Winning Entries: Kids Write About Bravery, Dreams

The Ohio Valley Writers held its inaugural writing contest this spring. They were pleased to choose adult and elementary school winners in poetry, fiction and nonfiction categories. Here, we present the winners in the kids’  fiction category. Please visit for more information. We hope to see you at our meetings!


First Place


By Emma Wade

Ella and Stella quickly followed behind their father. Their father stopped abruptly and the sisters almost collided with him. Papa looked at the girls and said, “I have some furs I want to trade with the Indians. We need some venison for the trip to Utah. Go back to the farmhouse and help your mother pack.” Their father went ahead of them and took one of the crossroads. Stella barely knew the way back to the family’s farmhouse. They hadn’t seen the path their father had taken and they knew the way to their house wasn’t the one in front of them, so they took one of the offshoots of the path. After the girls walked about a mile, they stumbled upon a cluster of huts. Strangely enough, there were men, women and children that seemed to be living in these huts. Stella’s eyes drifted from the bark and mud huts to see a cluster of male Indians by a huge oak tree in the distance. Stella grabbed Ella’s hand and moved closer to get a better look. Once they were about one hundred yards from the Indian cluster, one of the Indians moved and Stella could see her papa tied to the tree with daggers and knives jutting out of the tree behind him. Stella whispered to Ella, “go into the farthest corner of the farthest hut and see if you can hide there. I will come for you with Papa.” Ella opened her mouth to argue but Stella pushed her toward the outcropping of huts. Once Ella was out of sight, Stella ran up to one of the Indians, grabbed a knife from his belt, stabbed the knife into the ground, and yelled at the strange Indian. Of course the Indian could not understand her so he grabbed her and took her to the same hut where Ella was. Their accidental trip to Indian village was not going well.

The Indian dragged Stella into the hut with such force that Stella almost fell flat on the ground. Stella had had quite enough of this Indian pulling on her braids. She grabbed his hand in hers and twisted in such a manner that the Indian yelped in pain. Once Stella was facing the Indian, she could see the rage rising in his eyes. Although he was ready to pounce like a leopard on its prey, the enraged Indian stomped out of the hut. Stella almost wished the indian had ended it all that night.

After crying herself to sleep, Stella awoke to find sunshine streaking through the hut’s open door. She jumped up and ran out the door through the Indian village to the big oak tree where the warriors of the village had held her father captive the day before. He was gone! Stella felt a chill run down her spine knowing that the Indians had finally succeeded in killing her father. About five minutes after she returned to the hut, a strangely-dressed woman came in with a bark bucket in her hand and motioned for Stella to retrieve water from the creek. Stella knew this was her chance to escape but she couldn’t leave without Ella. She crossly snatched the bucket and returned with fresh water. However, Stella refused to eat and the woman sent her to the chief. The chief took Stella to one of the biggest huts she had ever seen! The chief called out something in what seemed to Stella to be jibberish, and a girl about her own age appeared at the entrance of the hut. The chief spoke another word or two to the girl and then left. Surprisingly the girl spoke English to Stella and stated, “Glasco is the man whose arm you twisted. It is hard to make him hurt but you did a good job. Everyone was laughing when he appeared outside White Owl’s hut. You shall belong to White Owl from now on.” So that’s who that woman is, Stella thought to herself. After learning to trust the chief’s daughter, Stella became good friends with her, whom she now knew was named Selincua. After what seemed to Stella to be a lifetime, Selincua managed to free Stella and Ella from the Indians’ grasp and told them to return to their mother.

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It had been five years since Stella and Ella took the wrong path. Anxiously wanting to get home to their mother, they desperately searched for the crossroads where they had taken the wrong path before. They softly made their way through the bushes and brambles that had overgrown the path until they finally spotted home. Their mother greeted them at the door with tears in her eyes and asked where their father was. Stella took something from the pouch that Selincua had given her. It was a tuft of brown hair with dirt and dust cluttered on the base of the hair. Stella’s mother cried out in horror. Stella slowly retrieved a pick from the old barn and proceeded to bury the only remains of her father that she knew of. Three months later Stella’s mother married again. This new Papa wanted the Indians to pay for killing Stella’s first father. Along with a group of other men from the town, Stella’s new father proceeded to massacre the Indians and burn their village. Stella never accepted her stepfather the same way after that. She told him that she had never forgotten the mercy that Selincua had shown her and her sister. Stella would never forget.


Second Place


By Micah Kramer

“Kssssshhh,” went Luna’s skates as she sped across Lake Ontario. Luna’s family just moved there so she could pursue her dream of being an ice skater. “Dinner time Luna!” yelled her mother. She knew her father had caught a fresh pike when she smelled sizzling fish on the grill.

After dinner it was starting to get dark. Luna wanted to go skating again. Her parents made her take her older brother Jack to watch her. They both were having fun when Luna slipped and fell hard. They both heard cracking under her, and she fell through. Jack ran to her and saw her face shining from the moon under the water. Jack knew he had to do something, so he dove in and grabbed her arm to pull her out. Her face was pale and cold on the ice.

Luna’s family rushed her to the ER. She had to stay the night there, and they would find out what’s wrong with her the next morning. Luna woke up in the middle of the night and could only remember hitting her head on the ice. She looked at the bedside table and everything on it was fuzzy. She concentrated hard, still fuzzy. So she went a little closer and touched a stethoscope. She saw it clearly and saw that it floated when she touched it, a stethoscope floating over her head like it had nothing to hold it down! She rubbed her eyes and opened them to find the stethoscope sitting on the table. Morning came and the doctor told her parents she had suffered from lack of oxygen to the brain.

She could go home but had to lay down and not move too much. Luna was bored out of her mind the next day. Until her whole class came over except Luna’s skating rival Ivy. Ever since they moved here Ivy always wanted to beat her at everything, and she succeeded. Luna didn’t want to think about that right now though. That night she woke up wondering about the night at the hospital when the stethoscope floated. She tried to do it on something else to see if she could do it again. She focused on her pillow and tried to make it float. Nothing happened so she tried to do what she did the night at the hospital. She only remembered looking at the moon, so she tried that. She focused on the pillow and the moon. She could feel the power of the moon in her. Sure enough the pillow floated up from her head.

The week after was the day of the ice skating tournament. Last night she had a dream of the moon talking to her saying, “Luna I gave you this gift to show you who you are meant to be.” Luna didn’t know what the moon meant. But she was amazed the moon could give her powers like that. The competition was in an hour so her whole family got ready to leave for it. When they got there the competition was just starting. She saw a lot of friends as well as Ivy.

They both blew by the first and second round. There were four skaters left and only two would advance to the finals. Luna had butterflies in her stomach. Every one skated well that round but the two winners were Luna and Ivy. Ivy glared at her and Luna looked away. Ivy went first and gave it everything she had Luna didn’t think she could beat it but she had to try.

She went onto the ice and started. She was doing well but not well enough to beat Ivy, and her song was almost over. She knew what she had to do. She was going to do a triple axel. She turned the corner and touched her skates and felt the moon. She jumped into it and flew through the air. She felt herself floating. She spun three times and stopped focusing to land. She had finished her routine.

Ivy skated out on the ice to find out the winner. Luna couldn’t believe what she did. She was amazed. Then the moment they were all waiting for. The judges announced, “and the winner is Luna Johnson!” Luna was so happy so she skated to her family for congratulations! She was so excited she forgot about Ivy. But she looked back and saw her laying on the ice. Luna skated over to pick her up and skated off with her. Luna made friends with Ivy and knew the moon wanted to pursue her dream being a skater.