3rd Annual Student Writing Contest, May 2010


Theme: Write a story about a dog.

Six finalists each received a $40 gift certificate to Eagle Harbor
Books. All entrants received a bookmark and Dogploma of Creative Writing.

The Finalists Are:

Not pictured: Cate Cederberg, 1st grade for her story "Buttercup Goes to the Moon" and Anna Maracich, 4th grade for her story "Manhood."

The winner of the "Draw a Magical Plant" contest
, held in Long Beach, CA on March 29 2009, was Dane Anderson.

Dane received a $30 gift certificate to Once Upon a Story Books and a basket of art supplies.

Winners of the Fortune's Magic Farm Essay Contest, where each winner received a $50 Booksense gift certificate.

Winners of Spring Writing Contest, announced at Bay Shore Library in Long Beach, CA on April 5th, are Ellie O'Donnel and Jack H. from Mrs. Padgett's 2nd grade class and Maggie Ryken and Frankie English from Westerly School.

Illustration, from "If I found a baby mermaid," by Ellie O'Donnel
Illustration, from "What would I feed a Viking for dinner," by Jack H.

Below are the winners of Suzanne's December 2007 writing contest for students in Poulsbo, Washington. Each student received a $50 gift certificate to Liberty Bay Books.

awarded to
Olivia Lee Mansker-Stoker, Grade 5

"What You Should (and shouldn't) Feed a Viking"

Slurping, crunching, the Viking will munch,
Soaked in saltwater, raw otter, crunch, crunch.
On the side, stale crackers with shark teeth on top!
A delicacy is rats tails fried,
with cockroach arms and legs on the side.
Oh, no, he eats even more hideous things,
As dessert, last-not-least, glazed mosquito wings.

But of all that gruesome stuff he eats,
He still will never touch his beets,
And carrots, oh my, for him they are the worst,
He cries as he sputters "Their taste must be cursed!"
And the one thing that makes a Viking weak in the knees,
Is just the thought of licking his peas!

awarded to
Elinor Lynn Krafsky, Grade 5

"The Mermaid Rescue"

Hi, my name is Thumbs. I'm an octopus. Squishy body, long legs, ugly features, yep that's me. But I am one of the most respected animals in the Puget Sound. Why? Well, I'll tell you. Under the Sound is a magical place called Mercity. It's invisible to humans so don't go looking for it, but if you're in the right place at the right time you'll see a Giant Bubble. (It opens up once every five years for five days) and when it opens you'll see a mermaid city with shops, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Millions of merpeople from around the world gather here every five years to talk, visit relatives, and sell things. Animals come there, too. You see, all animals have peace treaties if a catfish has a treaty, dogfish can't chase it. If shrimp have a treaty mermaid can't eat them. (They live entirely on shrimp salty and sour.)

I was going to the city to protest. All the smaller fish and most of the crabs (YUM) had peace treaties. I was getting thinner by the day. Then, just as I was about to go into the city I heard a cry for help. I looked around wildly then I heard it again. "Help. Help! Please help us!"

Two merbabies, hardly old enough to swim were being dragged away in a huge, I repeat in case you didn't hear me, a huge net. I swam up to the net quickly, but I wasn't fast enough. I put on a final burst of speed and slipped inside the net. Once I was inside the net I didn't know what to do. Suddenly right out of the blue (literally) I had an idea. With my strong beak I bit through the ropes that were entangling the mermaids. They fell through the net only to get caught in a powerfull current. I swam out of the net quickly but it was too late. I knew I couldn't pull them out, the current was too strong.

Then I saw where the current was taking them, the pipe. The current went into the pipe. All merchildren had been told to stay away from there. I knew I had to do something, but what? Thinking quickly I grabbed a big rock and jammed it against the pipe opening. The current stopped not a moment too soon, they were three inches from the pipe opening. By this time a crowd had gathered, the crowd burst into cheers. "You're a hero," a kid's mother cried.

Just then the Mayor came. "We are going to have a party, with a parade and dances," he said. Everyone cheered. That night I slept in Mercity. In the morning I went back to my cave in the rocks, a proud and happy octopus.

Bainbridge Island
This past summer, Suzanne held a writing contest for students in her hometown.
The theme was:
What would I do if I found a baby mermaid?

"Thanks to all the students who participated. The response was overwhelming! While I wasn't concerned with grammar or spelling, (those things come with practice), I was looking for writers who had a sense of story and emotion."

Here are the winners' entries. Each student received a $75 gift certificate to Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island.

awarded to
Mary Vandyke, age 9

I remember the day when I found my companion. It was a weird sort of day where the weather went from sunny to rainy and back to sunny again. This was the day when my mom called to me, "Jessica, go get the mail!" "Okay," I grumbled. My day was not off to a good start, because as soon as it was sunny, I went outside and as soon as I went outside, it started pouring.

I got up from my bean bag chair. I walked very, very slowly down the wooden staircase and as soon as I put my foot out of the door I shrieked in amazment. A baby mermaid! Right there in front of me! It was in a clear tub of water, and right by the tub was an old envelope with no return address and the cancellation mark read: 1994, and it was 2007 at the time. I forgot all about the mail I was supposed to get for my mom. I opened the envelope. A crinkly old letter was in there and I opened it up. It said...

You have been given a special delivery from the Underwater Agency.
Use her well.

So I brought her inside. We were about to eat dinner so I brought her to the table. I asked my family what to do with her. My dad said, "Throw it in the Sound where she will be happy." My hungry brother asked, "Can we eat it?" My mom and sisters cried, "NO! You should keep her and take good care of her." And right then I got a brainstorm. "Mom, can we get a swimming pool for her?" "We can think about it" said mom. "Let's put her in the bathtub for now."

So we brought Little Lavender into our home and from that day on she became my best friend in the whole wide world.

awarded to
Andria Clark, age 12

Dear Diary,
The most unexpected event happened to Tassie and I today...Everything began when Tassie and I headed over to the beach from my house. The sun was scorching down on the golden sand, making my bare feet feel as if they were reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit! Because of this, I was rapidly hopping across the beach, probably looking like a lunatic! Anyway, Tassie and I finally came to the water. Immediately I leaped into the cool, crystal water and thousands of little ripples were created around me.

"Eh!" I suddenly screamed, realizing that I was standing on a slick, scaley surface. It felt like my foot was ontop of a snail. I quickly pealed my toes away from the scales, as Tassie was coming over to see what happened. While we were deeply staring at the scale area, a patch of bubbles slowly rose to the surface of the saltwater. Beneath the bubbles, a dirty blonde braid of hair emerged, followed by a peach-colored face.

The next thing I knew, there was an ukelele sized baby mermaid laying down right where the silky sand meets the water. Displayed across her tan neck was a glowing white shell necklace that spelled out the name E*L*Y*A*N*A.

I carefully pressed my tiny feet into the sand and walked over to Elyana. Gently, I picked her up and brought her over to the slightly shadey spot on the beach. In less than an hour, Tassie and I got to work and created Elyana a home to live in until she was old enough to live alone in the ocean. Her chairs were woven from sea-green vines, her crib was dyed violet from juicy blueberries, the dresser was made from a nearby oak's bark, and Tassie dug a wide hole in the sand to fill up with water so Elyana could practice swimming. It seems as if finding a baby mermaid was all just a detailed dream, but yet Tassie and I know how real Elyana is.