Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Crossword Scholarship

Scholarship Announcement

With so many top notch puzzle entries, the competition for this year’s My Crossword Maker Scholarship was strong! The decision was difficult, but the scholarship committee was delighted to review all the creative and clever submissions from high school and college students across North America.

Making a crossword puzzle is hard work! We were impressed by the range of topics, grid layout, and clever wordplay of the submissions we received. Sadly, our committee could select only one scholarship winner.

Without further ado, the winner of the 2022 My Crossword Maker Scholarship is:

Winner: Caleb Shenk: Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Goshen College sophomore Caleb Shenk drew on his experience and passion for journalism in his winning puzzle Extra, Extra, Read All About It. After being chosen as a finalist for the competition for the past 2 years, Caleb has honed his cruciverbalist skills even further to be named the  winner of this year’s competition. As the news editor of his school paper, The Record, Caleb enjoys interviewing experts in their field and sharing newsworthy articles, such as campus ties to Ukraine and COVID updates. He also makes a weekly mini 5 x 5 crossword for the  school paper. In his own words, “It’s always been fun hearing solving stories from friends and having them test out some of my work before it publishes.”

When not writing for the school newspaper, he enjoys playing tennis and singing in the men’s choir. Next year he plans on living in a small-group off-campus house, interning at an accounting firm, and serving as managing editor of The Record.

To learn more about Caleb and solve his winning interview, visit our interview with him.

2022 Crossword Scholarship Finalists

We received a large number of extraordinary puzzles, and we want to recognize our talented finalists for their hard work and creative crosswords.

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.

Amy Cao: Getting to Picture Perfect

A freshman at Rice University, Amy Cao is an avid puzzler, participating in events and activities such as the MIT Mystery Hunt, the InteGirls Puzzle Hunt, and the daily New York Times word games. After completing a variety of puzzles, she was inspired to create her own. In the past she has created puzzles related to her interests in math, fairy tales, chess, and poker. The theme of her crossword Getting to Picture Perfect is based on her passion for art. 

Saloni Rao: The Office Deep Cuts

A creative at heart, Saloni Rao plans on transferring to Berklee College of Music to pursue her career as a songwriter and music producer. While music is her greatest passion, she has always found comfort in sitting down to watch her  favorite shows and films. Her entertaining puzzle, The Office Deep Cuts, was inspired by the famous series, The Office. In her puzzle she weaves humorous quotes with trivia facts, ranging from easy to obscure, obvious only to the most avid of fans. 

Elizabeth Lazzaro: Still Crazy After All These Years

Boston native, Elizabeth Lazzaro, studies civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, but her interests go beyond academics. While for 15 years growing up she played hockey, more recently she has turned towards music. Her crossword “Still Crazy After All These Years” is an ode to one of her favorite musical artists: Simon and Garfunkel.

Amanda Smith: Chef’s Kiss

High-school senior Amanda Smith channels her passion for French language, culture, and cooking in her culinary themed puzzle Chef’s Kiss. Bound for Indiana University in the fall, Amanda is looking forward to a degree in Global Studies––and hopefully more crossword puzzles. 

Chiemelie Chinweuba: Just About Write

Chiemelie says, “Ever since I was a kid books had a hold on my soul. I started writing pretty soon after and the rest has been history.” This high school senior incorporated her love of the people and stories that made her who she is in her puzzle Just About Write. Chiemelie’s love of literature will accompany her to The University of Texas at San Antonio this fall, where she plans to pursue a Computer Science major. 

Congratulations to our winner and all Finalists! Thank you to all applicants for their entries. Next year’s contest will be announced in early 2023.


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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