An Interview with Emma Maloney, Winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship

winner of the 2024 crossword scholarship

After another competitive year of student crossword submissions, we were delighted to connect with Emma Maloney, the winner of the 2024 BrightSprout Crossword Scholarship. Visit our 2024 Scholarship Winner page to see all of this year’s finalists.

Read on to hear more about Emma’s crossword experience, her passion for all things creative, and her advice to aspiring cruciverbalists.

Can you tell us a little bit about your crossword creation process?

The crossword creation process was fun, although the challenge I had was to stop making the puzzle. I am definitely a perfectionist and I think I completed two versions of the puzzle and started making a third when I realized that my first version was better than the two other.

What kind of crossword puzzles do you like to solve?

Honestly, I like solving the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday crossword puzzles because I know I can actually complete them. I also love crossword puzzles that have an aesthetic design to them. 

How often do you write your own crosswords?

I’ve written maybe ten crosswords in my life. I recently became interested in attempting to create one and made a few with a friend. Then, I made a few more as a gift to my grandmother who completes crosswords almost everyday.

Outside of crosswords, what do you like to do? What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about writing and sculpting, which were the other things I would have made a crossword about. Mostly, I am interested in anything creative.

Do you have any advice for people who are new to writing crosswords?

Yes! Don’t put pressure on yourself to make an amazing crossword. I think the best way to approach anything is to do it for enjoyment and let yourself make mistakes.

Do you have any shout-outs or people you’d like to thank?

I wanna shout out my friend Sierra for supporting me in my pursuits and creating my first ever crossword with me. Also, I would like to shout out my grandmother who introduced me to completing crosswords from a young age.


Thank you, Emma, for your thoughtful answers and your high caliber puzzle, Alien’s Playground, and congratulations again on being chosen as the winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship!

Want to try out your own puzzle? Visit Crossword Maker to start building today!

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