Announcing the Winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship Contest

Announcing the winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship

With hundreds of entries for this year’s competition, the BrightSprout Crossword Scholarship committee had a difficult time choosing the winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship contest. High school and college students from all over North America submitted hundreds of puzzles, on every theme from creative writing, film, and jazz music, to hiking, rugby, and photography.

Between designing a grid layout, following clue conventions, and organizing the puzzle under a common theme, creating a professional level, newspaper-style crossword is tough work. While we received many well-crafted, clever puzzles, we could only choose one winner.

The winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship contest is:

Winner: Emma Maloney, Alien’s Playground

OCAD University freshman, Emma Maloney, drew on her fascination with the night sky and astronomy in her winning puzzle, Alien’s Playground. In her own words: “I’ve been interested in space concepts since I was 8 years old. Did you know it rains diamonds on Neptune? I think that is unquestionably cool. But, mostly I just think the sky at night is beautiful.” 

While not creating puzzles, Emma pursues other creative passions, including writing and sculpting. In the fall she will continue her studies in Environmental Design at OCAD.

Congratulations. Emma!

2024 Crossword Scholarship Finalists

Because we received a many deserving puzzle submissions, we would like to recognize our three finalists for their well crafted puzzles. To award their effort and achievement, all finalists receive life-time subscriptions to My Crossword Maker, so that they can continue to make unlimited online crossword puzzles that they can share with friends or even submit to newspapers.

Anushka Pujara: The Secret Life of Anushka

Anushka Pujara, a graduating senior from India, impressed us with her well crafted puzzle, “The Secret Life of Anushka”, making her one of the finalists for this year’s competition. In her puzzle, her love for reading shines through, as she makes reference to some of her favorite novels, including The Secret Life of Bees, 1984, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as her affinity towards music, coffee, and Greek mythology. In the fall, Anushka plans to study History and International Relations at the College of William and Mary.

Jonas Rosenman: Play It By Ear

Jazz aficionado, Jonas Rosenman poured his knowledge and love of music into his clever puzzle, “Play It By Ear“. His theme answers all include common chords you may find while playing jazz. When it comes to jazz, Jonas is not only an avid listener, he also plays trumpet at gigs at the Old Skool Cafe, a youth-run jazz-themed restaurant in San Francisco. In the fall, Jonas will head across the country to study Economics and Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University.

Luke Schreiber: Sounds Familiar

Luke Schreiber’s enthusiasm for word games and puzzles is evident in his impressive puzzle, Sounds Familiar, which draws on his interest in the idiosyncrasies of the English language . In addition to inventing some of his own word games, Luke is a nationally rated Scrabble player and has also had his puzzles published in both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. We are confident that Luke’s best work is still yet to come, as he dives into his passion for Linguistics next fall at Princeton University.

Congratulations to all finalists and our winner of the 2024 Crossword Scholarship! Thank you to all applicants for their entries. Next year’s contest will be announced in early 2025.


Inspired by these talented students?
Try making your own crossword today:

Make a Crossword!

Need help getting started? Read our crossword creation guide for tips on how to make your own professional and newspaper-style crosswords, as well as where to submit crossword puzzles for publication.

Good luck!

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