Fifth to eighth graders

Middle-schoolers put pen to paper

Schelby Madison

Schelby Madison

PHOTO courtesy of Schelby Madison

First Place

The Little Dirt Road

I would stare down the street, at that little dirt road. It was always dark, empty, unforgiving. I had heard many stories about that road, some good, some not as much. That little dirt road seemed to take up anyone who dared to go by, as anyone who went by it was never seen again: mysterious, little dirt road.

Schelby Madison
Yuba City

Schelby is a seventh-grader at Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts. She says she learned about the contest through her creative-writing teacher and decided she was up to the challenge. She’s loved to write for as long as she can remember and placed third in a writing contest two years ago. Keep it up, Schelby!

Second Place

Ten Pounds

Dizziness amplifies gnawing pains in my stomach, as my jeans pinch my bulging midriff. Across the room, scantily clad waifs greedily slurp piles of whipped cream oozing into sinful concoctions. Smoldering envy dances within my eyes as the slim tweenies encounter ecstasy within each sip. Gazing at my paltry salad, tears of bitter hatred pour into each measly bite.

Aline Ingelson-Filpula

Photo By Meredith J. Graham

Aline Ingelson-Filpula

Eighth-grader Aline’s two favorite things to do are reading and writing, so it should come as no surprise that this is her second second-place finish in a CN&R writing contest. In 2010, Aline, who is home-schooled through the CORE Butte Charter School, placed in Poetry 99, and she’s back this time with a fiction entry.

Third Place


A storm is coming. The lightning will flash, the thunder will roll, the dogs and children will hide under beds. The clouds will cry, the people will sigh, and life will be put on hold. I alone will be calm. I will embrace the rain, hear the whisper of the thunder, and love the lightening as it loves me.

Dylan Henson

Dylan has entered both the Fiction 59 and Poetry 99 contests in the past, and his winning entry this year is sort of a combo of the two styles—“a little bit like a narrative poem,” he says. In addition to writing, the Sherwood Montessori seventh-grader likes acting and reading.

Honorable Mentions

Bob and the Robot

Dylan Henson

Photo By Jason CAssidy

Yesterday Bob met a robot named Number 5 and made him his pal. Bob took Number 5 to Mr. Happy Burger and ordered two sodas only to find that robots don’t drink soda. Later Number 5 took Bob to Eco Charge and discovered that humans don’t recharge. Later when Bob attacked a vending machine the police took Number 5.

Joshua Bronson


I run into the forest. Blinded by tears and allowing my face to be scratched by branches in my path. I fall to the ground, shaking, silently sobbing. Out of the corner of my tear-stained eye I notice a bright red strawberry. I cup it in my hands. Then it’s in my mouth. It tastes simple, sweet, wild.

Ella Shapiro

The Best Day Ever

I was with my boyfriend of three years. Today was the day to tell him that I loved him, but I was so nervous that he wouldn’t feel the same way; the chance needed to be taken. Then, it came out. “I love you.” I felt blissful like a kid in a candy store when he said it back.

Rebecca Kinslow

The Brother’s Room

If you walk into my brother’s room you’ll never come back out. You’ll find three week old apple cores and half eaten sandwiches. You’ll find moldy old socks and muddy shoes. You might even find something that oozes! Mushrooms growing off old moldy cheese; long lost toys and pets, maybe even your parents! Don’t go into my brother’s room!

Ellie Koenig-Dent