Writing Contest Winners 2013 — 7th and 8th Grades
Congratulations to the following 7th and 8th grade winners of the “PHB” Homeschool Writing Contest!!!
1st Place: Emma, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 8 from Hamilton, MI, for the story entitled “Eagle’s Wings”. Emma’s wonderful winning story is reprinted below.
2nd Place: Becky, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Norristown, PA, for the story entitled “Water Cries”.
3rd Place: Maria, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Easton, PA, for the story entitled “A Babysitting Nightmare”.
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:
- The Institute for Excellence in Writing
- Peace Hill Press &
- Silver Lining Press
Special thanks also to the panel of judges who helped me select the winners:
- Michelle Lofton
- Rosario Cintron
- Julia Melone
- Theresa George
As promised, following is a reprint of Emma’s fantastic winning story:
“Help! Help!” my sister screamed frantically.
I groaned. What a drama queen! What could it be this time? Reluctantly, I followed the sounds of her cries. Why did she always start crying whenever the town’s militia drilled? Even at gunshots in the middle of the night? Suddenly, all my bitter feelings against my sister melted away. She’d never known her mother before she died. Our father was killed by colonists in a street riot. Joshua and I were all she had left.
“Mary Ann, it’s all right. That’s only the militia drilling on the green. Come here.” I embraced her in a warm hug.
“Why do they always do that?” she asked.
“They are only practicing, Mary Ann. Come inside and help me. It’s over for now.”
That night, I couldn’t sleep. I stepped out on the porch and gazed at the stars. Footsteps sounded behind me. “Joshua, what are you doing here?”
“I’m worried Lizzie. I don’t know what we are going to do about money. Father’s savings aren’t enough to support us for longer than a month or two. Uncle William wrote he would take us in, I know, but he lives in Canada, not Boston.”
“I really want to get Mary Ann away from all the violence and gunshots. She’s been terrified at every riot or drill ever since father -“
“I know,” he answered, “but it’s such a long way.”
“We could try it,” I said, trying to sound hopeful.
“Yes, it’s Spring now. We have no chance of being caught in a blizzard. And there’s another reason: war.”
“You don’t think it could come to that do you?”
“Yes, I do,” he replied grimly. “Think about it, Lizzie.”
“I will Joshua. Good night.” Deep in thought, I returned to my room and tried to sleep.
+ + + + + + + + +
“Joshua, we need to go.” I said the next morning. “I had a dream that a war started; it was dreadful.”
“Thank you, Lizzie!” he exclaimed.
“When do we have to leave?”
“In a week at the most. Could you be ready before that?”
“Maybe five days …”
“Yes, I suppose so.” I sighed. “I’ll go start packing.” I turned to go inside. “Oh Joshua, I’ve heard such terrible stories and we’d have to leave all of Mother’s china and linens; everything we’ve known,” I wailed.
“Lizzie, remember what Father said; ‘always keep looking up. Whenever I am afraid I will trust in you’, remember?”
“Yes, you’re right,” I said, drying my tears. “I’ll be brave.”
+ + + + + + + + +
“Mary Ann, Joshua and I have decided that it is time to leave Boston and go to live with Uncle William in Canada. We’re going to leave in three days.”
“Oh Lizzie, no!”
“I know it will be hard, but it’s best for all of us. Just think, you’ll get to see your cousin Lydia every single day!” There won’t be any more militia drills either, I added to myself.
“But Lizzie, I’m scared. It’s such a long way!” I walked over to the small kitchen table where my sister sat. Picking up my Bible, I turned to Psalms 56:3. “Listen to this Mary Ann, ‘When I am afraid, I will trust in You.’ David wrote that when he was captive in a strange land. He turned to God when he was afraid and God comforted him.” I put the bible in her hands. “Mother gave this bible to me when I was afraid. I want you to have this now, Mary Ann. Whenever you are afraid, turn to it, and like David, you will be comforted.”
“Thank you, Lizzie, thank you.”
“Well then, we’d best get to work. Josh -“
“Lizzie, come here, quick!” Joshua interrupted from the porch. I dashed outside and gasped. All of Boston’s militia marched out of town. None of them had uniforms; only ragged farmer’s clothing and the occasional merchant’s attire. Still, they made a striking appearance.
“Where are they all going?” I wondered.
“To Lexington,” Joshua replied grimly. “It has started, Lizzie, the War of Independence has begun. The first shots were fired today, first at Concord Bridge and then at Lexington. I’m afraid we’ll have to leave town earlier than expected; today if possible. I overheard some people saying they would drive all the British out of Boston and that there would be none left in the morning.”
“Would they let us leave?”
“With the king’s troops controlling the only way out of the city, that part should be easy. I still think we should leave tonight after dark.”
“I know it seems very soon, but I’m only trying to keep everyone safe,” he said. I sighed and returned into the house.
That afternoon was a flurry of activity for everyone. While Joshua arranged for neighbors and friends to auction off the house and animals, Mary Ann and I quickly packed clothes and food for the journey. Since we only owned two changes of clothes each, that went fast. I did have time to do a baking as planned and we would have bread for a few days. We sat down to our last dinner in the house two hours before we planned to leave.
“I baked a special treat tonight,” I announced and revealed a plate carrying three small cakes coated with white sugar, a delicacy in our home.
“Sweet cakes!” exclaimed Mary Ann. Joshua didn’t say anything, but I noticed a glimmer of sadness in his eyes. I knew what he was thinking. Mother had loved to make them for Father on special occasions. We hadn’t had them since she died.
“I thought our last meal here should be special.”
After dinner, we went for a walk to the hill above the harbor and watched darkness settle over the city for the last time. Two eagles soared over the water, bringing to mind my favorite verse; Isaiah 40:31. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Posted by Gwen Fredette on December 19th, 2013