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: “They always told us this could happen. I don’t think we really believed it. Not until that day with Elliot.” 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!
Janessa F., Florida
Winner of a Free Workshop
The Man in the Moon
Everyone says it’s going to happen. I don’t think I quite believed it. I suppose I just couldn’t wrap my head around it or maybe I didn’t believe it would happen because it was impossible. After that day with Elliot though, I think anything could be possible. Even sending a man to the moon.
The year is 1969. My family and I live in a small town near Cape Kennedy. Today the Apollo 11 mission will launch out of the space center. They say they’re going to the moon and make history but I don’t believe it. How could a man possibly leave earth? That’s absurd! A man certainly cannot land on the moon.
That is like saying one day people will have small portable televisions! It is impossible! No man will ever touch the moon. My best friend Elliott is trying to convince me otherwise though. We can never agree on anything. It’s quite annoying.
Elliott’s quite the clodpate to believe he can change my mind. I have already made up my mind and I will not be wrong. No one can change my mind. That doesn’t stop Elliott though. He believes those men they call astronauts will touch the moon. Even the name is horrendous. Astronaut. Who comes up with these names?
Unfortunately, Elliott is making me watch a launch that won’t even make it to the moon. Just like he made me watch that terrible movie Sweet Charity. Elliott loves musicals but they’re dreadful to me. Why do they start dancing every minute?
Elliott brought us to some small crowded beach with what seemed like a million people. All these people think this rocket is going to the moon. All these eyes are going to witness failure. How could they even believe this rocket is going to the moon? How do they have so much hope?
“Just you wait. They’re going to reach the moon.” Elliott says confidently
I wish I could be as optimistic as him but Elliot and I are nothing alike. He sees the best in everything whereas I always see the worst. I try to see the best but it’s like there’s someone pulling me, not allowing me to see the positive in any situation.
Honestly, I really try to see the positive. It’s like I stretch my arm as far as I can stand and my fingers nearly brush it. Optimism. Then, I fall into a bottomless pit of darkness.
“No, they’re not. It’s going to fail. Then, I’m going to say I told you so.”
“This time you’re going to be wrong, Rebecca.” He smirks “They’re going to touch the moon!”
“How about if I’m right, which I will be, you have to go see a movie with me.”
“Fine. But if I’m right, which I will be, you owe me a dollar.”
“Deal.” He agrees and we shake hands.
Just then we hear loud rumbling and the whole earth begins to shake. It’s like an earthquake but there are no earthquakes in Florida. Elliott and I look to the left where the rocket should be going up and we hear a loud boom then we see the rocket. It’s going up. It’s actually going up! That’s impossible!
“Woah.” I gasp
I can’t believe it. It’s going up. It keeps going up until it’s just a little ball of fire. Leaving a trail of smoke behind it. Ok, it’s going into space but that doesn’t mean it’s going to land on the moon.
“I told you!” Elliot jumps up and down like a doofus.
“It hasn’t landed on the moon yet.” I grumble
I can’t lose our bet. I don’t want to go see yet another boring movie with Elliott. Also, I can’t be wrong, especially against Elliott. That would be a terrible insult if Elliott was right and I was wrong.
“Well, we’ll have to wait and see if they touch the moon.” He says
He thinks he’s already won. Oh, but he hasn’t. That rocket hasn’t touched the moon. I must admit though that rocket was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. The fire trailing behind the metal flying into the sky. It’s kind of cool. Although, I’d never admit that to Elliott.
“See you soon when they land on the moon.”
I just roll my eyes and try to walk off the beach towards home, but they’re so many people trying to leave all at once. I try to walk but people push into me from all sides making me stumble. My breathing quickens. I’m not a huge fan of crowds. Especially a crowd of sweaty tourists.
Finally, after minutes of struggling my breathing steadies and I’m released from the crowd. I wonder if Elliott is still struggling to get out from the crowd of sweaty tourists. Actually he’s probably already halfway home by now. Elliott works much better in crowds than I do.
Hopefully, I’m better at being right than him.
A few days later Elliott and I met up to hear if the rocket landed on the moon. Elliott brought his dad’s new portable radio. We sat there in a park to hear the news. It would be incredible if the rocket landed on the moon but it’s impossible. There’s no way it’s touching the moon.
“Are you ready to go to the movies?” he asked
“In your dreams.” I smiled
Just then the radio turns on. At first it’s only static, then we hear a man’s voice. “Err. Apollo 11…Err…has…successfully landed…on the moon!” the man yells with joy
“Yes!” Elliot jumps up “I knew it!”
I can’t believe it. The rocket landed on the moon. That shouldn’t be possible. But it just happened. A man is on the moon. That’s incredible!
“See you at the movies.” Elliott smirks
I suppose anything is possible. You just need a little hope and nothing is impossible. Not even if it seems impossible. Even something absurd like sending a man to the moon.
Second Place Winner
Evie P., Georgia
Winner of a $50 Gift Certificate
That Day with Elliot
The bell rings, startling me, and my heart skips a beat. I regain composure, and head to my third period. The cafeteria. The two classes before were uneventful, leaving me in a dazed state. Just the faint whiff of the pizza for lunch wakes me right up. Pizza is the best food the cafeteria makes, which isn’t saying much, though the pizza is quite good. I place two slices of pepperoni pizza, water, and some carrot sticks on my tray and sit down. And then it hits me. I forgot my ranch! But my best friend of 5 years comes over and plops a small container of ranch on the table. “You saved me!” I proclaim.
He nods knowingly and starts up talking. “How are you doing?” he asks.
“I was about to say the same thing, thanks for asking,” he says awfully glumly, and that worries me.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, my voice shaking a bit. He doesn’t answer. “Elliot?” I’m about to throw a carrot at him when I see the sour look on his face.
Third Place Winner
Kiran B., Georgia
Winner of two novels/journals
On the 8th of September in the early morning Brooke was walking to school when he ran into Elliot.
“Oh Elliot, are you walking to school as well?” Brooke said, holding his backpack strap tighter.
“Hm… yes I’m walking… To school.” Elliot quietly told him fidgeting with his banged up backpack strap.
Brooke thought to himself I can’t believe I’m going to ask this but… “Elliot… Would you like to walk with me to school?” Brooke spit out with hesitation breaking a shaky smile.