- Sponsorship -

An explorer, a tropical island, a pineapple

Fifth-grader wins top judges’ prize in writing contest

In her short story titled “Finding Hope,” fifth grader Ashley Cole begins with a classroom scene involving a quiet girl with a vivid imagination who’s struggling to fit in.

It begins:

“Okay class, open your books to page 74,” Mrs.Vanhorp ordered. Dylan May Smith sat at the back of the 6th grade class drawing on sticky notes she kept under her desk. Her mind was not in math class but somewhere much more interesting. She was an explorer. She had found a tropical island. She was running around playing games and eating peaches and pineapple.“

Ashley, a student at Nickels Intermediate School, is the judges choice winner in the youth category for Write Michigan, a contest presented by Kent District Library and Schuler Books & Music. She won $500, which she said she plans to put in savings.

About 1,100 writers from across the state entered the contest in four categories — 269 adults, 488 teens, 244 youth and 93 Spanish writers.

Winners were chosen by public voting for the $500 readers choice award, and by a panel of judges for the $500 judges choice and $250 judges choice runner-up awards. They will be honored at an awards ceremony at Schuler’s.

Other local winners include:

  • North Rockford Middle School student Ramona Wilke, Youth — judges choice runner-up;
  • Rockford High School student Sophie Sales, Teen — published finalist;
  • Kraft Meadows Middle School student Allison Malone – Youth — published finalist;
  • Potter’s House High School student Anja Van Drunen, Teen — judge’s choice winner. 

‘Write Whatever You Want’

Ashley said her mom, Kristi Cole, told her about the contest. “I like that you can write whatever you want. I can be creative. I like choosing the characters,” she said, explaining how she wrote her main character, Dylan. to be a girl who is really good at drawing but doesn’t get good grades.

Ashley said she wants to be an author of realistic fiction when she’s older, and lists authors Dan Gutman and Louis Sachar as favorites. She is also a reporter on the Nickels student newspaper, Bulldog Growl

Ashley, 10, and other winners will sign a copy of an anthology featuring their work on March 14 at Schuler Books & Music, 2660 28th St. SE.

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

Students reopen fine-dining restaurant six months after closing its doors

GRCC’s The Heritage has reopened to the general public, with culinary students cooking, baking their way toward degrees...

Plotting for a plot

Students’ hand-drawn maps are meant for the safekeeping of memories and to spur ideas for when they write personal narratives...

Outdoor lover, zen seeker, middle-schooler hope-giver

Bill Cataldo is the new K-8 principal for Cedar Springs’ new Red Hawks Online virtual school this year. School News Network took some time to get to know him better in this edition of Meet Your Principal...

The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Plotting for a plot

Students’ hand-drawn maps are meant for the safekeeping of memories and to spur ideas for when they write personal narratives...

Small-town girl, athlete, talker, with her eye on the tiger

Kelly Amshey is the new principal of Rockford Virtual School. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Principal...

The virtual classroom: 18 students, three screens and one busy teacher

Teaching online, from a classroom, requires multitasking and multiple screens for this fourth-grade teacher...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS