Monday, November 12, 2012

Former Blogger Wins Local Writing Contest!

Jonah, one of Mrs. Yollis' former students from the 2008-2009 year, has continued his journey as a writer! He was one of the original bloggers on this site. Here are some links to some posts Jonah wrote from our archive:  My Visit to Washington, D.C. and What is Community Service? Boys in Action.

First Place
Jonah (and friend)
 Jonah (and friend)
Under 18 Years Category

 Jonah recently won first place in a community short story contest! According to the local paper:

In his winning entry, "Once upon a hundred," 12-year-old Jonah uses The Acorn Fiction in a Nutshell contest as the centerpiece of his story. Midway through his 100-word essay, the boy cleverly pens a quiz that leads to a very creative conclusion. “I just like writing and wanted to challenge myself. I never wrote anything that short before, so it’s something I wanted to try,” Jonah said, acknowledging that a good short story requires much more thought than he expected.

Here is his winning 100 word essay! 
“Once upon a hundred”
My best friend and worst enemy, a blank paper, sits facing me and laughs at my confused expression. I am faced with the impossible task of writing an extremely short story when I have too much to tell. I’ve wasted 38 words for an introduction. What will entertain the reader in exactly 44 words?  Scenarios.
You awake in a meadow. You hear thunderous hoof beats in the distance. You will turn to find . . . a buffalo stampede!  You have 25 words to defeat them. Now 16.
You begin to play your enchanted flute. The bison vanish. Overcome by joy, you stop reading.
— Jonah, age 12

What do you think of Jonah's short story?

Have you ever entered a writing contest?

Here is the 100 Word Challenge Blog. The 100 Word Challenge is not a contest, but each week they have a fun challenge! 
Join the fun! 



  1. Jonah,
    What a clever short story! I loved the unexpected ending! Was this type of writing more difficult? Did you do many drafts? : )
    I'm going to share this with my grade fives. And who knows, perhaps some will be inspired to try the 100 word challenge for themselves.
    Mrs. Hewitt
    Bonavista, NL

    1. Dear Mrs. Hewitt and Jonah,

      Mrs. Hewitt, I agree that it is a clever short story! What else did you think about it? I thought it was amazing that he typed the short story and was twelve years-old! (Even he is much older than me because I am only seven.) Did you?

      For me, the writing is more difficult because typing is with your fingers and they don't get tired in my opinion. To write, you need to hold a pencil and move your hand around, but Jonah's story was short. :-) Though, it was better to have a short story than have a non-quality story. Do you think it is the other away around or do you think it is this way?


      I liked how you told how many words you wasted and how many words you have left.

      No, I have never entered a writing contest, but I would love to. If you didn't, would you?


  2. Dear Jonah,

    What a treat to read your award-winning essay! I'm not surprised that you won. The dedication you give to your writing is exemplary, and I can't wait to share your story with my new second and third graders!

    I still have a picture of Charlie hanging up in my classroom. Come by one of these days so we can catch up!

    Congratulations and keep up the great work! A big hello to your family!

    Your proud former teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. What a wonderful example of using your imagination to overcome the obstacle of parsimonious word allotment! Congratulations on your well deserved award.

    Mr. C

  4. This is fantastic! I love the way you broke the "4th wall" and spoke directly to us through not only the narrators voice, but your own as well. I read this with my 7 year old last night, and while she was confused about why you were talking about writing and how many words you had left, she really enjoyed the part about the thundering bison and the magic flute :)

  5. Dear Jonah,

    My daughter, Jenna, is in Mrs. Yollis' class now. I just could not help commenting on this blog about your short essay. I am just so impressed. It was fantastic! It is so clever. You made such a great point of stating how difficult writing a short piece can be and then, you managed to do just that with great wit and creativity. Congratulations! I hope my daughter will continue, as you have, to love to write after being inspired in Mrs. Yollis' classroom.


  6. Dear Jonah,

    I too would like to echo along with the other comments on your wonderful piece of writing. You have done an truly an outstanding job.
    You truly have a wonderful gift when it comes to writing.

    I hope you will keep on writing and who knows maybe a novel in years come. I truly hope so.

    Congratulations Jonah! all the way from down under.


  7. Dear Jonah,
    WOW ! I think you are clever and deserved the award.I have sat in front of that same piece of paper,with that same dilemma.The difference is astounding.
    You attacked the challenge with the skill of a seasoned writer,and the humor I enjoy reading.
    Are you keeping a journal? I see a movie script in your future.
    Grandma G.

  8. Dear Jonah,

    Congratulations on your well deserved award! I found your essay intriguing and mysterious and I enjoyed every word.

    You seem to have a gift for writing. Have you considered writing as a career when you are an adult?

    Shannon (Collin's mom)

  9. Dear Jonah,

    Wow! How hard was it to write a 100 word story? How did you celebrate winning the contest? If I won a contest like that I would scream. Then I would want to go on a vacation.:D When I grow up,I would like to be an author. I have already written some books. The titles are "If You Give a Hog a Hamburger, Who Let The Animals Out, Stripes, Martha and George Go to Target, The Hot Pizza, I have a Twin Sister, and I lost my hair."Have you ever wrote a long story?



  10. Dear Jonah,
    You captured the dilemma of a blank page.One hundred words to tell a short story is a feat unto itself. Congratulations for accomplishing your task with humor,imagination and maturity
    Are you keeping a Journal? I believe your creativity will morph into a screen play or Saturday night skit someday.You may want to look back on the young Master Jonah.
    You nailed it.
    Grandma G


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