Two Grade 8 students will soon be able to put “published author” on their list of accomplishments, as both were named finalists in Polar Expressions Publishing’s National Student Short-Story Contest.
Nadine R. and Eric P. found out this week that their short stories – Stars Fall and The Double Sword, respectively – will be published later this Spring in Star Guide, a collection of short stories written by young Canadians in Grades 6 through 8.
“My teacher told me in the hallway that I was a finalist and I started jumping and screaming!” Eric says.
“I was really surprised, too,” adds Nadine, who was also named a finalist in the poetry category, and will have her poem published in Wonder, an anthology of poems written by Grade 6-8 students. “I couldn’t believe I won another one!”
Middle School English teacher, Mr. Jerome Foenander, says he’s incredibly proud of his two students.
“Nadine has come a long way with her writing. She’s a very cheerful writer and when she gets to the Senior School, she’s really going to fly,” he says. “And Eric, he’s a poster child. To come from a non-English speaking background [as a new boarding student from Mexico] and to write with the authority he does is really a skill. In class, he yearns for possibilities and information on how he can improve his style and structure. He has so much promise as a writer.
“I love that they both took a risk with their writing, they put themselves out there and this contest win is their just rewards!”
Below, are excerpts from each of their short stories. The full stories will be published in June in Star Guide.
by Nadine R.
Jasmine was a curious girl just like Pandora. Her bedroom held many pieces of knowledge; books, a telescope, encyclopaedias, and many more artifacts. Every night she would ponder the unknown under the unbreaking stare of the moon. One night, the thoughts occupied her mind, leaving her with a restless sleep. Her room felt stuffy while she was moving, and she yearned for a gasp of fresh air. She brought her feet down on to the uncertainty of the cold wooden floor. Jasmine extended, reaching for the latch on the window. In the midst of her attempt, something from the corner of her eye captured her straying attention. A shine in the land a story below her window. Creaking down the stairs, she left to investigate. She slowly opened the lock on the front door, not expecting what was to come. She twisted the frosty door knob clockwise. Something illuminated her eyes, beauty covered her lawn that had once just been a layer of snow. Was it true? Had the stars fallen on her lawn? Bright rays of beaming light shone at her. Strains resignated, lighting up the ground. She gaped at the excellence of what she was seeing. Awe filled her heart, causing her jaw to drop….
The Double Sword
by Eric P.
There are two sides to the truth. The truth can be something people want to know, It can be something beautiful. For other people the truth can be something horrible, something that chases them day and night, for them, the truth is their worst nightmare.
Since I saw that beautiful smile I could see the truth as something that can hurt you, that can make you think “Life sucks”, but also as something that can create unison and a strong relationship, something that can make you think “Life is great”. For me, that something is a double sword.
My name is Steve and this is my story. I was once a soldier. At war, I’ve lost many friends. My life didn’t make sense. Crowds and crowds of people, dying for no reason, with nothing that I could do.
There was nothing to fight for. All of my family was dead, everyone who was important in my life. I don’t know how I survived. I think patriotism was the only thing that kept me alive. In that moment, the double blade was killing me, it made me think “Life sucks”.
(Book covers courtesy of Polar Expressions Publishing)