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Young Writers Conference, 2011–Group A

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Christine Velure Roholt, leader
Mai Vang, Humboldt Junior High
Amia Bridgeford, Ramsey Junior High
See Vang, Murray Junior High
Andrew Bates, Murray Junior High
Hannah Wilson, Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet 5-8


Trapped Permanently
By Mai Vang
Humboldt Junior High

In a glass cage
Full of paintings
And animals
Killed, stuffed
And trapped,
Animals taken
out of their
homes. What
if we were
killed, stuffed
and trapped,
For display?
Then we
Shouldn’t do
This to them. But,
We have
For money
And popularity.

Author’s Statement:
I wrote this because it makes me feel sad that animals are treated this way.

Autumn in the Hole
By Amia Bridgeford
Ramsey Junior High

I wake up with a frown on my face, but I quickly recover when I look out my window and see pinks, yellows, golds, oranges and reds. A smile tkes the place of the frown as I get up to get ready for the day.

Birds chirp loudly in my ears as I sit down on my porch. After I have settled into my chair, Twizzler, my golden retriever starts to whine. It looks like he’s stuck in something. I go down to see what it is, and I see a hole as wide as my foot. I try to soothe him, but it only makes matters worse.

Then I hear a slight rustle in the hole where his leg is. It never occurred to me that animals might be living there. I try to move his leg a little bit so I can see what type of animal is inside. It’s a fox cub! I look around to see if it’s mother is nearby. She’s not.

The cub is the color of red leaves in the fall and white snow in the winter. I’m pretty sure it’s a female since her head is smaller than an average fox male, and she has larger canine teeth than a male does. Her eyes are like ember and they burn into mine. She starts to whimper.

I look around my yard one last time, and I see fur by the side of a tree. I jog, almost run, to the spot and see more red and white fur, but there is nothing other than that there. I run back to my porch and call 911, telling them to bring vets. They are at my house in less than three minutes.

After five to seven minutes of working on my dog, they release him from the hole. I thank the vets for what they did, and I give them $20 each. After they’ve left, I realize they didn’t see the fox and didn’t take her with them.

I’ve never had a fox so I don’t know how to take care of one. I decided to go to a couple of websites. After looking at five websites and scribbling down notes, I got more than enough information to take care of the little cub until her mother came back.

First, I’d have to name her. After thinking for awhile, I came up with the name, Autumn, since her fur looks like autumn leaves. Then I had to get her something to eat. I looked down at my notepad and at what was listed under food.  It said milk, but I didn’t know if I should give her whole, 2%, 1%, or baby formula.

I decided to give her whole since that was in my fridge. I went inside and heated up the milk. I then put it into an eyedropper, like it said on the website. I also got a damp cloth so I could rub her belly. I was all set so I quickly gathered everything in my hands and walked outside.

I first put Autumn into a small box that I have on my porch. Then I tucked the blanket around her and fed her from the eyedropper. She quickly fell asleep in the box, so I brought her inside. This routine repeated everyday for awhile but soon she started to grow bigger.

I didn’t want to let Autumn go because I loved her like a mother loves her young, but I didn’t want to keep her inside when she should be out in the wild. After taking a couple of pictures of her strolling along in the yard, I went over to her and picked her up. I gave her a quick kiss on the nose and brought her over to the fence and put her on the other side of it.

I went back into the house with tears in my eyes and waited. I watcher her out my window for two hours and then she started walking away real slowly. It broke my heart, but I kew it was best.

Now, every time I see a fox, I think of my little Autumn and her fall and winter fur.

Author’s Statement:
My name is Amia and I wrote this story out of a love for writing and animals. This piece was partly inspired by the Bell Museum fox exhibit. I am also a reader, so whenever you see me, I will be either writing or reading.


Sustainable Shelter
By See Vang
Murray Junior High

I walk out of my house every Monday-Friday, in the winter, summer, spring, and fall hoping to learn something new from school each day. When I joined a field trip program called, The Young Writers Conference, we had the opportunity to go and see a sustainable shelter. The outside was red, and it didn’t look very attractive, but when I stepped into that house, I was like, “WOW! This is like a dream house.” I’d love to, one day when I’m older, go and buy a house as pretty as the sustainable shelter to live in with my mom.

The inside color of the house was perfect. It was warm and welcoming with sliding doors like in China and creative window curtains. The eating place/table was perfect. It was in front of the window where the sun could shine in while you were eating. It seemed like a good house with perfect everything.

It made me think of my mom and my older sister, Pa. My mom has always been wanting to live in a nice house, although she won’t accomplish that right now. I’ll accomplish it for her when I get older, so she can live in that kind of house with me. I thought of my older sister, Pa, because she wants to major in interior design. I know and believe that one day she’ll design a house as pretty as the sustainable shelter.

Author’s Statement:
I am in 8th grade at Murray Junior High. I basically wrote this because every since I saw the sustainable house, it has just kind of stuck in my head.


Sunny Steps
By Andrew Bates
Murray Junior High

Sunny days
Nice feelings
Winter leaving,
Spring coming.
Sitting peacefully
While people rush by
Not stopping or noticing
What’s going on
Ice is forming
And the sun is shining through
Making the world look like
A crystal wonderland.
Thoughts fly in and out of my head,
Each one like a bird,
Crazy and exotic,
Only staying a few seconds,
Before flying away.
Lazily picking at my pencil,
I start to drift away,
Caught by the flood of ideas,
Rushing through my mind
Fueled by the beauty of my surroundings
Never knew steps could be so nice.

Author’s Statement:

I love to write. I have written all of my life and have grown up in a very pro-writing environment. Poetry is my favorite, because I just love the freedom of it. Thank you very much for taking the time to read my poem. I hope you enjoyed it!


The Hidden Holmes
By Hannah Wilson
Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet 5-8

Chapter 1
August 7, 1888

Nine years. That’s the number of years I’ve spent in exile, and I’m only fourteen. I’ve spent over half of my life here – Ruben’s Boarding School for the Gifted. Most kids here, though, are just “gifted” at being boring or “gifted” at being overly rich and stuck-up. Since this is my first entry in this journal, it will be an introduction, but I must stop writing for now, because my roommate, Sally, is about to walk through the door, and I’m afraid I haven’t been too gentle to her favorite doll she calls, Margaret.

This was the first entry in the journal of Wendy Holmes. She was given the journal by her favorite teacher, Ms. Rune, an English teacher. In front of the class, Ms. Rune told Wendy, “This journal is for you to open your soul to.” The other girls had a giggle at that. Afterwards, alone, Ms. Rune told Wendy that writing in the journal would give her something to do in the worthless classes she had to attend.

Now, if you were listening to this conversation, you may have thought Ms. Rune didn’t much care for the higher education Wendy and the other students were receiving, but that is not the case. Wendy, you see, already knew everything the teachers were trying to teach her. It’s not that Wendy thought she knew it all, she just had been taught it all already. The school had tried to give Wendy classes by herself but then it started receiving letters. Most were from big donors asking why in the world their incredible gifted children weren’t receiving individual classes like Wendy. The school, in fear they would lose donations, took Wendy out of the classes and told her to sit in the regular classes. And that is why Wendy called the Ruben’s Boarding School for the Gifted, a place of exile. I think I should start this story from the beginning.

Wendy Holmes is the daughter of Mycroft Holmes, the brother of the world famous Sherlock Holmes. When Wendy was born, she was mostly kept inside. Her father worked for the British government and was on the job almost 24/7. Wendy’s mother was far too busy writing gossip to her out-of-town friends to take care of a crying baby. The only company Wendy had was her maid who almost everyone called, Lannie. But Wendy hardly remembered her since she was sent to Ruben’s Boarding School for the Gifted at a mere five years old.

Wendy always told everyone, “I suppose after I stopped being cute and started having my own ideas, they decided that I should be sent away as soon as possible.”
That may or may not have been true, but I can only imagine that her childhood would have been worse had she stayed with her parents, though she wouldn’t believe any of it.

Three days after she got her journal, Mr. Pipe, a math teacher, stopped her in the hall. Mr. Pipe always seemed to mumble at the end of his sentences. “Wendy, Principal Drune needs to speak to you. It seems something has…” The rest was mumbled and Wendy could hardly understand it. As she walked to Principal Drune’s office, she wondered why he wanted to see her.

Principal Drune was more like a brother than a principal to Wendy. He felt sorry for her, because he too grew up in a house where he was less than appreciated. He also felt bad because he couldn’t do anything about it. As Wendy walked in, he was re-reading the letter he had gotten that morning. “Ah, Wendy. Thank you for coming. Please, take a seat.” Normally Principal Drune would at least attempt to make small talk or crack a joke whenever he saw her, which is why Wendy hesitated as she lowered into the leather chair facing Principal Drune’s desk. “I got a letter this morning, Wendy, from your father.”

“Did someone die? That seems like the only reason he would write.” This was true – not that someone died, but that it would be the only reason for Mr. Holmes to write. To tell the truth, Mr. Holmes had only written to Wendy once before to tell her that her aunt, Aunt Lolly, had died. That was two months earlier but it seemed to have slipped Principal Drune’s mind.


“Then what’s the matter?”

“It’s about your uncle, Sherlock. He seems to have stirred up trouble and some murderers are now going after family members.”

“Then, what does that have to do with me?” This last sentence hurt Wendy to say, but it may have hurt Principal Drune even more.

“Your father does not want to take the risk that you may be a victim.” Wendy looked away

“Is that what you think?” She said this in such a hushed tone that Principal Drune barely heard her.

“Wendy, I know how you feel but you can’t blame him for caring a little.”

“Well, what does he have planned for me?”

“He’s sending you to America, this afternoon.”


“Yes, you’ll live with the Landon family in Maryland.”

“Who are the Landon’s?”

“I don’t know, but they are friends of your father.”

“Then they must be dreadful.”

Chapter 2
This is only my second entry and I am already on new land, or new water. I’ve been sent out of Rubens Boarding School for the Gifted and am now on a boat called The Starburst, headed straight for Maryland in America. I feel I should skip writing about being on ship. I’ve been wanting to practice my German and I will spare you of hearing of all the sickness.

Wendy was on The Starburst for eleven months but surprisingly, she only got sick four different times. When she finally reached shore, it was the eleventh of June. When she arrived at the port, she was instantly hugged by a golden-brown haired woman. She wore a light green dress and her waist wasn’t small, but it wasn’t large either. After the mainly one-sided embrace, the woman gushed, “Oh, Wendy, we’ve been waiting so long for you.”

“You’re Mrs. Landon?”

“Of course. Your father and Mr. Landon are friends.” And for the first time, Wendy felt wanted. Mrs. Landon and Mr. Landon helped Wendy place her bag into the buggy and they were off.

Wendy and Mr. and Mrs. Landon arrived some time later at the Landon home. Mrs. Landon was a housewife and Mr. Landon was a doctor, a good doctor. The Landon’s also had a son. The house, if it could be called that, was made with bricks of grays and reds with red trim around the windows and a black fence surrounding the yard. Wendy was given a room all to herself. The walls were a light green color decorated wit beautiful white wicker furniture.

After she got situated, Wendy went to find a book in the library. As she walked in, she saw Robinson Crusoe, one of her favorite books. As she reached for it, the bookshelf moved so that a doorway was revealed. At the same time, she met the Landon’s son. Having been told about their son and his love of books, earlier in the day, she put two and two together and knew that this must be the son, Scott, they had told her about.

The words came quickly, “Hello Scott.” She grabbed Robinson Crusoe quickly and exited the library leaving Scott standing in the doorway.

At dinner, Wendy experienced a real family dinner. They talked about her trip to Maryland, school, and why she had left her homeland. For the first time, Wendy felt she was truly part of a family. That’s before the trouble started.

Author’s Statement:
I live in St. Paul. I like to play tennis, softball and soccer. Watching shows and different takes on the Sherlock Holmes stories inspired me to tell a story in which Sherlock has a niece. Part one of The Hidden Holmes just sets the scene for what is to come. The story is full of mystery and adventure. Thank you for reading part 1 of The Hidden Holmes.