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2012 Kid's Writing Challenge

The contest is NOW CLOSED     (entry deadline was 12-31-2012)
   Original rules are archived here: Archived rules.

Click on the book to read about it ———————►

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PLEASE NOTE: This contest was designed to encourage children in having fun with reading and writing, therefore there were no losers or lessor categories. Outstandingly good entries were published in the above anthology, and ALL OTHER ENTRIES received "2nd Place."


by Leith Bradbury, age 6

Once upon a time there lived three snails. Their names were Clara, the baby snail, Big Tom, the dad snail and Olivia, the mum snail.

Clara said, “Should we go for a walk on the hill?

“Yes,” said Big Tom.

“Let’s go,” said Olivia.

So off they went. When they finally reached the hill they were very tired. They had just reached the top when the hill started to move.

Oh! It wasn’t a hill after all. It was a hungry ladybird.

The End


by Emily Gault, age 11

Sleep, sleep my love, my only,
Be not afraid and be not lonely!
This is the hour when frogs thrushes
Praise the world from the woods and the rushes.
Rest from care, my one and only,
Deep in the trees and the dark!"


by Leith Bradbury, age 6

Once upon a time there lived a girl with her family. Her name was Leith. It was almost her birthday and she was going to have a slumber party. Leith had sent out nine invitations. But only five people could come. When the second day came, it was only one more day before her birthday. So Rachel and Leith were going to make the cake. But when they looked in the cupboard they found none of the ingredients they needed. So when tomorrow came, they still hadn't made the cake.

When all the guests arrived at 2 o'clock Leith told them what was happening. Stella had an idea. When she told everybody, they all snuck off. They got the ingredients and then snuck back. When they got back they showed Rachel.

Rachel was very happy. She baked the cake with the kids. After they had the sleepover they all went back home.

The End.

The Sun's Perspective on Travelers

by Lillian Elise Roberson, age 10

I see the travelers walking, running.
I look inside them and see nothing stunning.
But I see from their clothes all covered with dust
That they travel quickly, to where they must.


by Rose Marie Roberson, Age 13

There are many theories on how snowmen came to be, but there are few as strange as the one about to be told.

Once upon a time, there was a snowman, who made his home at the foot of a mountain in a distant land. He was not like a modern snowman, which is inanimate. He was a living snowman.

One day when he was out doing business, hew saw it was going to snow. Being very wise, he decided to hurry home. As soon as, he was back in his cottage it began to snow, first lightly, then a little harder until soon it was a blizzard.

Then flew open the door and a selfish stranger blew in. The stranger stayed for three days and when the blizzard was over he departed for his own kingdom. The stranger was very selfish, but was grateful enough that he taught he children how to make snowmen.

The End


by Andrew Dellino, age 10

“Oink, oink,” said a little pink pig named Tim. Tim was in the middle of a pizza eating contest with his friends Patrick, Andrew, and Torrey. Patrick was a big, black bear. Andrew was a beaver, and Torrey was a chipmunk. They were all in the middle of the woods.

It was neck and neck between Tim and Andrew. With a lick of speed Andrew won the pizza eating contest!

“Mmmm. Finished first!” exclaimed Andrew. He was as loud as a roaring dinosaur.

“No!” Tim cried. He was getting tears in his eyes.

“It’s okay,” said Patrick.

“Yeah, you will do better next time,” said Torrey.

Tim started to cry some more and then he ran off deep into the woods.

“Let’s go find him,” Torrey said to the rest of the gang.

After five hours of searching Tim was nowhere in sight.

“Let’s just go home. We will look for him tomorrow,” said Patrick. So they all packed up and went home.

Tim kept on running and running through the deep, dark woods. “I’ll never win the pizza eating contest,” he said aloud to himself. Up ahead Tim saw a little, old log cabin. As Tim slowly walked towards it, the front door suddenly swung open!

“Come in,” a low voice grumbled from inside. Tim carefully walked in and just then a lamp turned on! Inside there were a lot of trophies on the wall. As Tim proceeded he noticed that they all were second place trophies, and in the middle, was a single solitary first place trophy. “My name is Robert,” said a big, old dog emerging from under the lamp. “Why are you so sad?” Robert asked the pig that now stood in his living room.

My friends and I had a pizza eating contest and I got second place, but I really wanted to win,” said Tim. Robert listened as Tim continued to explain how he always comes in second and never seems to have what it takes to win the whole thing. The big dog patiently listened, and when Tim was done, Robert had something to say.

“Let me tell you a story,” he began. “When I was a young puppy my friends and I would have really long foot races. I always came in second. Always! You see all of those trophies on the wall? Those are all second place. One day I went home crying. I told my Pa that I really wanted to get first, but I just couldn't do it! He then told me something so simple, but I never forgot it. He told me that when you lose, the best thing to do is just to keep on trying. So that’s exactly what I did. I worked hard and I trained for a long time. Finally, after many months I won a race and have that one first place trophy to show for it. But sometimes I think all of the second place trophies mean more to me because they remind me to never give up and to always keep trying to be better.”

“You know, I think you’re right!” said Tim with excitement. He thanked his new friend and went on his way.

Tim kept to himself for the next few days and focused on getting ready for the next contest. Finally, the time came for the rematch. “I’m back!” exclaimed Tim to the rest of his friends, “And I’m ready to try again.”

“That’s the spirit!” said Patrick. “Welcome back.”

As they all entered the pizza arena Tim was ready. The crowd was huge and the pressure was high, but Tim stayed focused. The judge got everyone to their starting places and announced over the loudspeaker, “On your mark. Get set. Go!”

Like lightening, Tim was eating his pizza as fast as he could. He could tell his training was paying off because he was pulling away from the competition. Five minutes later, Tim was finished. He looked up and the judge raised Tim’s hand over his head. “Tim is the winner!” he exclaimed, and the crowd burst up with applause.

Across the way he saw Robert give him a thumbs up and Tim finally felt a sense of accomplishment. He thought back to his encounter with the mysterious old dog in the woods. He realized that all he needed was some advice and a little bit of encouragement. And as a result, Tim finally got the first place trophy he had been working so hard for.

The End


by Violet Roberson, Age 6

There was a man who lived with his wife and children who were six, ten, thirteen, fifteen sixteen, eighteen and twenty. Their names were Rose, Lilyanne, Rosalinda, Lily, Violet, Rosa and Annasophia. Their last name was White. People called them Blacklins. They were the only people in Blacklin. They were mountain people.


by Lillian Elise Roberson, Age 10

the tree's roughened bark,
the song of a lark,
they say in my ear,
that summer is here.



by Wyatt D. Taylor,   age 12

Allard was with his men at their camp. The evil sorcerer and his army were at war with Allard. Allard went to his tent and plummeted down on his bed with his face in his hands. He had gone to war with his men, to fight Silake, the evil sorcerer and his army. He had left his king and his castle to defend it with it his life. He had left with at least six-thousand men and had lost a thousand of them. Thankfully, his men killed a quarter of Silake’s men, but he always had reinforcements coming in every day. As he sat there, he thought about his noble friend Ronsard, who conquered the king’s throne for him. It was around sunset and Allard needed rest. He sent some men for the first watch. He closed his eyes and dreamed.

Allard dreamed about flying on a dragon in shining armor. He did not know what it meant, but to Allard, it felt good. The dragon was ruby red. Its scales shimmered like a fire in the night. He had spikes sticking out from his head and down his spine. He had matching armor. His helmet had a fire sign forged where his forehead was. Allard saw his sword. It had a one-handed hilt. It was just the way Allard liked it, so he could use the shield in the other. The shield was full metal, with a red dragon head in the middle. He was flying around the enemy soldiers. He felt like he was giving his soldiers courage, hope, and faith, while striking the enemies hearts with fear and panic. Then, all the sudden, he woke up with a jolt. He heard people scream and horn blew.

He got his armor, shield, and sword. Then he opened the tent. There were tents on fire everywhere. There was a huge shadow flying here and there. As he stood there in confusion and panic, there was a loud roar. Then, he heard it again. “ROARRRRRRRR….” He forgot that he was standing there yelling commands at his men. “Grab your shields and spears. Form ranks of circles. Archer’s, grab your bows. Fall in the center of the ranks. Fire on my command,” yelled Allard. He kept yelling, “Try to get that beast on the ground. Then use ropes to hold it down. Watch for its mouth.” The beast finally got shot in the wing and crashed into the ground. The ground shook with a loud rumble. The ropes were flying everywhere around the beast. Everybody stood there without a slightest move.

Then all eyes were on Allard. All the sudden, Allard remembered his dream. As he cautiously walked to the beast, he realized it was a dragon - just like the one from his dream. The dragon lay still. He was just a few inches from the dragon. Just then, the dragon let out a soft roar. Allard inched forward slowly pulling out his hand. He gathered all of his courage and touched the dragons head. Allard realized something was not right. His feet were not even touching the ground. As he was rising higher and higher, he started to feel way stronger. Soon he was wearing red armor. His helmet was exactly like Allard imagined in his dream. Allard could not believe his eyes. He was becoming a dragon rider! A wizard! He’s men were struck with amazement. Then there was a fire tattoo in the middle of his palm.

He started to hear voices. “Down here. Hello, I am still tied to ropes. You know this isn’t the best way to treat your dragon. “Who just said that?” Allard yelled.

“Uh, I did.” With amazement, Allard looked down. “You did?” Allard asked.

“I am the great dragon, Ferno. I am ready to serve you and go to war,” said the dragon.

“We will move out at sunrise. Men gather up. Prepare for battle we will move at sunrise.” Allard said, feeling brave. “We will at least have a chance to attack them by surprise.”

As sunrise dawned, it was time to move out. The knights formed in ranks - twelve rows of fifteen. They started moving out, when Allard got on Ferno, and gave a brave battle cry. “To arms. To arms,” Allard yelled over and over. They marched through the forest. They came to a halt, when they reached the edge of the forest. They saw the enemy already for battle. The sorcerer was at the back, protected by his legion. Allard’s men lowered their lances. And the front ranks charged.

The first wave was a little more successful than Allard thought it would be. Silake’s front line of men were either killed or badly injured. The front line of Allard’s men dropped back, regrouped, lowered the lances and charged again. This time Silake’s men were prepared. They lowered their shields and made a wall. Some of the lances broke through the wall of shields, while others were not so successful. Silake’s line of archer’s notched arrows on their bows, and fired. Some of Allard’s men were killed. Allard let out a battle cry. “Charge” Allard yelled. His ranks started to march in.

There were swords clinging on swords everywhere. Everywhere Allard looked, there seemed to be death. Allard yelled at his archer’s. They fired repeatedly aiming farther back, near the last ranks of Silake’s men. His men fell to the ground, one after one. Unfortunately, so were Allard’s men. There were very few of Allard’s men. “Fall back and regroup” yelled Allard. There were at least a few hundred of his men left. Allard looked over at Silake’s men. By the looks of it, Allard estimated around one or two thousand. All the sudden, arrows started to fire from the edge of the forest wounding and killing Silake’s men.

Allard heard war cries from men. Then, there was a loud roar. A dragon appeared out of the tops of the tree. The dragon was emerald green. On its back, Allard could make out a figure. Then his heart jumped. It was Ronsard, and his green shining armor. Men came running out of the forest with spears, maces and lances. Allard’s men regrouped with them and started rushing towards Silake’s men. Flying right next to Allard was Ronsard. “I am glad to see you my old friend” said Allard.

“Nice to see you to, Allard. I see you are a dragon rider just like me. Ready?” asked Ronsard.

“Ready,” replied Allard. They both dove in towards the enemy. Both dragons torched their enemies with fire. Ronsard’s men crushed Silake’s men. Then the legion advanced forward. They started to hack men with their long steel swords. They could not be killed until Silake was. Both Allard and Ronsard charged after Silake. He ran into the forest retreating with his men. Allard took his bow off his back and knocked three fire arrows. He pulled back and let go. The arrows caught Silake’s back and he fell to the ground. Both dragons came to a halt. Nothing was there except his cloak. Everybody went into cheers. They had won victory, all thanks to the help of their fire breathing friends.


by Lillian Elise Roberson, Age 10

"That old house?" muttered the Springville postman, more to himself than anyone else.

Alice, the sorter, nodded at him. 'It came yesterday, on the 9:45 truck. There is another for the same address. You had already gone home by the time it came."

The postman looked at the package for a little while and then said rather suspiciously, "No one has lived in that house for...", he stopped for a moment to calculate in his head and then said, ...."exactly 7 years, 7 months, 7 hours and 40 minutes."

"No", Mrs. Bruseney said quickly, "you counted wrong. "It's been 3 hours not 7". She had just come in and after speaking with her accent that her husband said sounded part Chinese, part Viking, part French and a little German, she spoke again tilting her head a little, "Do I have any mail, today."

"Oh yes," Alice said, "It looks like a Christmas card."

Mrs. Bruseney frowned, "Alice, dear" as though Alice need not speak her own thoughts about other people's mail, "it is from the electric company."

"Well, I get Christmas cards from the electric company!"

"That's simply wonderful, Alice dear" said Mrs. Bruseney, sarcastically.

Alice sighed and rolled her eyes, "Did you say something, dear?" asked Alice softly, trying to sound like Mrs. Bruseney.

"What?" the real one said startled. (She had been trying to see if it was really the word Noel she could see through the envelope.)

"Never mind", Alice said after sighing again.

It was now afternoon and as the postman trudged through the snow towards the mansion. He stopped a moment as he heard carolers going up to someone's house singing something about roasting chestnuts over a crackling fire or maybe it was about the warm fire slowly dying. He continued walking and stopped only near the Serlein's house to see Mrs. Serlein dishing out some figgy pudding to several startled carolers. He chuckled thinking about what a literalist she was, but stopped short as he reached the door of the old house. He slowly looked back at the walkway. The postman was right. The steps were shoveled. He quickly set the mail in the mailbox. As he did, he heard some off pitch carolers singing about wearily trudging through the snow only to find that Santa was snowed in.

Then he saw something strange. He saw the new pastor park his car and walk up the sidewalk.

"Hello" he said, "would you like to help me put up my outdoor nativity set?

"Sure" the postman said "as soon as I've delivered Mrs. Bruseney's mail to her"

"Ah...thank you" said the pastor.

He watched as the postman hurried towards her house reaching into his pocket as he went. When he realized that nothing was in it, he turned around and set off sprinting for the post office.

The End


by Lillian Elise Roberson, Age 10

There once lived an old man. He lived in an old English manor house. Everything in the house was old. The housekeeper was old, the carriage driver was old. Every floorboard creaked and every door groaned, as though to express utmost dissatisfaction at being stepped on or opened. The fourth and highest floor was freezing cold in the wintertime and was deemed unfit to live on by one of the old house maids who had arthritis and thought it was enough having to climb the stairs to the second and third floors.

With all his wealth you might assume that as in stories such as this, he would be unhappy, his wife having died at a young age. No, he was perfectly happy and his wife was still living. But one thing made him perfectly miserable. It was not that his wife was deathly ill; she was perfectly healthy. It was not that he had no children; he had two daughters, married to lords and a son marred to a duchess.

What made him so miserable were the carolers. They drove him crazy. He hated every night in December when looking out his window he would see many groups of carolers carrying lit candles, glowing brightly in the dark. But the worse part was the knock he knew would come at the door. There was a reason for this, though no one understood it. Not even he himself knew why he hated the carolers. There was one reason that most people thought was it. The old man could not, no matter what, understand Christmas.

Then one day he decided to put a stop to the caroling. That day when a group of carolers came to the door the old man answered it. The carolers were surprised to see someone, as the old man always told the housekeeper to ignore the knocks, but the words that came from his mouth sent them scurrying. "Go away and don't come back," he said in a harsh voice, that turned into a yell when he said, "Don't come back." "That is that" he murmured to himself. That was not that though. The old man had neglected the fact that there were many carolers and to devoid them all he would constantly have to be at the door and so he might as well sit down to wait.....and.....wait....the old man jumped. He had been dozing and was startled by what sounded like a knock on the door, The old man hurried to the door to shoo away the carolers, but when he opened the door, there was no one there. He could not understand it. Then hew saw a package. It was thin though not as thin as a letter. The old man was puzzled by the appearance of the package and decided the best thing would be to open it. He hurried back into his house and closed the door. After several minutes of hesitation, he slowly pulled off the string and unwrapped the package. It was a book but not just a regular book; it was a Bible. A note lay in the middle of the Psalms. It read, "Read Matthew 1:18-25. It is in the New Testament in case you do not know." It was signed, "Matthew, Elisabeth, Anna and Jonathan Hemmingley.

The old man drew back in surprise. They were the carolers who he had yelled at and yet, they had risked coming back to give him this book. The first thing that came to his bemused mind was, it must be a very good book. He decided to read it.

"Master Halcourt" came the call from the parlor "there are some people here to see you" called the housekeeper. The old man sighed and put down the Bible, He sighed not because the story was bad, but because it was good, He slowly stood up and walked to the parlor. There a strange sight greeted his eyes. The four carolers sat rosy-cheeked from the cold and smiling. The old man stood a little ways inside the door and slowly without moving anything but his arm he motioned for the housekeeper to leave. As soon as she had, he quickly walked to the four guests and apologized for telling them to go away.

"It's alright," the carolers assured him. "And you've read what we told you to?", asked Jonathan the youngest, hopefully. "Yes, yes, of course: the old man said.

"And you understand why there are carolers?" this time it was Elisabeth who spoke.

"Of course, my dear" said the old man, kindly. And when he said it, he spoke the truth.

The End

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