Californian Culture: The Winner of the “Pregúntales a los Nonos” (“Ask the Grandies”) Contest.

ganadora del Concurso cuento corto‘Pregúntale a los nonos’

Three aspects were considered to classify and elect the winners of the First Short Story Contest organized by the Soto Norte Project: history, originality, and writing. As an additional element, added value was given to the stories that address issues relating to the Californian identity.

California, October 27, 2023. This Friday, October 27, at the Municipal Coliseum, and in the presence of students and teachers of the Colegio Integrado San Antonio de California, the award ceremony of the Short Story Contest "Ask the nonos", organized by the Soto Norte Project, was held.

The selection of the winners was made after a thorough evaluation of 150 stories that were submitted during the contest, in which aspects such as story, originality and writing were considered. According to the final decision, these were the most outstanding stories:   


Children’s Category:

First Place: Ariana Catalina Rodríguez / “El bigotudo barrigón” (The big-bellied mustached man”)

Second Place: Verónica Gálvez Rodríguez / “La niña minera” (The Mining Girl”)

Third Place: Eimy Samara Lizcano Guerrero / La Cueva del Indio (“The Indian’s Cove”).


Young Adult Category:

First Place: Michelle Angeline Pedraza Rojas/ El Origen del Santuario de San Antonio de Padua (“The Origin of the San Antonio de Padua Sanctuary.”)

Second Place: Airon Maldonado Gamboa / La cachorrita y la fiera (“The Little Puppy and the Beast”)

Third Place: Yulian Lizcano / El abuelito que salvó a California (“The Grandpa who Saved California”).


Open Category:

First Place: Irene Moreno Rangel/ Remembranzas de un minero (“Memories of a Miner”).

Second Place: Caridad Patricia Maldonado / El duende y la vieja rezongona (“The Elf and the Old Nag”).

Third Place: Fabio Augusto Maldonado / El duende juguetón y el minero viejo (The Playful Elf and the Old Miner”).


Because the work done by each of the writers and their families was commendable, Project Soto Norte awarded recognition to all the participants, especially 11 preschool students who let their imaginations run wild and, in their own way, told one of those many stories that are kept in the heart of California.

“We had to select the winners in each of the categories, but for us, they all won a first place because they were wonderful stories that transmitted to us, stories that are certainly worth reading and listening to since they detail what our grandparents, our parents and our families lived when they were children and young people. And what better way to recognize ourselves than to enter a narration that makes our imagination fly. We are happy with what we have achieved with this activity because the success of the Soto Norte Project lies in building a territory that is united, happy, and proud of its identity," stated Yaneth Mantilla, Executive Vice President of Strategic Affairs of the Soto Norte Project.

This time, the writers had to choose a theme to participate: a) Californian cultural identity, b) mining work, c) social relations, d) the role of women, e) fantastic stories, ghosts and witches, and f) how did the pandemic change us?

For this reason, for Luis Ernesto Rangel Villamizar, Principal of the Colegio Integrado San Antonio, “This contest was an experience that permitted us to discover great values in the children and youngsters at the school, and in the adults in California. Often, we fail to provide a space to these expressions that are very important and have allowed us to rescue the history.”

For Soto Norte Project it is important that each of the actions and decisions that we make generates pride in the territory, especially when honoring the territory’s calling.”


Thanks to all for participating!


Cultura California: final de concurso de cuento corto