Living Through the Coronavirus

… the conversation continues

2nd Place – A Deadly Dream

by Alexis Beeler, 04/09/2020, Traverse City, MI Middle School 6-8 Category The soft clink of the ceramic onto the glass gave way to the peaceful surroundings of a Monday morning. The sun peaking through the trees, dying the dark sky with oranges and reds. It seemed that it was the only aspect of the day I could grasp. I could rely on the sun rising, showering warmth onto the Earth . . .

2nd Place – At Home

by Mae Schillinger, 05/07/2020, Traverse City, MI Elementary K-5 Category The deer are running across the backyard. I am six. Will this Corona virus ever stop? . .

2nd Place – Hi-lo, hi..low times

by Ashley Bursian, May 9th, 2020, traverse city, Mi Adult Category Luckily for me, I have some experience with the hardships of quarantine. There was once a point in my life, while homeless, that myself and two sons lived year round in a 1964 hi-lo camper, for 2 years. This is a camper about the size of an average household bathroom, or small, studio apartment size kitchen, perhaps, to warrant perspective . . .

2nd Place – Taken for Granted

by Alyssa Masiewicz, 05/07/2020, Traverse City, MI High School 9-12 Category Before this global pandemic occurred, I never realized how lucky I was. I had two working parents. I got to go to school and be with my friends. I got to go to class and ask questions to teachers in person . . .


We know these are very difficult times financially. If you’re able, please help us keep our nonprofit going with a donation, no matter how big or small. Thank you!

Life in the Time of Virus Essay Contest

Thanks for all who submitted their entries! As a note, this website will remain open for additional entries until the pandemic becomes a thing of the past.

Best wishes,
Anne Stanton
Executive Director
national Writers Series

Submitted Stories


We are accepting submissions from anywhere in the world. We ask that submissions be truthful, civil in tone, with no profanity or personal attacks.

You may make more than one entry, though all entries are moderated. 

Judging of submissions began on June 30, 2020 and the winners were announced August 23rd at our fundraiser with Susan Goldberg, editor-in-chief of National Geographic.

Because the story is evolving day-by-day, week-by-week, we’ll keep this website open indefinitely. Submissions will be digitally preserved by the Traverse Area District Library.

The National Writers Series is a nonprofit, dedicated to holding great conversations with nationally renowned authors. Net proceeds of our events go to our Raising Writers programs that help build the reading and writing skills of area youth. For more information, go to

While you’re home, take a look at or listen to some of the National Writers Series past author events. They were so much fun!

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