Posted in Contests

Writing Contest Winners — 7th and 8th Grades

Writing Contest Winners — 7th and 8th Grades

Congratulations to the following 7th and 8th grade winners of the “PHB” Homeschool Writing Contest!!!

1st Place: Laura, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Sartell, MN, for the story entitled “Adventures with Calvin”.                                                    Laura’s wonderful winning story is reprinted below.

2nd Place: Meg, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Suwanee, GA, for the story entitled “The Note”.

3rd Place: Lauren, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Philadelphia, PA, for the story entitled “The Secret Bear”.

The winners have been notified and will be receiving their prizes from the sponsors shortly.

Special thanks to all the students who participated!  You did a fantastic job!  We can tell that you all worked very hard.  I hope to host more writing contests in the future.  Please try again!

Special thanks to the following Sponsors who helped make this contest possible:

Special thanks also to the panel of judges who helped me select the winners:

As promised, following is a reprint of Laura’s fantastic winning story:

“Adventures with Calvin”

I know.  I shouldn’t have been snooping around in my cousin’s room.  But I couldn’t believe it when I found a golden wand hidden in his bottom dresser drawer.

I, Peter-Paul Michael, was cruelly sent to my cousin’s castle, against my will.  It was my parent’s fault, you see, to send me away for the holiday to my reclusive cousin’s castle.  I’ve only met him twice — once when I was two and again when I was four.  I didn’t like him.  He is so weird.  His eyes have changed color both times; first they were blue, and then they were gray.  Now I’m fifteen and at his stone fortress, and I’ve noticed they’re green.  What is with that?

I arrived here three days ago, and the only interest here is my cousin’s enormous castle set in the snowy highlands of Canada.  It’s stocked full of suits of armor, long dark corridors, web-covered attics, ancient libraries, and giant tapestries.  It’s storming terribly outside so I can’t explore the grounds.  Occasionally, I’ll glance at an old book to pass the time.

Entertaining myself is hard and my cousin, Derik, — or Derik the Dark as I call him because he always wears black — is completely unsociable.   He’s twenty-two and has jet-black hair to match his clothes.  The only other living creature here is his pet bunny, Calvin, who is both entertaining and sociable.  He’ll play, talk, or cook for you.  He’s the chef who takes care of all the meals.  I doubt my cousin would eat anything without Calvin.

It was the forth day when I realized the only place I hadn’t inspected was my cousin’s bedroom.  “That’ll be interesting,” I thought.  Why not?  He wouldn’t be around.  I could sneak in, explore, and get out and he’ll never know.  So I snuck into his room and rummaged around for anything interesting.  Not finding anything, I turned to leave.  Suddenly, I spotted something glittering out of the corner of my eye.  “What’s that?” I puzzled.  I bent closer and pulled it out.  “It’s a wand!” I realized.  It wasn’t too large, but it was incredibly heavy and I thought it must have been made of solid gold.

Unexpectedly, I heard the soft footfall of my cousin’s leather boots coming down the hall toward the bedroom.  Without thinking I dived into the closet.  “Oh no!” I frantically thought.  “I still have the wand!”  I watched helplessly from behind the closet door as my cousin walked calmly into the room.  Not finding the wand in the dresser, he headed toward the closet I was hiding in!

“I’m sorry!” I blurted as he opened the door.  My cousin froze, bewildered.

After a moment of hesitation, he replied, “That’s ok, I’ve been curious before too.”  He gestured to the wand, “I was looking for that and you,” he added.


“Oh, well, you see, I’m actually a, well, a wizard,” he stammered.

“Hence the wand,” I guessed, cocking an eyebrow.


“So why did you want me?” I questioned, still in the closet.

“Oh!  Yes, well, I just received a message from the board of magicians to come to the monthly meeting.  I missed the last one and don’t want to be late for this one.  But, I –” he sighed.  “I recently turned Calvin into a-a dragon.

“You what?”

“I know.  I can turn him back, but I really should get to that meeting!”

“Well, what do I do?”

“Just point the wand at Calvin, think ‘Bunny’ or ‘Rabbit’ and he’ll turn normal again.”

“If you’re sure,” I stammered uncertainly.

“Positive!” he replied confidently.

So he left me to go find the bunny-turned-dragon.  I wandered the halls in search of his laboratory, and at length saw a light flickering from behind a door.  It was fire, a dragon’s fire.  I ran to the door, flung it open and dashed into the room, wand in hand.  I calmed Calvin and then pointed the wand towards him and chanted to myself “Bunny! Bunny! Bunny!” but when I felt the pulse of energy racing between my fingers, I flinched, and not only did the wand change direction, but I glanced at Calvin and thought “Dragon!”

The magic flew through the air, not toward Calvin, as I had intended, but toward a scruffy rat in the corner.  My eyes (and Calvin’s) widened with horror as the rat transformed into a hulking dragon.  It was completely black, with cruel, silver talons and eyes to match.  Its pupils were as thin as paper.  A deep growl issued from its throat, and I dived behind a cabinet as it spewed fire across the room.  “I have to turn it back!” I thought, “Oh no!  I dropped the wand!”

The rat-dragon then bolted past Calvin, snapping nastily at the bunny dragon with his jaw and crashed through the door.  “Calvin!  Don’t let him escape the castle!” I yelled to the rabbit dragon.  Calvin then charged out of the lab and after the black dragon.  I squeezed out of my hiding place and groped clumsily for the wand.  With the wand in hand, I rushed after the two dragons.

Calvin had clamped his jaws over the other dragon’s neck and was pinning him down.  I leaned against the wall to steady my arm and pointed the wand at the two dragons.  “Bunny!” I willed.  The magic shot through the air.  Smacking the two like a wave of cold water, the magic hit.  The two were instantly transformed into bunnies — one black, and one white.  Calvin grabbed a tile and slammed it over the black bunny’s head, knocking him out cold.

“Thanks,” I nodded to Calvin.

“You too,” Calvin replied while shaking his fur, grateful to be his normal self once again.

Just then Derik came around the corner and, ignorant of what had just taken place, said bluntly, “I got to the meeting and realized I need the wand.”

“You’ll never believe what happened while you were gone,” I started.

The End.

This story has been reprinted with the permission of Laura and her family.

To read the winning story from the 5th and 6th grade category, please click HERE.

To read the winning story from the 3rd and 4th grade category, please click HERE.

Posted by Gwen Fredette, December 6th, 2012

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