Published Work

The work from the 2014 festivals (both Elkhorn and Stuart) are now published. Please see the posts below for sample work from our students. Great job and thanks for sharing!

-Amy Tasich

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Emma M.

The first 11 years of Natilie’s life were the best!  She lived in a little farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere.  Natilie would go outside and sit in her favorite tree in her backyard.  It had a lot of thick and low climbing branches and was very colorful during the Fall.  Fall was Natilie’s favorite season for many reasons, she loved the smell, the colors and the cool air.  She would go up and sit in her tree along with her sketchpad and pencils as many times as she could.  Sometimes she would sit up there for hours on end drawing whatever she saw as she looked out from her tree.  She loved being an only child.  She felt so free when she was in her tree, no talking, no loud rumbles of cars, just the sounds of birds chirping and the wing rustling in the leaves of the tree.  All of this was true until November 2nd.  Her mom had just has twin girls, Kyle and Katie.  Natilie’s quiet days were over.
     “Do I have to?”, asked Natilie.
     “Yes!”, her mother replied for the fifth time since the twins were born.  The twins were now three years old and Natilies mom had told her that once they turn three you will have to share a room with them.
     “Can’t they just stay in the extra room we have?”, pleaded Natilie.
     ” What!  Of course not, that is our guest bedroom!”, cried her mother.
     “But why not, we never have guests over anyway”, said Natilie
     “That’s it,up to your room young lady we will discuss this later!”, yelled her mother.
     “I just don’t see what the big deal is.”, murmered Natilie
The twins were now six years old and going to kindergarten.  One day as they were riding the bus home Natilie had forgotten her homework in her locker so she asked the bus driver if she could go retrieve it.  The bus driver said yes so she ran in to get it.  As she was running back to the bus she starts to run across the street to the bus but she was not looking where she was going and a semi comes speeding down the street straight towards Natilie.  Natilie doesn’t notice the semi but her sisters Kyle and Katie do they roll down the window and yell at Natilie to watch out.  Natilie heard their cries and starts to look around she is straight in the path of the semi.  She runs back to the other side of the street just in time as the semi rolls by.  Then she makes sure to look up and down the street before crossing again.  She makes it back to the bus and thanks her sisters as soon as she gets on.  Then sits down and starts to look out the window thinking that maybe having sisters isn’t so bad after all.
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Josie B.

Gabrielle Schaaf. Hmm, interesting name. I like it.
       Remy tracked Gabrielle, her Chosen, all day. Trips to the Buckle, Rue 21, and the local frozen yogurt place, Cherry on Top, were expected. But the trip that surprised her was the theatre. As Gabrielle went in, the admissions lady beamed her 100-watt smile and handed her two tickets to the movie, which was-Remy was knocked suddenly to the ground before she could read the name of the film.
     “Oh my god, are you okay?” a masculine voice inquired. “Here, give me your arm,” Remy didn’t, but he took it anyway. She looked up and saw an adorably hunky guy with those gorgeous blue eyes that you could swim in-Stop! she scolded herself. Not on a mission. Not here, not now when she could so easily lose her Chosen. While he started to initiate conversation, she was craning her neck to watch through the window. Gabe, ordering a popcorn with Milk Duds and a Dr.Pepper. “My name is Levi.” Gabe, walking off with her boyfriend, Cooper, to the romance movie. “What’s your name?” Ugh, she was losing her. She turned to the adorable Levi.
     “Let me have your hand.” As he gave it to her, she glanced and saw the lady putting up a sign;’ “Two Minutes Left to Purchase Tickets.” ‘ She got out her Baby Lips by Maybelline and scrawled her phone number on his bronzed palm.
       She bellowed out a “Call me!” and followed her chance of redemption into the theatre just as the Dark villain drew his knife.
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Lydia “Trapped by Wolves”

Crisply does the wind in October rustle down the meadow as I walk through the wilted flowers of the Autumn colored meadow. Every step I take produced the sound of twig snapping in half. Sadie, my sister, follows me as I winds through the tall, thick grass. I watch the grass for any sorts of signs of wolves. Wolves have been known to be in the meadow, it is their hunting ground. No one has been known to escape the wolves alive. Last week my best friend was found deceased in the meadow, killed and eaten by wolves. My mother was frightened to think that we are hunting in the wolf territory.
With my rifle at hand I notice that Sadie has stopped walking and stands where she is with a very frightened expression on her freckled face. I look around at my surroundings. Something black weaves through the dense grass. The only thing I can imagine it being is wolves.
Black wolves surround us snarling at us like we are easy prey, too easy. The wolves make me think about ambushes in the war times or when a cat pounces on us. Soon they will take us out one by one.  Soon, we will be dead. They start to close in on us, soon there will be no escape from this. We are now officially trapped.
I only have two bullets to defend myself and Sadie. The wolves won’t be easy to scare off. They are not like ordinary wolves. These are different. Regular wolves would stay away from humans at any cost, but these will not. How will me and Sadie survive?
The wolves circle around us waiting for the proper moment to pounce on us. Their snarls make me shiver. Boy, do I wish Dad was here. He would have saved us, but he is gone. Soon we will be gone. No one can save us. Our bodies will be in the ground before we even know it. Somebody, anybody, come help us.
Sadie grabs a large stick from the ground and waves it around, trying to swing it at the wolves head. She’s braver than I thought. Her weapon won’t be enough to protect herself from these vicious creatures. My rifle will do us no good. The wolves will soon make their terrifying move for the kill.
How will we survive this? When will they conquer our lives?
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I was the youngest in a family of five. My dad was only 43. My mom was 40.  My brothers, Nate and Zach, are both 19. They are twins so I was always getting them mixed up.  I am 12 and the only girl on my block. My mom was always out with her friends and Zach was off in the military. Nate was always a jerk to me so I just ignore him. One day i hope he will learn that i am just a girl and i don’t like the way he treats me. Until that day i have to put up with him though. 

One day, Dad, Mom, Nate, and me were at the dining room table and the doorbell goes off. Looking around we realize none of us was expecting anyone.  Dad goes to the door and opens it cautiously. Standing on our doorstep all bloody and beaten is Zach.  He is wearing torn rags and no shoes. He comes inside and tells us the Nazis are coming for Nate. I have to admit I was glad because Nate was never nice to me but, I looked and saw the looks on everyones faces and realized it wasn’t the nicest thought to think. Dad told us to pack every thing we have. As I was sauntering up the stairs I still didn’t know what was so terrifying about Nate leaving.  When I was all done packing I finally realized what it was, Nate was a Jew. They were going to kill him. Thats why everyone looked so scared. Nate was going to die. NO, I would not let that happen. Even though Nate was a total jerk he was still my brother and I couldn’t bear to lose him.
When we got to the train station, I still didn’t know why we were in such a hurry. It’s not like they realized Nate was gone.  Thats when I look back and see a bunch of guards and terrifying looking people.  Dad, Mom, Zach, and Nate all look at me and tell me what I need to do.  Then they split up and go on different cars.  Right as they disappear from sight two guards with guns taller then me come around the corner. They walk up to me and ask if I have seen two young gentlemen.  I tell them I haven’t and they give me suspicious looks.  I give them my best scared and confused look. They must have believed it because they jogged to a different couple a half a block down.  Phew, we’re safe.  As I’m getting on the train I hear gunshots and screams. The next thing I know, there is blood everywhere. Then everything goes black.
As I wake up I see wet, gray stone and steel bars. Oh no, I thought I’m dead. Worse I thought, I’m in a Concentration Camp.
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Lainey-Title Stories

Don’t you just love to write stories for fun? I like to write but I still need a little more help to make my sentences better. The fun part about writing stories is that you can use your own imagination. You can write what ever you want to write, the sky is the limit. It doesn’t matter what you write about it matters if you think it is good and hopefully people will like your book if you want it to be published. Sometimes it is hard to get inspiration and figure out what you are going to write about, but it takes time to figure it out, but once you figure it out, you won’t be able to stop writing because you have all this inspiration coming to you that would be hard to put down the pencil.Writing something is very healthy to do if you are feeling an emotion like sad or angry. Writing helps you let all that out in a healthy way instead of a bad way. Inspiration for writing a story can come from anywhere just by looking up at a ceiling can give you a flood of ideas. People have different ways of getting inspiration to write a story like exercising, looking at a ceiling, just being at a certain spot or building. My way of getting inspiration is by just sitting and thinking about what would be good to write about. The most important thing is, is that inspiration takes time. It may take you awhile to figure out what you are going to write about, whether it is about shoes, the sunset, make-up serious issues in the world,or what ever your story is about, It is all worth it in the end because you have a smash-hitting story right in your notebook.   

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The smell of cleaning products burned her nostrils as she looked around the dimly lit movie theater. She heard the tap of her shoes as she walked down the aisle of chairs to the seat that she had scooped out. It was in the very back row and right in the middle. Right where she wanted to sit so she could see every one and be able to observe them, this was her favorite part of going to the movies, observing.
Her eyes wondered the mustard yellow walls to the movie screen. She looked above the movie screen to ceiling.
She lost herself in the patterns of the black ceiling. She wondered what it would feel like if she could trace the patterns of swirls, squares, and other odd shapes with her fingers.
She was aroused from her trance by the movement of a couple finding their seats in the row in front of her. The man and the woman were tall and lean, well groomed, and look happy to be together.
She moved on and looked at the man sitting two rows in front of her and six seats to the right. He wore what looked like a blue blazer and a pair of nice jeans. His face was shadowed with growing beard. He looked like he hadn’t slept in days. Kathy wondered what this man was doing here, he was dressed up like he was on a date but he was alone. Maybe some one was coming to meet him.
Kathy moved on to a couple that caught her eyes a few rows up. The man was a skinny, sickly looking thing. His close hung closely on his body. The woman on the other hand was plump, nothing like the man she was with. Kathy laughed to her self as she thought how opposites must really attract, just look at those two.
Her eyes where then turned to a group of loud teenage students that were walking into the theater. She could here the ticket seller telling them to be quiet through swing door that was now closing.
Once Kathy had looked over all the people in the theater, she looked down at her finger nails, short from being bit off with nervousness. Her mother kept telling her that bitting her finger nails was a bad habit to get into, but she couldn’t stop.
Finally the lights where shut off and the movie screen came to life. There was one last ray of light as the swinging door closed behind late comer.
Kathy studied this old man that came, he was short and wrinkled with years of living. His face was outlined in smile lines and his clothes discolored with years of use. Being late was probably not his plan, when he was younger he probably was always on time, but the year of hard work and living had taken their time on him.
This was Kathy’s favorite part of being in public, she could watch and listen to other people. To think that she could guess what other people’s lives are like. Here she could be who ever she wanted and forget about her life.
She could forget who she is.
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