Fiction 59: junior high winners

Keepin’ it brief

Madelyn Elliott

Madelyn Elliott

First place


Gorgeous. Lovely. Stunning. I had no idea what to think as she walked past, long honey blonde hair and bright grey eyes. She flashed a smile at me, a beautiful, dazzling smile. Perfect white teeth. She was an angel, a flower, a princess. Anything and everything lovely, an embodiment of sunshine; love.

She was wonderful.

And I hated her.

-Madelyn Elliott

Every year, we get a flood of submissions from Danielle Mennucci’s writing students at Sherwood Montessori, and usually there’s at least one winner from the batch (see the first and third junior high, and top two kids entries this year). Madelyn Elliott is a Sherwood eighth-grader who loves writing, drawing and reading poetry, especially the work of one of her current favorites, Lang Leav.

Second place


“I didn’t do it,” Pedro complained nervously.

Colin Bailey

“Yeah, sure,” Mark snorted, “it was the komodo under your desk.”

“No really, I got framed. It was Jona,” Pedro whined.

Mark snorted, “Yeah.”

“If you don’t shut up, I’ll shut you up,” menaced Pedro, suddenly cold.

“I’d like to see you try,” sneered Mark. Blackness met this comment with open arms.

-Colin Bailey

Placing in the CN&R’s writing contests is nothing new for Colin Bailey. Both he and his brother Cedar (see kids winners) have been racking up wins in Poetry 99 and Fiction 59 for the last few years. When he’s not writing, the Chico Junior High student enjoys reading (the Gone series and BZRK), playing rugby and also winning skateboard contests, having picked up a first place prize in this year’s North State Skate Series in Corning.

Third place

Death Wish

A wild grin and a gun. That’s all you need. Do you remember that dark alley that has the smell of blood and sweat and despair? Go there. Find the man with the pianist’s fingers who tells such beautiful, beautiful lies. He will be your guide tonight. He will be the one who shows the way.

Thea Oldfield

Remember: Instincts lie.

-Thea Oldfield

Thea Oldfield has entered the CN&R’s writing contests several times and this is her first year getting published. The Sherwood Montessori student says that in addition to writing and math, she really enjoys playing role-playing games and is “definitely a big dancer.” She practices all styles, but is especially fond of ballet. “I spend many hours a week at the studio.”

Honorable mentions


Grease-filled hair falls on dirty clothes, mangled, distorted, and distraught, long since neatness. His back rested against the Safeway railing; loitering, the least of his worries. Maimed cardboard sign, inked writing that was not his own. The quarter dropped into the 4 dollars of fatal food supplies for the day. A gruff “thanks” escaped his unforgivingly dry lips.

Colin Bailey

Shark Attack

One day I went to the beach with my friends and one of my friends, Bob, swam very far. I yelled. “Bob, that’s a little far,” I said. “I think I’ll be fine,” Bob said.

I see a sudden thrashing in the distance. Bob was gone.

Then I see a floating thing in the water. He was brutally alive.

Griffin Renzi

The Cat

I was walking out of the kitchen when the cat jumped on my back. His nails digging into my back, the horrid pain as I screamed. Then I heard a thud. I looked back at my brother, he had grabbed the cat and threw him to the couch. Then the cat ran and hid. After that I stopped crying.

Nya Adkins