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Amazing Young Writers Challenge

Quick links on this page:

rules & submit - about the challenge - read some amazing writing

other young writer competitions

Amazing Young Writers Writing Challenge

Welcome to the Amazing Young Writers Challenge. If you're aged 22 or younger, you can submit creative writing in any form, including stories, poetry, non-fiction, memoir, anecdotes, comic strips, scripts, artwork - absolutely anything you like. Show us what you can do with words!

Before submitting, please read the rules. Below the rules, you will find some more information about the challenge.

Rules & How To Submit

The rules are simple but please read them carefully:

  • 100 words maximum
  • Any type of creative writing is accepted, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, comics and all other forms of written work
  • this challenge is for writers up to (and including) 22 years of age, living anywhere in the world
  • 1 entry per writer
  • no profanity please
  • your creative writing will be published on this page and you'll receive a 'Certificate of Publication'
  • by submitting, you accept the terms and conditions
  • submit your story by email to chris@christopherfielden.com or use the comment form at the bottom of this page
  • please be sure to include:
    • your name (full name or first name or penname is fine)
    • your age
    • the country you live in
    • the name of your school or the educational establishment you currently attend
    • your piece of writing (please include a title)

Submissions are welcome from teachers, parents, guardians or the writers themselves. If you are submitting on behalf of your children / students, please let me know when you submit.

Any type of writing is accepted - there is absolutely no limitation, so please let your imagination run wild!

Every writer published via this writing challenge will receive a Certificate of Publication in jpeg format. The certificates look like this:

Amazing Young Writers Challenge Certificate of Publication

Amazing Young Writers Challenge 'Certificate of Publication'

I reply by email to every submission I receive, letting you know your story has been published. Your certificate will be attached to the email. If you don't hear from me, please check your spam folder. If there's nothing in spam, please email me and we'll find another way of delivering your certificate :-)

This challenge was launched in January 2021. So far, we've published 63 pieces of creative writing by amazing young writers.

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About the Amazing Young Writers Challenge

The Amazing Young Writers Challenge was launched after I was contacted by Mahvish Noman, an arts teacher at a school where 95% of the students are underprivileged children.

Mahvish asked me if I'd publish some poetry written by their students. After a bit of back and forth by email about the best way to do this, I decided to launch this challenge.

The Aims of the Challenge:

Experience & Encouragement

The primary aim of the challenge is to give young writers the opportunity to see their writing published and read by a global audience. I hope this will offer every young author that submits valuable experience and encouragement to keep writing and being creative throughout their lives.

Learning

The 100 word limit is educational. Having so few words to play with makes a writer consider every word they use carefully, meaning they learn the art of editing. Once learned, this skill can be applied to longer works, making them more engaging to read.

Celebrating Diversity

Anyone living in any country can submit to this challenge. I hope that means we are able to celebrate a diverse variety of voices from around the world via the challenge.

Questions

If you have any questions about the challenge, please contact me.

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Amazing Stories by Amazing Writers

Below are all the stories received to date, all written by amazing young writers and students.

The stories are published in the order they were received.

Story 001

Secrets

by Ella

Finally, she thought in her head.

Her boyfriend was offering to take her on a romantic getaway this weekend! They had been together for five years and she had been waiting for a proposal, but as yet she had not got one. There had been so many times that she thought he was going to propose, but she did not find herself with a ring on her finger.

She was packing her bags when she got the call from her boyfriend. Little did they know they were in for a big surprise and it was not a proposal.

*

Ella is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends STBT.

Story 002

Before You Came Along

by Bria

Wind. Air. The sky above her head and the clouds beneath her feet.

That was all she needed to live. Other than food, water and sleep of course. To Nayble, there was nothing better in the entire world than flying. It was the wind beneath her wings. Literally.

The rush of cool wind in her face, flowing through her graceful, black-speckled wings was the best feeling in the entire universe. Nothing could beat it and nothing ever would.

At least... that's what she believed until she met Denn.

*

Bria is 16 years old, lives in the USA and attends Holt High School.

Story 003

The Exam

by Alexis

The tick of a clock ringing in my head. Each second sending a jolt through my body. I sit in a chair, my skin covered with goosebumps. I look back at my decision to leave my jacket in the car and curse at myself for it.

The ball of my right foot begins to pulsate and sends the rest of my leg subtly jumping up and down with it. I feel blinded with the walls and floors and ceilings covered in a clean white. A pristine white, if you will. The bold smell of cleaning chemicals floats in the room.

*

Alexis is 18 years old, lives in the USA and attends Holt High School.

Story 004

A Knife’s Dual Purposes

by Sowmya

The knife was a fading grey, a husk of its former elegance. The head chef tried relentlessly to sharpen it, but it stayed blunt.

He heard rustling outside the kitchen door, and his arm flew into the air. But it was only the maid, coming to rustle up leftover scraps. The chef and the maid had a kinship, both unfortunate victims under the control of an overbearing, underpaying master.

Soon, his employer would come by, substituting vacuous flattery for a decent pay.

Soon, the chef would strike.

*

Sowmya is 16 years old, lives in the USA and attends FMHS.

Story 005

The Pharaoh's Phone

by Anna Keenan

The Great Pyramid of Khufu stood impressively at 481 feet. I craned my neck to try and devour the architecture through my eyes.

Darkness swelled around me, coupled with a chill up my spine as I walked through the tunnels. I squeezed through a crack in a hieroglyphic covered wall and found myself in front of the pharaoh's tomb.

Ring-ring!

I jumped out of my skin at the reverberating sound. I turned to see who caused the ruckus but found myself alone in the tomb with a phone ringing and the coffin of an ancient king vibrating.

*

Anna is 17 years old, lives in Northern Ireland and attends Assumption Grammar School.

Story 006

The Night I Died

by Anisha Bhanot

My heart was pounding and sweat poured from every cell of my body. I was running through the forest, even though I was exhausted and barely had the energy to stand.

He was coming for me.

As I ran, I couldn't stop thinking about how I let it get this far. Why didn't I just keep quiet?

I could feel him getting closer. Fear choked me with its murderous hands. Suddenly, an icy-cold hand gripped my arm, panic rose in my chest and then he took of his mask.

I froze in horror. I couldn't believe who it was.

*

Anisha is 13 years old, lives in the UK and attends Rochester Grammar School.

Story 007

The Riots

by Madi Davis

Yours lasted 7 months, ours lasted 7 hours.

We were trying to get a point across, but instead you were starting fires and knocking down towers. You wanted to defund the police, but then came running back when something didn’t go your way. If you keep this up, soon there will be people not getting payed.

We didn’t burn any towers down and we didn’t riot till we overpowered. We just got a point across, that needed to be made. So think again before you tell us it was an 'act of terrorism' and put into perspective how brutal your actions are compared to the system.

*

Madi is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 008

History Mystery

by Abby Simpkins

My small town has always been known for the haunted streets and townhouses, but mostly for the coffee shop. Since I work there, I’ve seen some unbelievable… entities.

One time on a lonely Sunday night, I was making some coffee for my night shift. I heard the door open. As I went to greet the person, I looked and I saw a saggy, hole-y face with white eyes and pale skin. My soul nearly left my body as I jumped.

It was Robin Williams. Wasn’t he… dead?

*

Abby is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 009

Along The Trail

by MK White

BRING-G.

It was the fifth time Dain called. I ignored it. In fact, in anguish, I threw my phone in the grassy fields of the open country.

My right hand was holding Butterscotch’s reins. How I loved Butterscotch. She was my everything. She was graceful. She was perfect.

I leaned forward, resting my head on her soft tuft of hair. She felt uneasy when I threw the phone, I had to show her I was okay… but how can I when I’m really not?

*

MK is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 010

My Business

by Taylor Sikich

if people would just mind their own business

the world would be great.

it shouldn’t matter if i’m lesbian, bi, or straight.

you can have your god or beliefs

like i have mine.

but stop telling me it’s wrong, unnatural, or 'out of line'

because i could care less.

so do yourself a favour and stop the stress.

my business is mine

and mine only.

i really don’t care if you think it’s unholy.

it doesn’t matter if i’m going to 'hell'.

it’s my secret,

and only my secret to tell.

if everyone would mind their own business

people wouldn’t be so hurt.

Because it gets tiresome

being treated like dirt.

*

Taylor is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 011

The Protest That Needs Saving

by Patrick Tucker

Why do peaceful protests end up thrown away

People call for change

And get put away like forgotten souls

Why hurt others when they call for better.

 

Who orders people to fight

Why do you listen

When protests are as peaceful as a crisis

Who prefers the chaos over peace?

 

When would anyone volunteer to walk their final mile

If what they found at the end was worse than what they believed

If walking the mile finds a tower of lies larger than a tower of truth

Why would they leave the towers standing when it’s as bad as before.

*

Patrick is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 012

Earthquakes Are Terrifying

by Johnny Tikka

Earthquakes are terrifying.

Now, this might seem to be a common fact but what isn’t is truly the scope and scale of earthquakes. Such as the fact that earthquakes can and do happen anywhere, the fact that there are 1,200 fault lines and more we don’t even know about in the US alone, the fact that Yellowstone by itself experiences 2,000 earthquakes every year. Even if all of that wasn’t bad enough, there’s the fact that a decent portion of dams in the US wouldn’t be prepared for an earthquake and could cause mass flooding.

So Earthquakes are terrifying.

*

Johnny is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 013

Dear Mom

by Lauren Roberts

Ain't nobody need you like I need you

Ain't nobody care the way I do

Promise you won't leave this world and leave me

Cause I don't know who I am without you

I know not to worry about you

Cause when your gone what am I going to do

Maybe we have times when we argue

But I know I won't be the same without you

*

Lauren is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 014

WiFi The Worst

by Jaysen Baudendistel

WiFi crashes with problems,

Blast goes the WiFi tower,

WiFi shuts down for all.

 

WiFi shuts down,

THOUSANDS fill with rage,

Tick tock as the time goes by,

Finally the WiFi's up and running.

 

Some games need WiFi,

Clock tick, people waiting to load,

Loading forever, went around the world twice,

People get angry like a bull with a red cloth in his face.

*

Jaysen is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 015

Salamander’s Prison

by Claire Mac

Soundproof walls,

Frayed papers,

Screaming at the top of my lungs.

Slamming my fists down on tempered glass that surrounds me.

 

I’m given my own water and food.

My cage cleaned once a week.

Living in my own filth.

To be held and brought out,

But only to be thrown around as I try to escape.

 

If I could end everything, I would,

But every single corner is around.

The furniture is glued to the ground.

Can’t even jump because my bones are like jelly.

 

Starvation seems to be my end,

But not before the acetone has reached my head.

*

Claire is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 016

Hope

by Alexsandra Antolin

They break you down

Make you feel alone

This is your last option

Nothing will stop you anymore

We put a letter on the desk hoping

It may fix how they’ll feel

Hoping they will understand why we did it

Like the words on the paper will make the pain go away

Then we realize that it’s too late you can’t come back

You’re gone.

Those people you love are swallowed whole, left to mourn

With broken pieces they pick themselves up

Lost in tears

We must stop this

We must stand tall

Against these things that swallow us whole

Against people who can’t pull themselves up

Against the pain that brings us to our knees

Once we realize it, all we can do is hope

All we can think is hope

All we can say is hope

*

Alexsandra is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 017

Atestent

by Conn Easter

A corrupt demon that’s treated like greatness,

Changed and twisted worse than before.

She pointed fingers expecting more.

Mistakes were made, yet she is adored.

She makes a mistake, gets a medallion,

Doesn’t matter what was before.

Lady of terror this is no more, time to go to war.

 

Every point was absurd no proof to prove,

She acts like a titan yet a tiny trove,

Of small little treasures of fake gold.

Take her on today because we’re so bold,

For her taking the whole world.

We’ll take her light to add some plight,

Then take her over at midnight.

 

The small trove full of fake gold,

Yet was somewhat good after all.

A panic attack upon our nation,

Caused a lot of detestation.

Not every outcome is sunshine,

Nor rainbows or unicorns.

We’ll rebuild from the ashes,

Like a phoenix of the snow.

*

Conn is 13 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 018

The Mess of 2020

by Jaiden Jacob

February 2020 was the last normal month of the year. It all started with coronavirus. It started in China. Now everyone in the world is hiding.

The world told us to wear a mask, stay inside. We all thought that was the worst until the schools shut down and people lost their jobs. Then the world told us that leaving our house is actually breaking the law.

The virus sadly didn't leave with 2020, so we’re still stuck with the sickening smell of hand sanitizer everywhere. We go and have to wear masks every time we leave our house.

*

Jaiden is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 019

Breakdown

by Shy Moore

Hands begin to shake, your eyes start to water

Your stomach cramps

You wanna scream but don’t want to wake anyone up

All of a sudden you cry out in agony, clenching your fist

Holding a pillow to your face, hiding your cries

 

The shakiness of your hands almost hurts

Typing on your keyboard is too hard

Now you feel you can’t get help

Your legs shaking doesn’t help

 

Trying to calm down feels only worse

Tears burn your skin as they slowly roll down your face

Your throat burns from choking back tears

Head aching as your thoughts pound

*

Shy is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 020

Never Stop Running

by Ashia Logie

The crash of the waves echoed up and down the shore. She stared out into the blanket of unknown ahead of her, unable to look away. The sea was a magnet, beckoning her closer and closer until she had no choice but to run towards it.

She ran from all the troubles of the shoreline, her feet tossing sand into the air with every stride. As she got closer, she began to hear a voice.

"Never stop running," it whispered. "Never let them catch you. You are safer here, in the arms of the sea, but never stop running."

*

Aisha is 14 years old, lives in the UK and attends South Hampstead High School.

Story 021

The Glass Box

by Mira Bhandari

Anne strolled through the field on the pathway paved by the sunflowers. Her skin appeared as golden and supple as butter, and her hair a soft maple brown. Her ethereal lilac dress floated in the wind behind her as she took long strides, entranced by the sky. Streaks of cobalt were smeared across it and the clouds lightly pressed against the ceiling of the glass box.

Anne ran along the field until she couldn’t anymore. There was a glass wall, holding her back. She looked up at the sky, but only this time it was jet black.

*

Mira is 15 years old, lives in the UK and attends South Hampstead High School.

Story 022

Life

by Lanxuan Luo

Midnight: A man was smoking at the crossroads. His eyes wandered off the dimmed lights.

A ghost went by him. The man yelled to him, "What’s it like being a ghost?"

"Worse than hell."

The man started another cigarette and breathed deeply. "How come?"

"We have to hide from things that scare us every single second."

They grew silence.

"People said that death comes as a merciful release," said the man, "but it is just the beginning of another misery."

"We always try to jump out of a dilemma," replied the ghost, "but we don’t realise we will fall into another abyss of suffering."

*

Lanxuan is 15 years old, lives in China and attends Shenzhen College of International Education.

Story 023

Oh! Ophelia

by Hannah

Oh! Ophelia

The river seemed to cry to her

Its grey waters stilled to mourn

And the underwater pixies wept bitterly

 

Oh! Ophelia

The birds sang out

Cheerful chirping turn black

Little ones hid under mothers’ wing

 

Oh! Ophelia

Weeping willows stooped even lower

The burden of pain too much to bear

Drooping tears join the river

 

Oh! Ophelia

Dainty blooms shook

Red petals turned white for woe

They wither and fade away

 

Oh! Ophelia

Came the chorus of voices

But there came no reply

From the murky depths of the lake

Only the flower crowns floated

*

Hannah is 14 years old, lives in Wales and attends Ysgol Friars.

Story 024

Ecdysis

by Ruby Kellett

Sometimes she curls up in a ball, ignoring the world around her.

Continually, running through a maze of dead ends.

She flees from the pain, own mind against her,

telling herself she’s worthless….'never enough'.

Fighting a continuous battle without a weapon.

So, she hides.

She becomes so small, seems so meaningless, as if lost.

A shadow. A dot. A process.

Every day, the walls grow thicker like a prison. Keeping her trapped… enclosed.

Until one day the light reappears, bright enough to penetrate the darkness surrounding her.

Slowly, she evolves into what she was all along…

Growing.

No one is alone.

*

Ruby is 14 years old, lives in England and attends Beckfoot Secondary School.

Story 025

To Be Continued...

by Roxy Turner-Higgins

After years of living in Rosemary Cottage, Grace's adventure had just started.

As she pulled back some of the emerald ivy, she found a wooden gate. But this was no ordinary gate. Grace knew it because she had a magical tingling feeling inside her head and her heart was pumping almost too fast.

Was this the gate that her grandmother told her about in her stories? Surely it couldn't be, that was just a silly fairy-tale! She was grown-up, right? There was no such thing as magic.

Well, there was only one way to find out...

*

Roxy is 13 years old, lives in the UK and attends Lytchett Minster School.

Story 026

Seeker of My Soul

by Jessica Ann George

Enslaved by the hushed darkness, a creaking door in the distance, partial light shining beneath, seemed my salvation. My eyelids fought a salty torrent of sweat and fear, as dated, creepy mirrors and hooded mannequins yearned to awaken.

Suddenly something dropped, a thud reverberating amidst the silence. My shivering hands were led towards it by a force not good and I began swirling around in wild-eyed terror, the darkness growing smaller, fainter. I pulled away into the light.

Awake, fear covering my being, I pushed myself to look into the mirror. But someone else sneered back. She had become me.

*

Jessica is 14 years old, lives in the UK and attends Williamwood High School.

Story 027

Disaster

by Lee Lim-Shern, Ashton

It was Friday and Mike wanted to enjoy his weekend. But bad news, tons of school work awaited, the volcano was going to explode!

Rage flowed through him like lava. He didn't want to do all these assignments, so his mum sent him to bed early. As soon as he closed his eyes, he saw all his workbooks and worksheets come to life and start attacking him! They grew sharp teeth and big claws and wanted to gobble him up!

"No!" He hollered for help and bounded out of bed.

From that day, he learned that he should always do his homework, even if it's Friday.

*

Ashton is 9 years old, lives in Malaysia and attends Sri Bestari International School.

Story 028

Learning to Blossom

by Cambria Burgess

i sit in a field of lilacs

admiring the worlds vibrance

and i feel as if

i am a part of this field

 

i have learned to become

my own lilac

in a field full of them

because i am capable

of receiving my own sunlight

without the guidance of another flower

*

Cambria is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Bill Reed Middle School.

Story 029

The Greatest

by Louis Nicholls

the first step to the top

is the hardest to reach

it's not what you’ve got

it’s about your belief

that look in your eye

gonna sting like a bee

the greatest of all time

that’s what i believe i’ll be

*

Louis is 16 years old, lives in England and attends Stockport School.

Story 030

It Was One Ordinary Day

by Hailey Park

On one ordinary day, I slammed the door in her face.

"Mom, leave me alone. I can’t even look at you!"

Days became months. Months melted into years.

I cried. I laughed. I got a job, a marriage, a child.

When I finally opened the door, she was gone.

I opened it again, and again. I thought she would have waited forever. But she was gone.

It was one ordinary day, my daughter in my arms, when I realized her meaning in my life.

It was one ordinary day when I forever lost her in my life.

*

Hailey is 17 years old, lives in the USA/South Korea and attends Oak Hall School.

Story 031

Red

by Toluwalase Osunmakinde

I pressed the knife deep into her chest

Until not even the hilt was visible

I sank the blade softly

Into her unturned back

Blood slipped like velvet snakes

Down her smooth pale skin

She cried out in agony

Tears melted with blood

Her limbs went limp

Her eyes began to shine

Her lips looked swollen

Her skin grey

Blood swarmed around her fingers

Was she in pain? I wondered

No, she could not be, I thought

As her eyes grew three shades duller

She could not be in pain:

Hadn't she said red was her favourite colour?

Red was not her favourite colour

But mine

*

Toluwalase is 12 years old, lives in the UK and attends Shoeburyness High School.

Story 032

The Epic Love

by Isla Eckersley

An endless ocean, an icy wasteland, a river of stars. Even in the velvet dark there is sound. She craves for a better end to the twisted love story, a way the cloistering blanket of darkness could absorb her.

Pain indulges her, gives her hope, allows her to think there may be someone else. Only the pain brings back the feeling. The feeling of love consuming her fully, her heart pounding every time he comes near.

She is swiftly snapped back into reality by the dancing flame labelled the northern lights. An infinite field of fireflies. Eternal. Enigmatic. Epic.

*

Isla is 13 years old, lives in the UK and attends Falmouth School.

Story 033

Suicide

by Manahil Fazal

Her life was pleasant. She didn't think it could get any better. That was until she started school.

Her day started with tears. She was pushed, pulled and kicked to the ground, all because of her colour.

She woke up every day not wanting to leave her bed. Her mom kept asking why she was always alone. She was scared to tell – she was just a kid.

Soon, it got so bad that one day she took out a knife. The last thing she saw was blood oozing out of her wrist.

*

Manahil Fazal lives in Pakistan and attends Roots Millennium School.

Story 034

Harmony Doesn’t Last Long

by Heba Omar

I knew this day was coming. We all did, or what was left of us. The day the Aselyons took over. We were three. The Artemplons, the Detroains and the Aselyons. We were in harmony and treated each other like siblings. Until one day:

An Aselyon soldier killed one Artemplon and two Detroains. These three were farmers and the Aselyon soldier stole their land and animals. Anger and sorrow seeped into the hearts of the Artemplons and Detroains. Still, the Aselyons were hungry for more.

We'd waited years for this and I am now the last Detroain standing.

*

Heba is 12 years old, lives in the UK and attends Whalley Range High School.

Story 035

Milkshake

by Belle Chi

Wiping saliva from my face and taking out a straw, thinking of milkshakes makes me feel like I'm in heaven.

Milkshakes not only taste delightful, but also make you feel like you’re travelling. The milk will make you feel like you’re on a farm full of cows and cattle. After tasting the milk, you will taste the syrup, which makes you feel like you’re in a candy store. Then, you will taste the delectable and creamy ice cream, which will make you feel like you're in heaven.

This dessert, delightful and luscious, will definitely make your day!

*

Belle is 14 years old, lives in the USA and attends Taichung Japanese School.

Story 036

A Lesson: Never Give Up

by Abhirami

"Hey, look at you, you are so stout. People mock me when I'm beside you. I feel ashamed to say that you are my girl."

The girl felt devastated and started to sob. Everyone laughed at her when she ran away.

She accidently bumped into a man and apologised. The man asked the reason for her sorrow.

"I am fat and ugly so my boyfriend left."

He replied, "In my eyes, you look plump and cute."

Those words inspired her and she stopped sobbing and started to walk proud.

The next day, she met her boyfriend and said, "Don't judge a book by it’s cover. Look at the personality."

Let this story be an inspiration to all victims who have suffered body shaming.

*

Abhirami is 22 years old, lives in India and attends MES Keveeyam College.

Story 037

Public Parsimony

by Cynthia Rudy

Give-

For what?

Not that...

But what then? -You?

No- me. Me!

All of us?

Food?

Shelter?

Parsimony!

Then what?

What?

Nothing.

Nothing?

Nothing for all?

Who then?

Me.

You?

Parsimony!

No!

Why?

Because...

Food, shelter-

give-

please

*

Cynthia is 21 and lives in the USA (on break).

Story 038

The Failed System of Memory

by Jasmin Nava

You will forget about me,

Not all at once but

Little by little

 

What had I said, or you?

Under that same moon

Clinging to the same warmth

drifting off to sleep

with the sounds of roaring waves

 

You will forget about me,

Not all at once but

Little by little

 

What had I said, or you?

Talking to the same moon

On different coasts

remembering a conversation

like two halves of different fruit

 

I am beyond blue

With the seasons passing

and given the calm of knowing

with time, I will forget you too.

*

Jasmin is 19 and lives in California, USA. She recently graduated from Fullerton College and will be transferring to UC Davis in the near future.

Story 039

Tony

by Lucy Pedersen

“Morning” I said. Gently. Avoiding the conflict, which had since settled after last night.

Mark was up, barely. I didn’t ask about Tony. Tony, my best friend. My best friend who stuck by me through thick and thin. My best friend who listened to every big decision I ever made. Tony. Who last night came into the kitchen, bag packed, saying, “I’ve got a train.” Tony, who had a train to a new place without us. Mark and I. Me and Mark. His best friend and his partner.

“Yeah, morning,” Mark replied. “Tea? Tony’s not making it.”

Oh dear Tony.

*

Lucy is 21, lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and studies acting at Queen Margaret University.

Story 040

The Black Sheep

by Taylor Jay

Skepticism. It eases through our bodies amongst the ambiguity and unwilling sense of deviance. It drips into our blood and curses the innocence of our flesh, biting at the truest of pain and horror we are hopeful to overcome.

But why now?

Why must my hesitant gut feelings kick back at the reality of life now? Where crippling politics continue to sabotage precious land and people’s self worth, where society dismantles mandatory, safe standards turning them into constant crimes and laws (unbreakable unless you’re asking to stand out).

Eradicate the bad. Exterminate evil. But then, where does that leave us?

*

Taylor is 15, lives in the UK and attends The Cooper School in Oxfordshire.

Story 041

Night-Time Fiction

by Isabella Kim

I drifted through the skies on a basket carried by a butterfly.

Tick! The ornate, wrinkled clocks floated by, reminding me of my urgent appointment.

Suddenly the air around me trembled with fear. Panicked, I looked to find an enemy ship protruding the fog, cannons raised. I frantically ordered the butterfly, “Fly higher into the sky!”

Just then, a loud boom echoed and tore my basket asunder. The impact sent me flying, the planet hurtling towards my body.

My eyes closed and the world whisked away disappearing as suddenly as it began. Stowed away into nothingness.

*

Isabella is 14, lives in the USA and attends Cresskill Middle School.

Story 042

Where Am I?

by Lisa

I was playing on a sunny day when suddenly clouds covered the sky and it started to thunder. Fog appeared.

I couldn't see anything, but I could hear sounds. I decided to walk to the source of the sound. It got louder and louder. Suddenly, the clouds disappeared and the sky became sunny again. I looked around and realized that I was in a forest! I saw fairies flying around me, giggling and playing.

Suddenly, the ground shook. From a distance, I saw a giant coming closer, closer and closer, and it attacked us!

Then I woke up...

It was all just a dream.

*

Lisa is 17, lives in Indonesia and attends SMAN 1 Kuta Utara.

Story 043

I Want To Disappear

by Alexandra

In the middle of the crossroads I want to disappear. Not forever. Maybe for a month. To get a ticket to nowhere. I'll get carry-on baggage. A few T-shirts and my sunglasses. I want to disappear into a city's jungle. Where people rush to work in the morning with a coffee from Starbucks. Where people sit in their cars on the way to work and listen to another broadcast. Where people dress up and go to the theatre every Friday.

I want to disappear. Leave my phone at home. I'm tired.

I always care about people. Now I want to care about myself.

*

Alexandra is 21, lives in Russia and attends Baikal State University.

Story 044

The Ravaged Heart Screams

by Bhargavi Datta

The raindrops were dripping down my shoulder length hair, wetting the mahogany floor below me. My fingers were clenched into fists, drawing scarlet blood from my palms; my knuckles deadly white. It fell down, the blood, mixing with the water falling from my hair, dripping down…

I uncurled my fists and let out a scream, releasing only one fourth of all those bottled-up emotions. It was like my legs couldn’t support my weight anymore, they gave in.

And I fell, fell into that hole with no end…

The worst part?

This time there was no one to cushion my fall.

*

Bhargavi is 14, lives in India and attends The BSS School.

Story 045

Catelyn

by Alice Galvin

Catelyn and I had a friendship stronger than an unbreakable chain, longer than elm branches. From two strangers riding the bus together on our first day of secondary school, to two A-level students, nail-biting before exams. With countless hours on the phone, wittering on about our favourite poets, playwrights and indie bands, until the dawn. Our favourite place was the beach; spring, summer, autumn and even in the bleak midwinter.

It wasn’t until we reunited after being separated by the arms of university – on the beach, in our spot, facing the sunset, eating doughnuts and chips – that I began looking at her differently…

I suppressed, suppressed and suppressed my feelings until they became unbearable screams… You have to tell her!

"Catelyn… Are you there? I… I have something to tell you."

"Bella, I have something to tell you!" she interrupted.

 Could she… possibly…?

"I have a boyfriend!"

*

Alice is 21, lives in Manchester, England and attends Arden School of Theatre.

Story 046

Greene

by Fin.F.Tiger

Done, Elle sighed happily.

She could relax now, just as she had been planning to do all summer. Elle had been studying ferociously – using every spare moment she had to study and now she could finally step out.

“Elle, there’s a parcel for you.”

Elle rolled her eyes and brushed herself down. Begrudgingly, she came down and picked it up. She turned the box, searching for some identification but she caused the box to shake and a dry foam erupted. “Mum, there’s—”

A peculiar green creature cut her off with a glare and handed her a note: 'He’s back…'

*

Fin.F.Tiger is 15, lives in Manchester, England, and attends Lealands High School.

Story 047

When You Feel Like You're Worthless

by Donovan McGregor

If God was real, why would he choose me? I'm pathetic, useless, people don't like me. I always complain, make a scene, please God just end me.

By the time I'm 14 I'll be changed, out of a world on a mental chain. Stuck in a place I can't escape. The others, free from their metal chain, laugh at me, tell me I'm not gonna change. But I'll rip out, I'll be free, I'll rip them apart and watch them bleed. I'll lift my soul and make it green, not black like when I was really mean, it's sweet 16. No, it isn't sweet. Just a normal day in a normal week. Every day, month and year I know I won't succeed. Just think about my pathetic life and you'll see. Even though I'm nice, I hide my identity. Black-souled, dark-hooded; no, this isn't me.

I need to make a change and be sweet but you're not gonna do it because you ain't mean. You wanna stay away, watch me suffer, watch me have a hard time, watch me stutter, wanna watch my pain and all I suffer. Never mind, you won't care, I'm just as useless as a legless hare, all my life despair. But I'll be confident, I'm not scared, you can laugh and bully me, but don't think I care. Next thing you know, teeth are on the floor, making you poor. You cry and I'll steal your soul. I'll be powerful. Just wait for it. It's you I'll show.

*

Donovan is 10, lives in the UK and attends James Bateman Middle School.

Story 048

Hunted

by Madeleine Remedios

Fragments of moonlight shone through the trees. Sharp twigs ripped at Lorraine's dress, constantly leaving traces of her. She heard echoes of voices shouting her name and then, even more menacingly, "We're hungry." It wasn't her they wanted but her blood.

As Lorraine reached the lake, she saw nothing but the glistening abyss of her approaching death. Where's Harry, she thought to herself. He'd told her he'd be waiting with a boat to flee to safety.

She considered drowning herself as she heard them approaching. Suddenly, cold hands wrapped around her shoulders and she blacked out.

*

Madeleine is 19, lives in Australia and attends the University of Technology Sydney.

Story 049

Rape

by Samuel Omone Emmanuella

She was marked with a stigma

Isolated like a plague

Avoided like a disease

She pleaded for life

To be at least fair

But it had already happened

She lost her dignity

Forcefully to someone of no integrity

She hoped and yearned for the pain to die

 

She remembered the night vividly

The night she lost her innocence

Forcefully to a man she had no knowledge of

She was abused

With no mercy

She was battered

And she was left alone

Broken and shattered

To live and bring another life into the world

 

Left with no choice

She accepted her fate...

*

Samuel is 16, lives in Nigeria and attends the University of Benin.

Story 050

When I Grow Up

by Inayah Rashid

When I grow up,

I would like to teach knowledge,

So, when my students grow up,

They reach college.

Then soon they will grow up, just like me,

And hopefully will have time to sip on their tea.

All the Maths crawling inside their head,

Going home and rolling in bed.

 

When I grow up,

I would love to be,

A teacher that will be keen.

I hope to have kind children,

growing & learning,

So, when they reach a certain age,

They can start driving.

That will give me enough money,

So I can be funny to my bunny.

 

I want to buy a mansion to live in,

So I can take care of me,

And take out the bin.

In a few years' time,

My children will bring me flowerpots.

In return I will comb out their knots,

So they can note down their plots.

*

Inayah is 10, lives in Solihull, UK, and attends Valley Primary School.

Story 051

Being Alone

by Shreyash Mukherjee

Once I was walking alone in the rain,

Carrying my umbrella and a sweet pain,

Was completely lost in the clouds of my thoughts,

Recalling my points of success and all my flaws.

 

Suddenly I saw a girl getting wet in the rain,

Her clothes were entirely filled with mud stains,

She was like a bird but of a different feather,

And we traced a long way walking together.

 

The rain stopped and I removed my umbrella,

Astoundingly I again found myself alone with no Cinderella,

I smiled and became sure that it was my delusion,

My own loneliness has served me this illusion.

 

I stopped for a while and took a look at the nature,

Observing every flower and every creature,

A single solitary flower is as beautiful alone,

A meadow full is pleasurable but each grows on its own.

 

I was happy because now I was not depressed,

Now my opinions cannot be suppressed,

My feelings are able to be expressed,

After being alone also I felt I was blessed...

*

Shreyash is 22, lives in Uttar Pradesh, India, and attends Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology.

Story 052

Decision Day

by Sean Kim

With trembling hands, I tear open the envelope. I catch a glimpse of the words: 'regret to inform you...'

The letter flutters to the ground by my feet, tears blurring the paper.

"It's fine," Chris said soothingly, "if you got rejected, I definitely didn't get in." A spark of relief floods me. We'd still be together after graduation.

Halfheartedly, the other envelope is torn. A beat of silence... Then an elated whoop fills the air, shattering me.

"Oh wow. Congrats. I'm so proud of you." The effort of the smile carves knife wounds into my face.

*

Sean is 16, lives in the USA and attends Fort Lee High School.

Story 053

Life

by Minhong Kim

Birth.

Joy and sorrow.

Death.

That's life.

*

Minhong is 15, lives in South Korea and attends GSIS.

Story 054

If I Were My Hamster

by Rosemary Kim

Once, I wished I was my hamster.

 

My hamster lives better than I do.

It eats as much as it wants and sleeps all day,

It never worries about school, or friends, or its future.

 

After three years, I found its tiny body lifeless in its cage.

 

For its entire life, my hamster was alone.

It did not have the company of others of its kind who loved it.

There was no one beside it when it faced death.

 

I thought nothing could be more lonely than dying alone.

It was winter.

I watched the snow fall as I buried its little body.

*

Rosemary is 18, lives in South Korea and attends KIS Jeju in Jeju Island.

Story 055

Summer Logbook

by Ethan Lam

Day 1

Today is as normal as ever. Another Monday, the start of the week. The trees sway, as normal. The normal blank smell, as normal. The normal silence, as normal.

Day 2

Today the sky is cloudy. I smell the soap bowling out from the shower room. I hear the chattering of squirrels reverberate across the settlement. I feel the soft mat cushion beneath my feet.

Day 3

Today the sun is running around the Earth and is getting further away. I hear the scream of silence. I smell the scent of fatigue.

*

Ethan is 10, lives in the UK and attends Warren Road Primary School.

Story 056

candy heart

by Stacey Na

your orange shirt in my

tangerine dreams

honey drizzle lips

and statuesque nose to the gods,

your eyes say so much

when they don’t look at me

 

shooting stars and black holes

in my thoughts

when you whisper in my ear

 

mango sorbet skin,

melt you with one kiss

 

my candy heart

beats at sweet simple tempo

 

i like the way you are alone,

confident

 

how you’re satisfied with your own presence

and that alone.

 

my infatuation with you ends

with you.

*

Stacey is 17, lives in the USA and attends Bergen County Academies.

*

Stacey's bio:

Stacey Na is a senior in high school from Bergen County. She is the lead editorial director for her school's literary magazine, as well as the lead editor for her school newspaper. Her writing has won her a scholastic writing awards NJ honorable mention, as well as a finalist award in the Bergen County High School Writing Contest.

Story 057

The Ship At Sea

by Alicia

An old, adventurous ship went out to sea,

Aboard it, were some sailors full of glee,

They hoped to catch lots of wonderful fish,

And serve them up for dinner in a nice, warm dish.

 

They threw the long, mesh net,

Peering over, to see what they’d get,

When the net came up they smiled with joy,

As they saw the greatness of their ploy.

 

The old, adventurous ship returned from sea,

The sailors, once again, filled with glee,

They had cooked the fish up and made a meal,

And as they ate it, they felt unreal.

*

Alicia is 12, lives in the UK and attends Belper High School.

Story 058

A Big Mistake

by Finley Richardson

Dr D was in his lab when he had an accident. He transported himself back in time!

He was stranded in the middle of a jungle! BOOM. Dr D wondered what that was. BOOM, BOOM! He looked up and realised he was being chased by an eight-headed T. rex! He ran for his life! He climbed the tallest tree he could find but the T. rex snapped it in two like a pencil.

Dr D just managed to climb off the end of the tree but was closer than ever before. He sprinted but there was a cliff. Death or jump? JUUUUUUMP!!

*

Finley is 6, lives in the UK and learns at home.

Story 059

Abandoned

by India Chilvers

Between the macabre, neglected walls, a spectral light quivered raspingly towards a progressive corridor. The blight floor reeked of malevolent smells, displaying an odour of death.

Forcefully, the skeletal trees whispered through the bleak doorway that lead to the glacial world outside, where no one enters again once they step foot into the bloodcurdling pandemonium building.

*

India is 17, lives in the UK and attends St Andrews Catholic School.

Story 060

My Last Love Letter

by Holly Atkinson

A final goodbye.

My tears blotted the paper on which he had written to me.

Words that filled my heart.

“Do not cry, my dear, as I am with you wherever you go, always.”

He always had a way with words.

It was one of the many things I loved about him.

Our story comes to an end.

But I take solace in knowing,

That one day,

We will meet again.

*

Holly is 17, lives in the UK and attends the college of staying up too late on a school night.

Story 061

The Broken Glass

by Liv

Rain pattered against the open window as the half-drawn curtains were blown by the bitter breeze. Below the window, on the unmade, crumpled bedsheet, was a bottle of vodka and a photograph of two people once smiling, now bitter with remorse. Its frame was shattered beyond repair. The plethora of glass arrayed on the bedsheet reflected an attempt to salvage what was left. Traces of alcohol from the bottle intoxicated the room as it staggered precariously on the edge of the bed. The broken glass distorted an already distorted reflection. With the touch of his thumb, the malicious glass edge scraped his skin. The distorted reflection was swallowed by the crimson, red stream that trickled from the open wound.

*

Liv lives in the UK and attends Lord Lawson of Bemish Academy.

Story 062

The Goodbye

by G.Dhanvi Sri Reddy

Out jogging, I saw two elderly women hugging each other and weeping inconsolably.

The women had been good friends, living in adjacent apartments on the ground floor for years. One of them was now having to shift to the fifth floor, as the house owner wished to undertake major maintenance work. Since there were no lifts in the building, she would be carried upstairs, unable to come down – ever again. Her friend, just as frail, would not be able to visit her upstairs either.

Accepting the inevitability of their permanent separation, the poor dears said their final goodbyes.

*

G.Dhanvi is 11, lives in India and attends Sree Vidyanikethan International School.

Story 063

The Melted Wedding Ring

by Sakhsham Raina

As my malevolent fountain pen hits the defenseless lined paper like a knife through butter, I recall my previous recollection to gaze upon with my weary eyes. My heart, being the most sacred organ of mine, can now pump only my blood which flows along my body like a flowing river. However, one more element by the name of love had caused my beating drum to be full to bursting. When my darling Delilah had entered the threshold to my already grand life, my quivering lips were rising like a risen light from the great night philosopher. I ask – why?

*

Sakhsham is 13, lives in the UK and attends North Halifax Grammar School.

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Other Opportunities for Young Writers and Children

I list many other competitions, prizes and awards for young authors and students on my young writer competitions page.

Young Writer Competitions

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