Winners of the 9th Annual Poetry & Short Story Contest

We’re pleased to announce the following winners in the 9th Annual Poetry and Short Story Writing Contest for Youth:

Sabrina Ruetz, Poetry, English
Alessandro Hussey, Poetry, English
Shiloh Newton, Poetry, English
Laryssa Bolek, Short Story, English


Their winning entries are below!

Giant be Silent, by Sabrina Ruetz

“Shh,” said the teacher,
“Shh,” said the creature.

You must be quiet they said to me
You must quiet as can be.

You are not quiet, when you pound
You are not quiet, make no sound

Why must I not make a sound?
Why am I not allowed to pound?

All of us are trying to sleep
So you must not make a peep.

You must not pound
or make a sound.

You must be quiet as can be
You must be quiet they said to me.

Silence Falls, by Alessandro Hussey

outdoors in the winter
snow is falling on red leaves
a wolf howls
          a red sound
in the dark world
    of winter
    a wolf howls again
in the white and red woods
Then silence falls.

SILENT, by Shiloh Newton

I hide behind my hair,
so no one can see my face,
Silent, never to make a sound.

They speak to me,
but I cannot speak back.

I stay in silence.
I cannot say how I feel.

I am silence.

I am silent,silent,
silent forever.

‘Silence’ by Laryssa Bolek

She came to this place every day -where the forest thicket met the soggy river bed-, to sit in contemplation under the awakening twilight. She would listen to songs by the frogs, the locusts, the chorus echoing down from the canopy above and the skittering footsteps of little animals. From where she hailed from remained a mystery to the boy and only fed his curiosity. He would watch her, from in the shadows of the cabin painted with earth, that the wild seemed to claim more and more with the passing of every new moon. And yet he stayed there, was it stubbornness? Familiarity? It held nothing for him now, except the spark of seeing the young girl wait on the mossy bed, in the clutches of nature, for something to come. Again, the curiosity ate away at the small boy’s frail bones. He wanted so dearly to step out the door, and what…..speak to her? If he could, what would he say? Would he ask for her name? No, a name does not define who a person is, rather it’s simply just another title. Perhaps he would ask her what she was waiting for, or where she came from or something else entirely, what she thought of the world above. But it did not matter, he was forever living a life in silence. On the contrary, this day was different. The girl with raven hair and eyes mirroring a stormy sky did not come. The forest clearing seemed hollow, void of her magickal presence. Even the animals and the wild sensed her vacancy, singing nothing at all. Thus, this was the first day the sky opened to release the rain. So he sat in his wooden chair with three legs, scratching away at the windowsill. He’d create mountains, great tall pines and even dragonflies with the edge of his only possession, a copper coin. Though the most prominent drawing in the rotting wood was a single word that repeated itself, crawling up the wall into the infinite space above, ‘speak’. The boy was finishing the last stick in the letter K when he glanced up. Even over his scratching, he could hear the tears rolling off the girl’s sad face. There she sat, elbows upon knees, giving in to the shadows of sorrow. Something deep inside the boy awoke, lifting him from the chair and carrying him out the door that laid ajar. He’d have to comfort her, but without using words. So he took the quivering girl into his arms and lifted his chin to the growing light above. The boy felt his back expand, becoming a fitting home to large feathered wings. Digging his toes into the soft earth, he pushed upwards, leaving behind the confinement of the cabin, the magick of the wilderness and the sorrow of her pool of tears, taking the girl to a place promising joy. As the world fell away and the clouds opened up, the girl lifted her head, a new light shining through her eyes. ‘Thank you, you’ve freed me’, she said. Silence then had a whole new meaning.