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Monthly 2024 Mini Story “Contest” – Just Submit Your Story – Any Story!

Story Reading

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

Thank you for being part of our enthusiastic community. We're grateful for all that you bring to our world and wish you a year full of health, peace, laughter, and creative energy.

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary in 2024, we'll be hosting a Monthly Challenge for all writers who would like to participate. These fun activities are open to anyone ages 7+, including alumni and parents.

The general limit will be 1000 words or so.

Enjoy exploring your story with your characters, settings, and big doosy of a problem!


  • Make us Worry
  • Make us Care
  • Make us Laugh
  • Make us say, "Whoa."
  • Make us Fall in Love with your characters
  • Make us Angry.
  • Make us Think
  • Make us choke up with tears
  • Make us feel the strength and power.
  • Make us Feel...whole.


OUR July CONTEST CHALLENGE 

is now OPEN!

Challenge: Just Submit a Story, Poem, or Essay, Comic, or Video!


To submit your stories, please send them to: [email protected].

Include:

  • Parent's Name
  • Parent's Email Address
  • Writer's Name
  • Writer's Name to be displayed if chosen
  • Writer's Age
  • A Google Docs Link, Word Doc, Apple Pages, or photos of handwritten & illustrated pages of your story
  • Permission to upload to our blog (Yes or No).


We look forward to reading your story!

Royd Hatta & Shu-Hsien Ho
Writing Coaches

Our Current Story Contest:

JULY

July Story Contest1


June's Story Prompt: 

 The Special World of Summer

👯👨‍🦽👨‍🦽👨‍🦼👩‍🦯🏃‍♀️👭👬👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👩‍👦👨‍👧‍👦

🦊🐯🐷🐸🐵🐥🐙🐋🐈🐕‍🦺🦨


 Or, CONTINUE with a current story. 


June's Challenge: 


Use the Five senses. You know them!

When you add rich descriptions while triggering those senses of smell, sight, hearing, touch, and taste, you can hypnotize us merely with your words. You can send us into a whole new world, the extra-ordinary world, the special world of your story. Put us smack dab in the middle of your scene and environment. Make us sense the smell of flowers or (my favorite) popcorn wafting in the air.  





Our June Story Contest has wrapped up!

Check out the winning stories below!

June Story Contest

Congratulations, June 2024 Winners!

Congrats, June Winners!


Piper and the Strawberry Surprise

by Samhita Singh, 9

Suddenly, a flash of light appeared before her. A white circle, which was most likely a portal, opened. The circle was bright, but you could see the colors swirling inside. It was inviting the girl, it seemed. But she knew she should go back home. On the other hand, she was longing for adventure, something exciting. And this seemed like the perfect thing.


Silence in the Shadows

by Matilda Leather, 11

I pull out my pocket knife and flick up the saw attachment and grab a small bundle of neatly coiled rope. I unwind it slowly and tie the end of it to a metal loop on the end of my knife. Then, I throw it with all my might into the wall opposite me. To double check that it was secure, I tug at the rope, and to my pleasure, it doesn't come out. I walk slowly across the cable and use the rope as a support.  When I get to the edge of the skyscraper,  I whisper to myself “ I made it!”, and I almost did.


Grim Reaper • Chapter 3: A Little Thing Called School

by Megan W., 11

Hey. If you look at me, you probably don’t think “Wow, she looks like she has a really cool boyfriend.” It’s true, I don’t. Mark is humble, nice, a good listener (except when he’s super stressed), and a total drama king (Not always cool, but awesome). But he’s just like me. He overreacts, panics, and is perfect for me. I overreact, panic, and am perfect for him.


Grim Reaper • Chapter 4 : I Think We’ll Be Friends

by Megan W., 11

Then I saw the spirit I was collecting.

She looked around fifteen, maybe slightly younger than me. She had big, green, frantic eyes. She looked panicked, as most souls do. Her hip-length auburn hair swayed, as she turned her head back and forth. But when her eyes set on me, she stopped panicking. 

“Hi. You’re younger than I thought.” I would usually grumble at this comment, but when this girl said it, it rolled off me like rain.

“Well, the figure you’re thinking about is probably my dad.”

“I’m Lindsey. And you?”

“Nicola, but call me Nico.” I couldn’t believe my ears, eyes, and all my body parts. This soul was treating like a normal person!








Our May Story Contest has wrapped up!

Check out the winning stories below!

May Story Contest

Congratulations, May 2024 Winners!

Congrats, May Winners!


The Pig Magician by Sharanya, 10

Gus was curious. He followed the humans to the magician. He squeezed through the crowd to the front. In the center of the crowd, was the magician....


Rockstar Pirates by Bastian T.

They went into the dojo and Boomer said, “Hello! We are friends that want to practice...."

 Boomer saw the girl from earlier and realized that the girl was powerful.

“Do you want a 1-v-1?” he said.

The little girl replied, “Okay, may the best fighter win.”

Then the girl took out her swords and charged, trying to cut Boomer in an X shaped slash. He blocked the attack luckily. Boomer dashed backward, trying to find an opportunity to attack. Boomer made cymbals and threw them at the girl. She dodged the cymbals. Boomer then tried to kick the air, which created bass drums. The girl did a stance.

“What is that?” Boomer thought.


Path to the House by Max Yang, 9

He leaned his hand against the smooth stone wall, steadying himself. 

         Scrape! Clunk! The stone beside him moved to reveal a brightly lit corridor shining warm orange light that blinded him. A moment later a blast of heat met his face, blowing his medium-brown hair into a knot. Alex fell in! He peered around. Iridescent light glowed all around, oak doors disappeared into the distance, gold plating lined the walls.


Gizmo and Lake Xochimilco by Alex Hsu

Although she wanted the shrimp back in possession of the axolotls, she was still worried about Gizmo and told him not to go. Of course, Gizmo did not listen to her and started planning. Their plan looked something like this:

Step one: locate something to carry the shrimp in

Step two: figure out how to get the shrimp out of the tank

Step three: transport the shrimp

Step four: get the shrimp into a hidden place so the humans can’t find them again. 


The Last Water Bird by Ryan Hsu

“To defeat The Unstoppable Troll you must find the Misty Stone. The Misty Stone is a stone that heals and destroys dark magic. Unfortunately, we’ve figured out that The Unstoppable Troll has cursed animals and they are under his control.” 


Robot 7 by Enzo

“Authorized personnel only.”

I spun around. Standing behind me was a five foot long, bright red floating cube, with a giant silver number one painted on each of its sides. On top of the cube was another smaller cube with two eyes on the front.

“I am authorized personnel,” I lied.


Cake Survival - Part III by Connor Seeker, 10

Connor continues the adventures of a team of tiny human-like aliens in their egg-shaped spaceships. They search for the evil Dark Wizard on Earth. 


“Amy get up! The store is on fire!” I shouted over the crackling. 

Amy jumped up and ran to the control room to look out of the windows. As Amy woke everyone in ship 1, 2, 3 and 4 over the intercom, I looked for a place to land.

”We need to fly over the ocean!” I shouted. “It’s the closest landing place.”

“Where?” Amy asked.

“Some place in California called Safeway!”



Gummy Bear & Fox by Maya Seeker, 8

Oh no, there is no food! I'm gonna go shopping! 

Eeek, a fox. Hello!

Boo! You look yummy!


Protectors of the Bioverse by Camden Bac, 11

“Where are our parents?” I ask and then Hootius answers. 

“Your parents are in a warehouse, deep in the Amazon rainforest. The important thing is that they are safe. They are staying with many wild animals, who were also caught by the EVIL person who trapped them. He is a POACHER."


The Clever Robot Parrot by Medha Raman, 8

Parents: You guys made a robot again?

Parents: This is the third time. I told you not to.

Boy: Sorry.


Mr. Magic Dude 1: Adventures in Mielkid by Colin K.

Mr. Magic Dude is a wizard who has insanely powerful skills.  His main power is that he can do absolutely anything with his magic wand, so it is important he doesn’t lose it. Trill the pigeon also has magical powers. When he attacks bad guys, he shoots poisonous dragon’s breath out of his beak.  


It’s Dark Outside by Ben V. Y., 12

What in the world was that thing? Lei eventually halted at a bench by the road, his breaths coming in ragged gasps, his stomach throbbing, and his mind in disarray.


Fovos by Marin, 14

While I was out, I imagined a voice. The female voice rang in my head, sharp and commanding. "The fates have great plans for you. Don't mess it up."



Our April Story Contest has wrapped up!

Check out the winning stories below!

April Story Contest 2024

Congratulations, April 2024 Winners!


All About Super Cat! by Nita

Circle of Friends by Max Chen

How a Mouse Became a Prince by Max Chen

A Rainbow Realization by Olivia Chen

All About Golf and Its Benefits by Justin

XWolf - An Excerpt by Vedaant

Grim Reaper - Chapter 2 by Megan W.

The WORLD Above by Sharanya

Opposites Attract by Kalpana Mudambi

Eclipse by Ivy

Chef Galileo Cubed by Beata Ang-Dutta (Declined to Share) 



April's Story Prompt: 

Friends, Allies, Teams 

👯👨‍🦽👨‍🦽👨‍🦼👩‍🦯🏃‍♀️👭👬👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👩‍👦👨‍👧‍👦

🦊🐯🐷🐸🐵🐥🐙🐋🐈🐕‍🦺🦨


 Or, CONTINUE with a current story. 


April's Challenge:


"Make us Curious" and "Make us say, "Whoa!" 

"Make us Worry" and "Make us Care!"


Regarding this month's "friends" prompt, ponder these questions:

Do best friends like each other the first time they meet?

How does a friend or ally complement each other? In other words, how do their differences help each other out?

Do they annoy each other sometimes? 

Can they become a team to work towards the same goal?



Our March Story Contest has wrapped up!

Check out the winning stories below!

March Story Contest 1

Congratulations, 

March 2024 Winners!


The Adventures of Red and White on Catalina Island by Andrew Horng


Blood Moon: The Chinese New Year Celebration by "Jack" (Edith T.)


Father Seabird by Max Chen


The Lost Island by Myka MacGregor


The Mysteries of the Platypus by Yulia O'Neil


Migration Journey by Sharanya Sridhar


The Sharks' Treasure by Neha


Vignette—My Name by Ivy Yu


My Life As A Teenage Grim Reaper by Megan W.


Cake Survival - Part II (The Dark Wizard, Clues In A Cake) by Conner Seeker


Self-Love And Encounter by Yongqing Feng (Declined to Share)


Congratulations, Everyone!


***


March Story Prompt:   Mystery!

Write a story about

a mysterious creature, 

a strange or odd happening,

or someone who finds clues to find the missing...(fill in the blank)!


Intermediate Challenge: 

1) In January & February we ask you to "Make us Worry" and "Make us Care!"

2) This time, "Make us Curious" and "Make us say, 'Whoa.'"

Tip: Feel free to have "high action" that take place quickly, BUT also try to slow it down.

Creep up to something daunting. Draw out the tension. Make us sit on the edge of our seats.


Here's an example:


Too fast:

Maddy ran into the woods, found the crystal apple on the tree, and grabbed it.

(Kind of fast, right?)


Slowed down:

Try sprinkling in BADTOD  (Backstory, Action, Dialogue, Thoughts, Observations, and Description).  Here's an example. 

Maddy remembered the old Wizard's words (Mini Backstory). "Find the glimmering apple above. But know the roots below." She said it under her breath. She stepped on the yellowing leaves, crunching their brittle warped veins and canopies. (Mini Thought)What glimmers in an old apple orchard? Maddy scanned up and down, and the four directions, for a spark of light hidden in the rows and rows of trees. (Mini Description) The trees seem to be frozen in a tormented twist, tangled in its own branches. Some trees pawed at the sky as if they were caught in a snare. Maddy's hands trembled and heart cowered in her chest. She stopped and stepped back. A thin branch snapped under her boots. (Mini Thought) Maybe this crystal apple is just an old legend. A dream grandmother told me. This is ridiculous. What am I doing out here...alone? That's when she saw a glint, like a star. It sparkled again deep in a far away tree. She smiled and stepped towards it.

Now it's your turn!

To submit your stories for the next monthly challenge, please send them to: [email protected].




Our February Story Contest has wrapped up!

Check out the winning stories below!

February Story Mod 2024 Mid

Our January Story Contest has wrapped up!

Check out the winning stories below!

January Story Contest 2024


Congratulations, 

January 2024 Winners!


Holiday Swan

by Emma

Handwritten on lined paper, Emma created a fun story between two friends, a baby Holiday Swan and a wolf. Holiday Swan has the power to control holidays. (Love it!) When Holiday Swan's sister goes missing, leaving only a feather, she and Wolf follow the trail of feathers and paw tracks. Uh-oh.


Starwitch Academy

by Myka M. (Age 10)

Lando (a boy) and Lunar (a girl) are siblings admitted to a school where they have to avoid lava, learn to ride dragons, fall from a great height, and stop within inches of the ground! Lunar writes in her journal, studies for magic tests, and battles a sharp-toothed, hairy, green monster with the help of her brother. (We loved the fun, quirky academy setting and characters!)


Broke (the no money kind)

Ming-Shan W. (Age 8 almost 9)

Oh my gosh. This short but HILARIOUS courtroom story is about a 25-year-old woman who stole a $500 limited edition Gum-ee Wormz packet. The popularity of the Gum-ee Wormz skyrocketed in value so the judge is making her pay its current worth of $47,000! But she only has $3,000 because she's an Amazon engineer! Oh no! (This makes me cry with laughter!)


Lost

by Kalpana M. (Age 11)

A girl and some passengers leave a malfunctioning spaceship and transfer to another. When they take a spacewalk, their new Star Cruiser malfunctions and they drift away. Luckily, they can reach the nearby Earth-like planet called Lost and discover its beauty. The problem is no one escapes because of its intense gravity. The only way to leave by ship is when the moon is in front of you for five minutes! (We loved the epic image of the old, but newly built spaceship rising from the ground in this piece!)


Spy School Adventures

Sahas S. (Age 7)

"One day in The Mystery School for Spies, a student called Plats (a platypus) went missing." The spy school is investigating why people are missing in Atlanta. When they send more kid agents, they discover Plats and the other people are trapped in robots and are controlled by a microchip by a villain named the Smart Troll. (This cracked us up with its epic fight between robots spewing jellybeans as the spies attacked with their nunchucks. But we were amazed at how close this story summary was to James Patterson's story summary style. Whoa.)


Check the articles below

Silence in the Shadows