Place ($200): Returning, Lydia McCamant, 12th grade, Pittsford Sutherland High School 

3rd Place ($100): For everyone who doesn’t know where they come from, Elani Spencer, 12th grade, School of the Arts  



(only one prize given: $300): Cities, Elani Spencer, 12th grade, School of the Arts 

A special note to Elani, winner in two Sokol categories this year (and a winner last year as well). Great job, Elani! 


About the Sokol Awards

Since 1958, the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library has sponsored a creative writing contest for Monroe County high school students in grades nine through twelve.

Entries from public, private, charter schools and Home Schools are welcome!

In 1985, Mr. & Mrs. Eli and Mildred Sokol established an endowment, through the Community Foundation, that makes it possible for us to award monetary prizes to the winners and honoraria to the judges. We are pleased to offer a special performance prize in addition to the traditional prose and poetry prizes. Through the Sokols’ foresight and generosity, the Friends & Foundation of RPL will be able to encourage young writers for generations to come.

Cash Prizes

$1,500 in cash prizes are awarded: $300 for first prize (Prose and Poetry); $200 for second prize (Prose and Poetry); $100 for third prize (Prose and Poetry); and one $300 prize for Performance. If a group wins the performance prize, the prize is equally divided by the number of people in the group.


Sokol Award Winners posted to SUNY Brockport’s Open Access Repository

Thanks to our partners at The College at Brockport, the complete collection of Sokol award winning entries (2015 through 2022) can be viewed and downloaded here.

Since 2015, winning entries have been collectively viewed and downloaded 2,006 times from 55 countries!