Fiction 59: junior high winners

The words are strong in these ones

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First place

Ascendance in the Duomo

A simple cobblestone road does not seem sufficient for leading to the ornate Florentine Duomo that I am about to scale.

I walk up the steps, worn from 580 years of passionate feet of climbers, anticipating the opulent reward. I reach the top, a burst of heavenly light illuminating my ascendance, as if the world was a grand sunrise.

Maya Klein



Maya is home-schooled through CORE Butte Charter School, and one of her favorite classes is one on writing enrichment, of which she says, “Our goal is to get our writing published.” Well, with this No. 1 finish in Fiction 59—not to mention her third place entry in the Poetry 99 contest earlier this year—she’s reaching that goal. In addition to writing, Maya is into art and dance, and has recently enrolled in classes through North State Ballet.

Second place

Birthday Letter

Dear Jack,

How’s it going? How’s school? Was your birthday fun? I’m on a beautiful island, it’s just like Huntington Beach. I’ve got friends with me and we have fun working on the ships every day. Goodbye Jack. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to write again. So till then…

Love you,

Dad, December 4, 1941, Pearl Harbor

Peyton Ahumada



Peyton is a Fiction 59 first-timer and says that the writing-contest format is something that appeals to him. Maybe his competitive streak stems from the fact that he’s a baseball player as well. When he’s not playing catcher for the traveling Chico Rice team of the American Legion Baseball League, the self-proclaimed movie aficionado likes to watch films of all types.

Third place

Weirdo in the Pet Store

“I don’t have much time to tell you this, so listen closely. I am from the year 3000 and the world is being taken over by reptile people. All you need to do is stop adopting reptiles as pets by the year 2030 or you will notice they will start destroying your home and your life. That is all.”

Avriella Whiteley



When it comes to sharing what her interests are, Avriella knows what she likes: “I’m kind of into slime.” She’s not just obsessed with stretching and playing with the homemade goop, but is also really interested in learning the science behind it. And, like her sister, Aubrey, who placed in the adult division this year, Avriella is no stranger to the CN&R’s writing contests, having garnered honorable mentions in previous contests and a third place in the 2015 Fiction 59 contest.