2022 Creative Writing Contest: Winners

In the summer of 2022, A Grade Ahead of Central Ohio and A Grade Ahead Enrichment at Home hosted a small Creative Writing Contest. This limited-time contest yielded great results, with 10 amazing young writers emerging as the winners in their grades.

Creative writing contestants needed to be current students who provided one submission which adhered to the rules such as staying within the word count and including key details from the prompt.

A big thank you goes out to all of the 2022 Creative Writing Contest participants for joining us in this summer’s contest. The submissions were amazing to read, and there were a few ties that couldn’t be broken. 

We also want to thank our amazing team members at A Grade Ahead for creating the process of, preparing for, and supporting the Creating Writing Contest behind the scenes.

Below, you will find the winners’ submissions. 

*[] – Indicates a correction has been made.


Creative Writing Contest – 3rd Grade Winner


Beep Beep! What type of bug makes that sound? Me! I’m Bibi who lives in the plains where there is lots of cheetahs. To start my day I’m going to find small peanuts for my breakfast because that’s the only nut I can swallow. Aha! That patch of grass must some peanuts. Wait a minute …Oh no! That’s a lizard what if it eats me while I try to get the peanut? What should I do? Hmmmm…I know! I can spread my wings to look like a cheetah’s eyes to trick and scare him away. Here we go! 1 2 3 whoosh! Out go my wings. Yay! It worked! I’ll take this peanut home… Oh no! I forgot the way back. Maybe I’ll use the trees to remember the way. Home, sweet home. Yum! This peanut is so good, now it’s naptime. All that hard work made me really tired and I always feel refreshed after a nap. I’m a snug little bug in a rug. Well that’s weird I can’t seem to fall asleep. Usually I always fall asleep immediately. Maybe eating something else will help me go to sleep. I’ll just see what I have in my fridge. What! All I have is cheese! That’s my least favorite food but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it because I’m way too exhausted to go out and get more peanuts. Ewwwww! This tastes so weird but sure made me more sleepy now. I still can’t seem to fall asleep. Maybe if I listen to my favorite song I’ll just drift off to sleep, but my radio isn’t working. I called my friend weasel if he has any ideas. Find a stuffy, he said yawning. Night, night, sweet dreams and Bibi fell asleep.

 Creative Writing Contest – 4th Grade Winner

“Untitled” by Lasya P

Yesterday, I organized a sprinkler party on my front porch! My parents invited some of my friends over for the party because, what is a party without friends! The friends who came over were Saanvi, Tharakram, Sarayu, Vrinda, Amogha, Ravya, and Lathik. They all had fun during the sprinkler party. After the party, everyone was soaking wet and everyone forgot their towels so I let them borrow some of mine. Saanvi had the most fun because it was her first time at a sprinkler party. After her first experience, she was really happy. She told me how she felt when she first experienced it. First of all, she felt cold, but she likes the cold so she was fine with it. Also, it was a really hot summer day in June, So no worries. All of my friends dried off pretty quickly because it was so hot. Another reason she said was that she felt like a warm summer day because a hot summer day + cold water = feeling like a warm summer day (hot+cold=warm). Overall, she had so much fun. After the party, everyone came into my house for dinner, dessert, and also drinks. My mom made sandwiches for dinner and for dessert we had strawberry cake with whipped cream. For drinks, we had lemonade and Strawberry flavored Fanta and of course, water. After dinner, we had a solo dance party. Everyone got to pick what song they wanted to dance for. After the dance party, everyone’s parents came to pick them up. That day, everyone had a blast of fun.

Creative Writing Contest – 5th Grade Winner

“The Mark” by Sushanth D

It was Thursday. A boy named Joseph who was part of a family ruling the world. Joseph was often ignored by his parents because they were always busy ruling the world. He would usually sleep because there was nothing to do.

One day, his parents got a scroll from some monks. They said that it was a prophecy and asked them to read it. The prophecy said that a child with a scar was to destroy the ruling family. His parents took this seriously and came to Joseph with a serious look on their faces and asked him to be careful.

The next day, his parents ordered more guards around the house. The parents started to spend more time with Joseph fearing that this may be their last time together. Because there were no rules pushed by the king or queen, riots, shoplifting, and many more bad things began to happen.

Unfortunate things continued in the kingdom until Joseph got hurt playing soccer. He was fouled by the opposing team just as he scored. Since the cut looked deep, they sent him home. When he came home and showed them his scar, his parents first had looks of astonishment, then they whispered to each other after putting a bandage on his cut. Then they asked him, “How did you get the cut?”. When he told the story of what happened, starting from him scoring to the other team fouling him. Then his parents

called the monks, and the monks told them to imprison him. When his parents heard his, they immediately told the monks that was not going to happen. But the monks insisted on this, and said that they could give him food and anything they wanted to him but the keys. When they realized this was the only thing that they could do, then they told Joseph about this.

Surprisingly, he went along with it and the parents fitted his jail cell with everything from his room and asked him if he wanted anything else, and he said no. So, his parents made him go to the jail cell. Then, as it was nighttime, he went to his bed in the jail cell and slept.

On Friday, he woke up and realized he wasn’t in the cell anymore. He realized it was a dream. Since the day seemed usual he followed his daily routine. In the evening, he went out to play and got a cut. When he came home and showed his scar, his parents first had looks of astonishment, and then they asked him “Why does that scar look like the one in the prophecy?”. That was when he realized something was terribly wrong!

Creative Writing Contest – 6th Grade Winners

“Untitled” by Arushi G

As soon as the bell rang, I shot out of my seat like a rocket. I knew I had to get out of there before Taliyah James, the school bully saw me. She was trying to get revenge on me because I had reported her to the principal once. I reached my locker, panting hard after climbing two fleets of stairs. I looked over my shoulder and saw Taliyah running toward me. A boy staring at his phone walked right in front of her and she pushed him to the ground.

“GET OUT OF MY WAY!” Taliyah bellowed and kicked his backpack away. 

“Hey!” I cried. “Leave him alone.”

“Ok, Kira. Whatever you say.” She sneered, left the boy, but started towards me. I gulped, backing off towards the seventh-grade hallway. Taliyah sneered and leaped toward me with an animal cry. 

Suddenly, a teacher opened the door, “Please be quiet, people are trying to learn. You return to the sixth-grade wing now.” Taliyah grunted and lumbered off. I walked back to the locker area and saw the boy trying to pick up his stuff. I walked over to him and offered him a hand.

“Hey, need some help?” I smiled and handed him one of his books. “I’m Kira.”

“Thanks,” he replied. “My name is Max.”

Posters for the Remember September school dance decorated the walls a couple of weeks later, but I wasn’t too worried. Maybe my friends and I would go together. I scanned the hallways, looking for my friends. Instead, I saw Max sitting by the stairs. 

“Hi!” I said. “What are you doing?”

He chuckled, “Trying to hide from bullies.”

I frowned. “Seriously.”

He just smiled and stared at me. I found it a bit creepy so I looked away. A couple minutes later, I cleared my throat. “I th-think I have to go.”

“Wait!” Max exclaimed. “Will you go to the dance with me?”

I hesitated, “I’ll have to check with my friends first.”

When I went to see if my friends would agree, they just laughed.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked angrily.

“You’re seriously gonna take Max to the dance?” Iris Rivera smirked.

I shrugged, “Who are you going with?”

Iris frowned, “That’s none of your business.”

I smiled. I’ll just have to wait and see! I went back to Max and I told him that I would go with him. 

A couple of weeks later, as we entered the cafeteria for the dance, I saw Iris by the fruit punch table. She was with Zavier B., the nerdiest kid in school. As the DJ got the party started, I realized that I was actually happy to have Max as a new friend.


“The Cat Who Despised Summer” by Jaswitha Sai T 

Ugh, Summer is just around the corner. I don’t like summer. No, I despise summer. Every single summer is hard to get through. Every single day is filled with hardships. I just hate it. It’s like a battle, a war between myself and the universe. Besides, what are the struggles a cat like me can get through alone? Every single day I get woken up from my sweet, cat dreams. By who you ask? By those wretched birds of course! Those wretched birds are teaching their innocent fledgelings how to be wretched, just like themselves! I just hate the loud cooing and kawking outside my burrow. Ugh those birds! You might be wondering, why not just move to a different burrow? Well, these feather brains just keep following me around, trying to find more ways to annoy me! I mean what have I ever done do make them want the need for revenge? It’s not like I have ever eaten a bird, other than chicken. That was only my ancestors, not me!

Speaking about food, even eating has become a problem for me. This time, it’s all because of humans. These humans are having too many parties in the summer. Since a lot of humans come to these parties, there are less leftovers. Only a few leftover slices of pizza is what I can find in the dumpster these days. And I’m not the only one with this problem. Hundreds of cats like me are on the street meowing for food. I try to take what I need and give the rest to the other cats. Food is already scarce, and there are multiple cats that need to be fed. I can’t even go to a restaurant because I get kicked out. The only reason why [is] because my fur is black and people think I cause bad luck! What type of theory is that! It’s fur descriminiation! The worst part is that the pet cats at the restaurant make this evil grin and eat food in front of my eyes! What type of manners are those!

To make myself forget I’m hungry, I try to fall asleep. But those wretched birds keep chirping near my burrow. I can’t even find a place to be peaceful. Wherever I go, there’s either humans, other cats, or birds there. Everyday, I go to the lake in hope that I will find a nice quiet place there. But every single day, I’ve been wrong. Every single day follows almost the exact same pattern. There is never a difference in my life during summer. Annoying birds, food scarcity, and no peace. Summer is the worst.

Creative Writing Contest – 7th Grade Winners

“Untitled” by Vihaan S 

Boom! I stared in amazement at the night sky. It was my favorite day of the year: July 4th. I was at Central Park in Chesterfield, Missouri watching fireworks with all my friends. I am in 11th grade and for the first night in a while I could just sit and enjoy myself. I was sitting comfortably on a lawn chair drinking soda with my best friend, Alex. It was the perfect temperature, the sky was cloudless and there was a slight breeze blowing in my face. I heard the blast of the fireworks and the chatter of other people. I could feel the smooth can of Coke in my hand, but all I could see in the dark night sky was fireworks. BOOM! BOOM! Firework after firework went off decorating the black night sky. I was chatting about how high school was so hard and they gave so much homework. Then, the biggest firework I had ever seen went off. It was so loud it made a few babies start crying, but I loved it. It was one of the most delightful things I had ever experienced. It was red, yellow, pink, and pretty every color imaginable. I loved it and so did Alex. Then, I solemnly realized that the show was over. My relaxing night had come to an end. I started to fold my lawn chair and Alex did the same. The people around us also began to sigh and pack their things up, but then to our surprise another firework bursted. Everyone, including me, exclaimed with joy. I quickly spread my red lawn chair back out, watched as one flame shot up into the air, and then exploded with a boom. I started talking to my best friend again and enjoyed the rest of the show. 


“If I Was A Penguin, How Would I Feel About Summer?” by Anvitha P

Hello Diary! I am a penguin! My name is Snow. So basically, somehow I landed in Florida! Can you believe it!? Florida is hot and there are umans humans everywhere. So I had no option but to just explore by waddling and trying to get somewhere cold. While doing that, I found a ice ceam cream truck. I was thinking of, ice ice ice ice ice ice…while walking there. Then, I went up to the truck and got into the cooler. Boy, was that relaxing. Then, the ice cream man saw me and took me out! Well that was rude! Luckily I managed to get a popsickl popsicle while he got me out. Then I opened it up (which took forever) and I put it on me. *Long sigh* That’s what I needed! I thought. It was very suffocating until I got that popsicle. Then after the popsicle melted, I was feeling really hungry. I was craving fish. Yum yum! So I kept waddling, looking for fish. Then, I got to the sand and water…I mean beech beach. Ewww, my feet! It’s all sandy and yucky. I better go to the water to look for some fish and clean my feet. Wait… Why are there humans here!? Isn’t this place supposed to be for animals, like me? Oh well, we will worry about that later. Let’s swim!!! I ate so many fish there, it was great! I looked like a balloon balloon! And guess what!? All the humans were looking at me when I was swimming! I felt like…like…hold on let me check the dicshonary dictionary. Yes, I got it! A celery celebrity! So I felt like a celebrity for a while and then I left (which also took forever because of my waddley feet.) Then I came across a penguin board! It had penguins on it so I followed it and it took me to a zoo! Whatever that was… I went in and saw a penguin hab..habit…habitat. Yes, a habitat. But, as much as that looked like my home place, I didn’t feel like going there, so I explored. But then, this human saw me and took me to the habi…habitat! I yelled so much but the human didn’t care! Uhhhg. So then the human placed me in the ice. Then, a human yelled, “FEEDING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!” The human then threw fish. I was a little hungry, unforchunatly unfortunately the human threw them so slow and everyone was fighting for the fish. So I had to fight too. But I wasn’t very good at it because you never had to do that back in Antarctica, you just take them. So I managed to get 4. After that, some explorer humans captured me (I know, it was the 2nd time) and took me back to Antarctica. FINALLY! I was waiting for that all day! Well…I did kind of enjoy the time in Florida. Then, I told all my penguin friends about it and they were shocked and excited! They said they wanted to go too. Well, I said maybe we will be trapped there again. The others weren’t so sure about that. So that was my day, diary! See ya!

Creative Writing Contest – 8th Grade Winner

“Untitled” by Idhant R 

As I watched on, with my head held high, the firing squad officers loaded their guns and aimed. I look down at the new shirt, the only luxury I was afforded before my execution & I begin to count. 5 seconds. I am a man of science, not believing in the tales of god, but if there is one, I say a prayer to the ones up above. 4 seconds. I think of my wife. My son. My daughter. The innocents that were killed because of me. 3 seconds. I beg for forgiveness from all those whom I have hurt. 2 seconds. I curse the younger me for allowing my first love, science, to take me down this path. 1 second. I shudder, reminiscing about all the accomplishments in my life and I come to terms with my death. 0. The bullets fire, and as I expect the bullets to tear through me like nothing. Instead, They hit me with an unyielding force but I don’t feel it penetrate my skin. With that I feel my legs give way like jelly and I fall into a deep trance.

When I wake up, I find myself splayed over a luxuriously soft armchair. I look around the room I’m in. It’s extremely spacious, well lit with a kitchen ahead and bathrooms behind. From the looks of it, there might be a second room like this somewhere ahead. At first I think I’m in a hotel room, caught off-guard by the sheer richness of everything here.

Back in the Republic, where I’m from, only the Elector can afford such things.

Although, when I look out the window, I see airtight casing, and blue sky! When I look beneath us, I can see the foamy clouds, as if they were puffing from our weight!

It then hits me, I’m in a hovercraft. But I don’t have much time to wait for this realization to dawn over me, because soon a man in a smart black suit with a white dress shirt sits down on the chair across from me.

Visions, memories of past interrogations and abuse at the hands of the republic and other corporations trying to make me give up the secret to my serum flood through my mind. I grip the chair tightly until my knuckles turn white.

The man sees this and relaxes his demeanor, attempting to be casual. It’s a relief, but I am still wary. His steel gray eyes search mine, looking for anything. But he forgets, I too have trained in these arts.

‘Doctor Ernst Van Buuren. Child prodigy, always in the limelight. The first token in the Republic-Antarctica scholarship fund and the youngest and first republic graduate from Ross City university of technology. Do you remember us?’, he asks.

I look at the suit I was so amazed by, I see a pin on the lapel of his collar, with the familiar flag I used to see in my university days in Ross City, the familiar white and navy blue rhombus flag of the coveted and renowned global superpower the Societal States of Antarctica. But on the flag, there are 5 orange stars, the symbol of the Antarctic Intelligence Service.

I realize, that I am now in Antarctican custody. I am free from the cruel, tyrannical clutches of the Republic.

I feel like weeping with joy, but I maintain my composure.

‘Yes,’ I say, ‘I remember you. You tried to recruit me many years ago, in my university days. Your organization said that I would be a great asset to this country.’ I look away. Realizing my foolishness, pride and sense of profound patriotism I had come to Ross City with.

The days before my departure to Ross city, I was called to the capital of the Republic, Denver, where the Elector himself met with me for dinner, and a press conference. I was overwhelmed with pride, but it washed away as I returned to my hotel room where I overheard my parents stifled shouts.

‘He’s nothing but a tyrant, trying to make our son a weapon, my mother said. She continued, ‘The Elector never cared about any of us, he’s just using us, a poor family as a tool for publicity’. My father interrupted her tirade of madness. ‘Helena, enough. You know better than anyone that the Republic has ears’ everywhere. It doesn’t matter how the Elector is using our family, as long as Ernst get’s a good education, he’ll come back to us. Right Ernst?’ My father looks at me.

‘Of course father,’ I reply, almost instinctively, not realizing that years later, when corporations would need my reluctant assistance, they would use my parents as blackmail. Or when finally, the Elector decided he had enough of my misbehavior when I started at his lab 15 years later, he had them killed. They too, were pawns sacrificed by the Elector in my endgame. I snap out of my Deja Vu as the agent waits expectantly.

‘When I came to Ross City, I was a naive, prideful boy. I still believed in the Republic’s might from the holos. From the beginning of our education, we were told that the Republic was the most powerful nation on Earth, [but] when I boarded upon a shoddy Republic hovercraft, I began to see holes in our so-called ‘perfect world’. The floors smelled too new, the attendant’s smile too strained, the tiger-skin carpet too starched to be real. It seemed like the Republic wanted to portray a certain image to the rest of the world, and inevitably, as the universe dictated, I was simply a pawn in their game. But as the Antarctican skyline came into view, all the glorious images of my countries glory faded away, I realized that this empire vastly outnumbered the Republic. From there I began my journey at the marble lined halls of Ross City University. 

I began my research for cell rejuvenation first underneath the esteemed Dr. Steinfeld.

‘Cells… are nothing like people. Biology is the most powerful technology ever created. DNA is software, proteins are hardware, cells are factories. The dream of every cell is to become 2 cells[,]’ he continued[.]

‘The thing is, the entire history of our universe is imprinted upon our cells, it is written in a code that for centuries, we have not been able to conquer. Zeimler’s theory of rejuvenation told us that we could split the cell from it’s powerhouse and let it feed on another cell while it created it’s new powerhouse. Maybe one day, one of you will be able to implement his theory.’

That day, I went to bed thinking about what the Professor said. It was there that I decided I would be the one to prolong human life. 

As I went on, I was enveloped in my research. Years passed, letters from powerful people, even my parents came and went unanswered. One day, I got it. 

When I finally figured it out, I sat there, staring into the microscope for several more minutes. Wondering how my life would change after that. 

I called Dr. Steinfeld, and explained to him my breakthrough. He was ecstatic, and said he would be there shortly. 

I waited, he never came. The next day, I got news from campus security that he was killed. On his jacket was a note, ‘we will find you.’ 

After that I wrote the paper and kept it in a hard drive with my wife, hoping no one would find it. 

The next morning I turned on the news at work to great horror.

‘The wife of Republic prodigy Ernst van Buuren has been kidnapped, Antarctican intelligence is searching for clues as to where she is right now, but we have received a message from the kidnapper, that if Dr. Buuren does not provide him with the formula’s code, he will kill her. Antarctican intelligence suggests that the kidnapper may have ulterior motives and maybe belong to a group.’ 

I turn back to the agents.

‘You must know what happened to my wife that day. June 1st, 2582. She was killed. I could have given them the formula. But YOU stopped me, Agent Iparis. I felt the grief of the loss of my wife. Then the kidnapping of my child.’ The agent interrupts me and looks concerningly to his fellow agents, ‘Wait a second Dr. Buuren, your son Karl was killed, unless-’ His eyes widen with realization.

‘Dr. Buuren, I can assure you, everything we did that night was for your benefit and safety sir.’ he says.

‘Tell me her name’, I snarl, spittle falling out of my mouth. 

‘Her-, her name..? Dr. Buuren? I’m not sure I remember sir.’ he sputters.

‘You gave me a shirt, a new shirt, it was bulletproof, but you forget, I am a scientist before all. Did you think I wouldn’t be able to smell the nitroglycerine and magnetic lead balls installed in my shirt?’ I don’t give him time to continue. ‘I tweaked with the detonator a bit. I have it here, Agent Iparis. Tell me her name, and nothing will happen.’ 

By now, the agent has realized I blame him for my wife, Alexandraa’s death. 

He tries guessing now.‘ Alissa? Alessa? Alixa? Doctor, listen, it doesn’t have to be this way-’ I cut him off immediately.

‘Yes, Mr. Paris, it does have to be this way. The people that killed my wife are holding my Karl. They said this was my only option.’ My voice turns to a whisper.

‘Say her name one more time, please…’ Realization dawns on Agent Iparis’s eyes, he realizes the inevitable and my wife’s name. ‘Alexandraa’, he says.

‘Her name was Alexandraa, and she died a martyr.’ Satisfied, I make sure my bag is in place, the one thing they didn’t search. My parachute is ready. 

In an instant, I press the detonator on my shirt, while simultaneously ripping it out and throwing it to the agents. I run to the airlock and feel the wind pressure against my face. 

‘I’m sorry Agent Iparis. The bomb will detonate in 83 seconds. This was our fate. The Romans called it Amor Fati, Love of fate, I call it destiny.’

‘They made me do this Agent Iparis, they said this was the only way to get my son back. I’m sorry; goodbye.’ With that, I open my parachute and jump from the plane.

Behind me, I can see the agents yelling to shut the door, and as I approach parachute disengagement altitude, I hear the deafening bang of the explosion. I look down at my watch, to find my son, they said Shanghai. 

Destination Shanghai, here I come.


Creative Writing Contest – High School Winner

“Untitled” by Laasya G

A few days ago, while I was coming home from school, I saw a kid getting bullied. I didn’t know what to do; I wanted to help but didn’t know how to. The people who were bullying him were taller and older than me. I slowly got closer to the scene, trying not to be seen. The older kids only seemed to be verbally bullying him. I decided I probably shouldn’t interfere in the fight, so I decided to go home since it was already getting late. I felt guilty as I walked away from there, but that was not my fight. I couldn’t focus on homework that night at home. I was tossing and turning in bed; eventually, I drifted off to sleep. I felt so tired in the morning. I was barely able to keep my eyes open in class. I tried to pay attention, but my mind kept drifting to the lack of sleep and the bullying I saw yesterday. School felt like a nightmare; I was tired. I was so glad when the dismissal bell rang. I walked as fast as I could out of school, hoping for some sleep at home. While walking home, I saw the same group of people bullying the kid again. I should stick up for my morals. I thought that bullying was wrong. I called my parents and told them what I was witnessing. I told them that they should come and stand in the back while I dealt with the bullies, just in case. They said they were on their way. As soon as I got off the call, I saw the bullies physically hurting the kid. I knew I had to step in. I walked up to them and asked, “Is this the greatest idea in the world?” They didn’t hear me the first time, so I repeated it a little louder. Then all of them turned and looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Then I said, “I meant that you are in the middle of the road beating up a kid. You know many people are watching you.” Then one of them asked, “Is anyone stopping us?” I ignored his question and walked up to the little boy. As I got closer, I saw that the boy was hurt badly. I asked him if he was ok. He nodded his head but then winced at the pain. Then the guy asked me, “Why are you helping him? He is just an idiotic small child.” That brought my attention to him, then asked him, “Do you think this is ok? If anything, you should be helping him, not hurting him. Don’t you think the world already has a lot of wars? You guys are making it worse!” None of them said a word after I stopped talking. Then I heard a familiar voice. It was my older brother who was asking the kid if he needed a ride home. When the other guys saw my brother, they ran away. I went to the kid, helped him pack his stuff, and called his parents. The kid told me his name was Justin. I told him that he should reach out to someone the next time he is bullied. He said thank you and left with his parents. My brother dropped me home and told my parents the story. They both hugged me and said that they were proud of me.


Written by: Students Credited

Introduction/Edited by: Nicole Acevedo, Teacher Manager of A Grade Ahead

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