compiled by Marissa Grondin

In not so many words, Flannery O’Connor once commented that anybody with a childhood has enough insight and introspection to last them a lifetime. With that said, some talented elementary students are proving that they have enough stories to fill an entire book (or two, or three).

We thought it would be cool to revive a blog feature that had been dormant for quite some time: Stories Inspired by HFR. So, we contacted the faculty at two local Arizona elementary schools to see if they might be interested in asking their students to submit a creative piece in response to artwork featured in previous issues. Lucky for us, they agreed—we are proud to post the winners of the first HFR-hosted Elementary Creative Writing Contest here.

To kick us off, here are two stories from third grade students at Legacy Traditional School in Gilbert, Arizona, both written in response to Caleb Charland’s “Silhouette with Matches” (image below), which was featured artwork in HFR #52. And stay tuned in the coming week for more winning stories from the students at Dobson Montessori School in Mesa, Arizona!

By Katie:
A long time ago in a cool place far, far away lived a little girl, about nine years-old, named Katany. She went to a school called Creative Learning. One day at recess, she was running down the sidewalk when she stopped to glance at the small spot she was at. Suddenly, something shiny caught her eye. She ran over to find a small, sparkling crystal shimmering in the bright sunlight.

“What the what?” Katany said in surprise. The crystal said, Please Activate. She picked it up and ran to the girls’ room.

“Hey, Tianna,” she said. “How are you?”

“Huh?” Tiana wondered. She heard a voice, but did not see anyone.

“I’m over here!” Katany said. She waved, but instead zapped Tiana. Katany ran over and put her small hands on Tiana. Zap! Tiana stood back up.

“Whoa! What happened?” Tiana stood back up.

“I saved you!” Katany yelled, only now Tiana could not hear her either. Katany looked in the mirror. She saw nothing but a figure her size with glittering, golden waterfalls shooting out of it. Suddenly, the waterfalls turned off, and she was not invisible anymore.

Katany stuffed the crystal back into her pocket and ran to her best friend, Kennedy. She whispered what had just happened. “Maybe you’ll get an awesome power too one day, and then we’ll save the enormous world! Imagine that!” Katany said.

“Hey! We should call you Watergold,” Kennedy shouted excitedly.

“Okay!” Katany answered, and then together they made a plan to save the enormous world.

By Annalise:
Once there was a ten-year-old boy named Mike. Mike was very adventurous and he loved porcupines! Mike had five brothers, seven sisters, and one best friend. When finally reaching his eleventh birthday, his mom told him that he could go into the backyard forest. So off he went! He grabbed his supersonic binoculars and his red and brown metal telescope.

First, he saw a gray squirrel and a blue jay, and then he saw a moose, deer, and, last of all, he saw a coyote. After walking for about thirty minutes, he felt the ground start to shake just a little. He also felt something that felt like a really sharp needle, but actually was a quill from a porcupine. In a few seconds, he turned invisible, and all the quills were shining. It was like he was the king!

He went home and his family was horrified, but he calmed them, and then they were fine. He tried to get himself back to normal, but unfortunately he couldn’t. He grew up trying to make friends, but didn’t. Then, one day, he met the friendliest girl in the world, and they got married and lived happily ever after.

The End.