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Starlings Art & Literary Contest

The Starlings philosophy is a holistic one: competition is good but sports should also be fun. Finally, an athlete should seek to develop all her talents. For this reason, we proudly promote our annual Literary/Art Contest.

2022 THEME

Togetherness... Unity... Teamwork...

These concepts help us thrive on and off the volleyball court! See how Starlings across the country explored the theme of togetherness for the 2022 Starlings Art & Literary Contest.


Kaylee Nakagawa, 14, Starlings COLA

Nyla Hales, 17, Starlings Fayetteville Dream

Destinee Harriott, 18, Starlings Dream (LIT)
Payton Balas, 16, Ridgecrest Starlings (LIT)
Harper Lillestol, 14, Starlings COLA (ART)
Ellie Divijak, 11, Starlings West (LIT)

Kierstin Copenharve, 17, Starlings Omaha (LIT)
Ragen Bilagody, 16, Shonto Starlings (LIT)
Kaylah Mothudi, 14, Starlings COLA (ART)
Izah San Juan, 11, Watsonville Starlings (ART)

Jocelyn Cahwee, 17, Starlings Lawrence (ART)
Julianna Limas, 15, Starlings Lynwood (ART)
Kaelyn Hickey, Starlings Eastlake (ART)
Madison Divijak, 11, Starlings West (ART)

This artwork contains over 100 feathers colored by women and girls in my community, symbolizing unity and what can happen if we all rises together. I used paper and chalk, while letting each women and girl use whatever materials they wanted. The art piec

About the contest
The Starlings Literary/Art Contest debuted at the 2000 National Championship and has proven to be a highlight of each season since.  Once a year, all girls in a Starlings program are invited to submit artistic and literary works on specific themes and in categories that include essays, poetry, painting, drawing, sculpture and photography.  The winners are honored each year at the Starlings National Championship.

2021 Art Grand Prize Winner
Desiree Galamgam, Age 16, Nestor

2021 Literary Grand Prize Winner
Katrina Sandoval, Age 15, Watsonville

Gold Winners

Kalila Kahin (High Desert)

Isabela Paucar (Escondido)

Kayleen Melgoza (Central Valley)

Sofia Giacomangeli (Navajo)

Silver Winners

SILVER - Emily Carbajal (SCLA)

SILVER - Marie Jose (Salton Sea)

Zoie Dupree (South Central LA)

Dinah Yelverton (Queen City)

Bronze Winners

Jessica Macatangay (COLA)

Nyla Hales (Fayetteville Dream)

Kaylee Nakagawa (COLA)

Rori Divijak (West Tucson)

2020 GRAND PRIZE Winner

Age 17, Starlings Columbia

2020 Art & Literary Contest Finalists

The 2020 Art & Literary Contest went VIRTUAL due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of Starlings Nationals, so we would like to highlight our Finalists and Top Finishers for all to see!

Age 16, High Desert

"In this picture, I drew my teammates as superheroes. I did this because this is how I see them. I think they’re amazing and I am very grateful for them. I drew them each with a power of their own to show what they give to the team. Each person brings something important to the team that we need in order to work. I’m grateful for everything my team has been through and all of the great moments we’ve shared. Even though our season was cut short due to Covid, the bonds we’ve made will last forever."

- Kalila

Age 15, Nestor

Age 15, COLA

Kaylah, 12, COLA


Gratitude to me is giving back
Why keep getting, when you can give
God gave us a wonderful life to flourish
Saying thank you isn’t hard,
But still, we refuse to say it
We should be so grateful that we get to live
God gave us a beautiful set of parents
My mom always supports me
My dad always plays with me
My friends love me for who I am
I can’t even imagine how hard life would be
If I didn’t have all these beautiful souls
Strive and make me the person I am today
I hug my mom and dad every day and say
I love you
I listen to my friends and support them
I am committed to giving back to others
And saying Thank You more often
This is what Gratitude is to me

- Kiersten, 11, COLA

Olivia, 16, Nestor

Roxy, 14, Ridgecrest

Kailey, 13, Palmdale

Janelle, 16, COLA

Sam, 16, Watsonville

Kaylee, 12, COLA

Samantha, 15, Tijuana

Madison, 16, Ridgecrest

Jacqueline, 13, COLA (and below)

Alexis, 16, Brevard County

Anaya, 14, COLA


GOLD - Rylee Natoney (Shonto)
SILVER - Bridget Buettner (Mission Bay)
BRONZE - Beila Urban (San Gabriel)

T-GOLD - Mikayla Santaella (Unknown Club)
T-GOLD - Alexa Headley (Brevard County)
SILVER - Jocelyn Claypool (Clairemont)
BRONZE - Lauren Pelot (Mission Bay)

GRAND ART PRIZE - Ily Attinger (Clairemont)
GOLD - Lindsey Fuerte (San Gabriel)
SILVER - Natalie Prohaska (Cedar Rapids)
BRONZE - Isabella Hunt (Mission Bay)

GRAND LITERARY PRIZE - Halei Santiago (San Gabriel)
GOLD - Emme DeSimoni (Oak Hills)
SILVER - Megan White (Clairemont)
BRONZE - Kayelani Maiava (Shonto)

2018 Winners

  • Shi'Shon Bitsoie, Shonto Starlings
  • Bridget Buettner, Mission Bay Starlings
  • Katelin Ho, San Gabriel Starlings
  • Victoria Hwang, San Gabriel Starlings
  • Maya Loper, Eastlake Starlings
  • Elizabeth Murray, Navajo San Diego Starlings
  • Katelynn Ngo, San Gabriel Starlings
  • Megan Small, Ridgecrest Starlings
  • Kaylie Stromsodt, Starlings Oak Hills
  • Lily Tran, Mission Bay Starlings