Write From The Heart

Write from the Heart Fall Fiction Contest Winners!

Middle School Winners

We are so excited to announce the high school winners of our Fall Fiction Contest!

Students answered this prompt from our Story Starters Journal: “The dinner party was about to begin. Everyone was enjoying the appetizer, not knowing the real reason they had all been invited there….” The contest was open to any student in 5th-8th grades and did not need to be a current student to enter.

We had so many wonderful entries, and are thrilled to announce our winners!

First Place

Isabella B., Pennsylvania
Winner of a Free Workshop

The Graffiti Bandit

“Come on, Bently, we are going to be late!” screamed her twin sister Zoe, “ Miss Parker told us to be there promptly at 5:30.”

“I’m coming,” Bently replied, as she raced out of their dorm room, “Is Leah in the car already?”

“Yep,” Zoe said as she bolted down the steps. “She’s been waiting for a while.”

Zoe, Leah, and Bently had just begun their freshman year at Grove City College and shared a dorm room. To their surprise, their history professor had invited them over for a dinner party. It wasn’t a long drive, only ten minutes, but they had never been to this part of town before. The trees lined the road and led to a rural area. They saw a long winding gravel path and wondered if they had arrived at their professor’s home. But, shockingly, when they got to the top, they were welcomed to the sight of a massive mansion.

“I don’t think this is Miss. Parker’s house,” Leah said hesitantly.

But she was wrong—a moment later, Miss. Parker opened the front door.

“Ahh, there you girls are! I forgot to tell you that the house is sort of hidden, but you found it. Now please, come inside. I have a wonderful meal being prepared.”

Miss Parker lead them into the dining room, where they all took a seat and began eating. The table was filled with more appetizers than they could have possibly eaten. There were two different cheese fondues, with multiple bite-sized pieces of bread and veggies for dipping. There were also some pigs in a blanket and shrimp cocktail.

“Wow! The food looks amazing! Thank you so much for inviting us over for dinner!” Bently said gratefully.

“Yes, thank you.” the other two chimed in. “This is way better than the cafeteria food at school.”

“Awe, it is my pleasure. Now, I have something I would like to discuss with you girls.”

The girls started to get nervous. Had they done something wrong in class? Had they failed their recent exams? So many anxious thoughts flooded their heads in those few moments. Then, suddenly, the blinds started going down by themselves. Mrs. Parker had secretly pressed a button under the table that made the blinds shut. The girls started getting a little queasy, unsure of what would happen next. To their surprise, a hologram map of the U.S. appeared, hovering over all of the delicious food. From the looks on the girl’s faces, Miss Parker could tell they were all petrified.

“Oh, I’m sorry if I startled you girls, but this is very important.  I have recently received intel that a teenage girl named the Grafetii Bandit is spray painting important historical monuments in different states. My reasoning for having you here tonight is to request that you join my elite team of spies in catching her”

What! You are asking us to be spies!” They all exclaimed at the same time.

“Yes, that’s correct, but only if you are up to such a challenge.”

“No way! That would be amazing!” They all said in unison.

“That’s what I was hoping to hear! But, first, some crucial training is needed, so follow me!”

They followed Miss Parker down the hall, into a bedroom, then into a massive walk-in closet with a hidden door. Miss Parker placed a duffle bag on the top shelf, which magically allowed a door to open into a dark stairwell. Slowly, the group walked down the stairs, which felt as endless as Rapunzel’s long golden hair.

“Welcome to my secret headquarters!” Miss Parker announced! 

After an extended tour of the spy headquarters, Miss Parker took the girls to a dressing room where they picked out their costumes and disguises. They each selected coordinating spy jumpsuits. Once dressed, they were whisked off to a training room where they were taught how to do incredible stunts. The training room was filled with a gigantic obstacle course, an impressive rock-climbing wall, and even fake lasers to navigate!  The girls quickly hooked on harnesses and began their practice. They spent hours perfecting their tricks and stunts, and eventually, they were ready to catch the Grafitti Bandit! As a final surprise, Miss Parker revealed three high-tech motorcycles equipped with a state-of-the-art GPS to track the Grafitti Bandit!

“The GPS says that she is in Philly right now, and we can surprisingly be there in one hour using these motorcycles!” Zoe told the girls.

“An hour? The other two responded. “Philly is usually hours away from here! That’s amazing!”

The girls arrived in Philly and began to navigate their way to where the Graffiti Bandit was hiding. The GPS led them through the streets of the city and stopped at the site of the Liberty Bell.

“Where is she? Leah wondered.

“Shhhh, listen,” Bently whispered back.

The faint sound of footsteps filled the pavilion. Clomp, Clomp, Clomp. Then a shadow appeared on the wall opposite of where the group was standing.

“She’s here,” Zoe quietly gasped, “Somewhere.”

Out of nowhere, a flash of pink darted across the room. Whoosh! The girls quickly rushed over to the bell guarding it from all angles. Suddenly, the girls could hear the sound of spray paint cans shaking. The Grafitti Bandit appeared from the shadows. A tall girl with dark, brown hair clutching two cans of paint in her hand stood before them.

The girls lept, but the bandit dodged and tripped on her own cans of paint. Bently hopped onto her back, causing her to fall to the ground. The bandit was caught red-handed. The authorities and Miss Parker arrived shortly after the scuffle.

The following day, the girls were in Miss Parker’s history class watching a documentary when the T.V. broadcasted the current news stories.

“This video was recorded by cameras at the Liberty Bell last night. Three unknown heroes stopped a vandal named the Grafitti Bandit from spray painting our precious bell.” The news lady reported.

All three girls shared a wink.


Second Place Winner

Kaydence E., Iowa
Winner of a $50 Gift Certificate

Friend or Foe?

I wShe went downstairs to see what had happened. She gasped. The glass from the locked cabinet that held the antiques was smashed! Someone broke into our house! She thundered up the stairs. “Mom! Dad! Someone is in our house!” She shook her parents to wake them up. “Get up! Come downstairs, quickly!” As she ran back down the stairs, a strange thought occurred to her. She stopped, as if frozen by it. Oh, no! What if it was the Stillards! But it couldn’t be, they’re our friends! I don’t think they would want to steal our things, but I don’t know… She ran back into the dining room and barely caught a glimpse of two people all in black. She chased them all the way out to their car. “Why are you stealing from us? Who are you?” she asked. The people said nothing but hopped in their shiny black car and sped away into the night. Then Amanda ran to the Stillards’ house, hoping that her suspicions were wrong.

Click here to read the full story


Third Place Winner

Eliza L., Michigan
Winner of two novels/journals

The Mirror, The Puppy, and The Prophesy

Aunt Mandy came back with a mirror and an hourglass.

“You have to figure out how to get out of the cage and how to rescue your parents before the hourglass runs out, and my minions get back with the Prophecy of Doom.”

“Minions!” I shouted. “You mean our family!” 

Click here to read the full story

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