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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.

Sokol High School Literary Awards Contest

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 the Performance winner. If a group wins the performance prize, the prize is equally divided by the number of people in the group.

Congratulations to our 2022 winners!

The Awards Ceremony was held on April 28, 2022.

View or download the Sokol 2022 booklet (with all winning student work, and comments from judges) here.


1st Place: From Tissue Paper MagnoliasJoyce Shi (above, left), 12th grade, Pittsford Mendon High School

2nd Place: 11 Reasons Why This Is Our Home,  Elani Spencer (above, center), 11th grade, School of the Arts (SOTA)

3rd Place: She Plays with Golden FireAries Champion (above, right), 12th grade, School of the Arts (SOTA)


1st place: Woven Stories,  Grayce Peltz (above, left), 9th grade, School of the Arts (SOTA)

2nd place: PsycheAna Paku (above, center), 12th grade, Pittsford Sutherland High School

3rd place: Eduardo’s Mercedes, (above, right), Audrey Cleveland, 10th grade, homeschool

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

Thanks to our partners at The College at Brockport, the winning entries for 2022 can be viewed and downloaded here.

The complete collection of Sokol award winning entries (2015 through 2022) can be viewed and downloaded here.

Since 2015, winning entries have been downloaded collectively more than 2,000 times, from at least 44 countries!