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Festive Extravaganza Writing Contest 2023

Hello Dreamers,

Festive Extravaganza is not just an ode to Christmas and the festive season, but also a reflection on various themes and subjects that come to mind as a part of the human experience. The works I’ve read have been so incredibly diverse and passionate. I am blown away every day by the power of words to move people. This winter, I hope that everyone who contributed to this anthology, and everyone who is reading this, takes time to reflect on their year and pick out the good things.
I felt incredibly privileged to read and immerse myself all the creative and exquisite works while judging the contest. I found all of them incredibly riveting and unforgettable. Judging and picking winners was incredibly difficult, because all of the works were phenomenal.
I hope this anthology reaches everyone who wants to read and reflect on an iridescent variety of topics, and that everyone reading this keeps following the threads of inspiration they find!

Warm regards,
Mrunal Rajadhyaksha

The winner of Festive Extravaganza has been crowned

Wintery greetings!! We have chosen our winner:
Maryland writer Eleanor Jones is a public relations executive. Her nonfiction work has been published in Essence, People, Bay Weekly, the Washington Post, and other national and local periodicals. Currently, Eleanor is penning a bittersweet evocative memoir about her childhood in South Carolina.

The runners-up are:
1. Emma Gibbs – “THE SUMMER OF 2008”

Emma Gibbs is a full time student at Longwood University studying Nursing and a Creative Writing minor. Her poem "Wild Purple" encompasses the raw truthful nostalgia that comes with growing up barefoot in the Virginia countryside. Her social media is emmagibbsss.


Zhen started her writing journey in 2023. She wanted to document her self-development and creative thoughts and share them with the outer world. 2023 was a fantastic year for her to recover from all the losses that took place in the COVID-19 era. She had enough of it. She craved changes. Thus, she wanted to leverage her words to guide her in discovering her meaning and a better version of herself. In her leisure time, she loves reading, drawing, and almost anything that could help her find a moment of solitude. Humans live in a busy world, and she wanted to find ways to slow down.

Our top finalist is:
1. Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University—Los Angeles in 2015. He was a former Statement Magazine editor who currently writes about literature, film, and culture. He also earned an Associate of Arts in English from Pasadena City College in 2013, and tutored there. He has written hundreds of film reviews for MovieBoozer, and has contributed articles to Mindfray. His writing has appeared in The Bookends Review and The Society of Classical Poets. Emma Stone inspired Alex to submit writing actively to publications after hearing the Oscar-nominated song, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from the “Best Picture” nominee La La Land (2016). His poetry collection is An Altruistic (, 2020). Currently residing in Alhambra, California, he now writes with the sincerest hope to inspire readers while fully supporting the ones who dare to pursue their dreams. The link to his blog is

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