Writing Contest Winners 2015 — 7th and 8th Grades
Congratulations to the following 7th and 8th grade winners of the “PHB” Homeschool Writing Contest!!!
1st Place: Eliza, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 8 from Elverson, PA for the story entitled “The Real Treat”. Eliza’s wonderful winning story is reprinted below.
2nd Place: Chloe, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Chewelah, WA for the story entitled “Open Fields of Grace”.
3rd Place: Anya, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 7 from Philadelphia, PA for the story entitled “Imperfect Love”.
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.
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 worked to select the winners:
- Rosario Cintron
- Theresa George
- Pam Halter
- Kim Kremer
- Michelle Lofton
As promised, following is a reprint of Eliza’s fantastic winning story:
“The Real Treat”
“Run, Lee!” I screamed. “Run!” But my little brother wouldn’t move. He just stood there, knees, knocking, frozen in fear. Slowly the creature approached, snarling with fangs bared. It looked like a German shepherd, but I wasn’t sure.
“Jess,” my brother squeaked. The dog was moving closer.
“It’s okay, Lee,” I whispered, my voice shaking. “Give me your hand.” He slipped his clammy hand into mine. “We’re going to run on three,” I told Lee. “One…two… three!” I yanked him away, running as fast as I could, which didn’t work very well, as Lee’s chubby little legs weren’t able to keep up. His dinosaur costume and humongous trick or treat bag also restricted his running abilities. I darted around a huge glowing blow up pumpkin decoration, as Lee stumbled along behind me. After running for what seemed like forever, Lee abruptly slid to a stop, gasping for air. I paused to take a breather as well, and glanced back to see if the dog was chasing us. But he was in the same place as before, growling with hackles raised. Eventually he loped off into the darkness. “It’s okay, Buddy; he’s gone,” I told Lee, who was still gulping in air. Relief flooded his face. My six-year-old brother was not afraid of ANYTHING… with one exception. He was scared to death of dogs. His fear of dogs made up for all the things he wasn’t afraid of. He was always the one happily talking to clowns while I tried to hide in the shadows, and killing spiders for me, but as soon as the word “dog” was mentioned, he would run shrieking to safety. So when I had taken him trick-or-treating tonight, and that big beast of a dog appeared, he turned white as a ghost. “Do you want to keep trick or treating, Buddy, or go home?” I asked.
Lee inspected the pitiful amount of candy he had collected so far, and instantly said, “Keep going!”
I raised my eyebrows but we moved on to another house. By the time Lee’s bag was full of candy, we had made a circle back to where the dog had materialized from the shadows. Lee immediately started looking around, checking to see if the dog would emerge again. “Let’s go,” he begged.
“Alright, come on,” I said. A low growl made us both jump, and Lee fell backwards into the blow up pumpkin we had seen earlier. I quickly regained my balance to pull Lee up. But the dog was already on top of us. He had snuck up from behind, and was poised to attack. He leapt toward us, claws unsheathed and sharp fangs gleaming …. and landed on the glowing pumpkin! There was a loud pop and a hissing noise, and Lee and I turned to see the pumpkin decoration ripped to shreds. The dog whirled around and dropped a slobbery piece of the destroyed pumpkin at Lee’s and my feet. He then sat down, looking up at us and panting happily. For a moment I was utterly confused until all of a sudden it hit me. The dog had been growling at the pumpkin the whole time! He had been trying to “protect” us from it. I laughed out loud and reached down to pet the dog.
“Jess!” said Lee, pulling away from me.
“Wait, Lee; it’s okay!” I said reaching out to him. “He was trying to protect us!”
“What?” inquired Lee.
“The dog thought the pumpkin was dangerous, and he was trying to protect us from it!” I replied. Lee looked at me quizzically and then looked a the dog. I reached over to pet the dog. “Look, he’s really nice!” I said. Suddenly a teenage girl came running up. She grabbed the dog and slipped a collar and leash on his enormous head.
“I’m sorry. Was he bothering you?” she asked.
“No, he’s fine,” I replied.
“KIIING!” she groaned, seeing the former pumpkin. She continued to scold the dog as he hung his head. The girl turned to us and rolled her eyes saying, “He’s always doing this kind of stuff. I know he doesn’t mean any harm, but I’m not sure why he does it.” I quickly explained to her what had happened, and that he had been trying to protect us.
“We really should be thanking him,” I finished.
“I guess,” said the girl, grinning and scratching King on the head. “Still, now I have to tell the owners of the pumpkin … and I’m pretty sure it was new… and expensive!”
“Good luck!” I told her. “Well, we better get going! Bye, King, and thanks for saving us from the evil pumpkin!” I giggled, patting the dog on the head. Just then Lee, who had been quietly observing the whole ordeal, scooted forward, gave King a small pat on the head, and sprinted away. My jaw dropped, as I had never seen Lee voluntarily touch a dog before.
“You know, that dog was really nice and brave to protect us from that pumpkin,” said Lee as we walked home. “Maybe dogs aren’t so bad.”
“Yeah,” I replied, smiling to myself. On this Halloween night a dog had been the real treat!
Posted by Gwen Fredette on December 16th, 2015