Fiction 59: high school winners

Tall kids, short stories

Ethan Stapf

Ethan Stapf

First place

Lonely Cow

The cow was a very sad cow. All he ever did was walk around and eat. He never saw anyone else. Every day he daydreamed about what life would be like with other cows. One day he got his foot stuck. The grass around him disappeared because he ate it. He wished that something would happen to save him.

-Ethan Stapf

Ethan Stapf is one of several students at Indian Valley Academy secondary school in Greenville to submit Fiction 59 stories. And though he placed first in his first attempt at entering a writing contest, Ethan says English isn’t his favorite subject. “I just like math a lot,” he said. The freshman does like to read, though, and said he just finished the Maze Runner series.

Second place

Shoe Life

A Butte County Juvenile Hall bunk.

Bob and Barker were best pals; you couldn’t get those two apart. A day came when Bob said, “Damn it, Barker. This guy’s feet stink, but he’s only been here a week.” Barker replied, “Bob, I totally agree with you, but I’m stuck with the left foot.” Bob decided to step on a nail. He hated being walked on.


Every year, Table Mountain teacher Scott Bailey has his students write and enter their stories and poems in the CN&R’s Fiction 59 and Poetry 99 contests, and every year at least one of them gets published in the paper. Cameron is a voracious reader whose favorite author is Lee Childs and, according to Bailey, he describes himself as a hands-on learner who is passionate about almost anything outdoors.

Note: The Bob and Barker characters in his story refer to the standard-issue Bob Barker shoes worn by the school’s students.

Third place

The Story of Moon and Earth

Long ago, the only things in the universe were Earth and Moon. Earth wanted more, so every day Moon gave Earth a piece of her called a star. Moon gave and gave until the universe was filled with stars and Moon was tiny. Now every night, Moon hangs very small in the sky as a reminder of Earth’s greed.

Anna Banks

-Anna Banks

As one of Chico High School teacher Laura Carey’s writing students, Anna Banks submitted her Fiction 59 story as part of a class assignment. She says that in addition to creative writing, she’s interested in math and field hockey and she “really likes astronomy,” which is apparent from her story.

Honorable mentions


Fire burning, taking what it needs to survive. It cares not for what it burns, just that it needs; the pain its victims feel, but for its own to live, to survive. The homes of the victims only fuel. Like guilt of a human, it starts to burn in me. My guilt is the fire and it is burning.

-Colton Peters


I remember the first time my friend called me. Her voice trembled like a bonfire lit on a windy night. “My sister’s missing.” she said, almost whispering. “What?” I said, staring out the window like I always do when I’m on the phone. Crimson leaves spiraled from the maples onto an ashen figure lying on the cold celadon grass.

-Aubrey Whiteley