University of Minnesota
minnesota writing project
center for writing

Minnesota Writing Project.Center for Writing's home page.

Young Writers Conference, 2011–Group D

link to cover

Candance Doerr-Stevens, leader
Andy Tran-Vu, Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet 5-8
Mao Vue, Humboldt Junior High
Sarah Zaepfel, Ramsey Junior High
Ariel Gutierrez, Murray Junior High
Noah Booth, Ramsey Junior High
Tajah Lynch, Murray Junior High

Head Games
By Andy Tran-Vu
Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet 5-8

I was in the woods hunting an elk when I remembered what the man had said back at the hospital, “Keep an eye out for an elk with red fur. If you see it, then you must not shoot it or you will have mad hallucinations which could drive you insane.”

I followed his advice with great caution by quickly examining every elk before shooting my gun. There! The perfect target, a solitary elk. BOOM! Perfect shot, right between the head and the chest. I went to claim my prize only to find that the elk wasn’t there. I asked my hunting partner what he thought had happened.

“Maybe a coyote got to it,” he said. I guess I could believe that, but one after one, very elk I shot mysteriously disappeared. All of a sudden I felt a pain hit the front of my chest knocking me to the floor. I turned to see my friend with a puzzled look on his face. There was nothing there. Then I heard breathing – as if something was right behind me. Still there was nothing. I could feel paranoia setting in.

Author’s Statement:
My story was written to make the reader think and try to make the reader solve the puzzle or mystery of what could have happened. I wanted to tell the reader that there are more to things than what it seems. I don’t usually write scary stories, but this story just seemed right to me.


By Mao Vue
Humboldt Junior High

Wandering through this land of nature
I thought I knew everything…
But I was wrong
Seeing Mother Nature and all these things
I didn’t even know existed.
As I was enjoying this view of Mother Nature…
I told myself, “There’s much more to explore.”

Author’s Statement:
I have been writing poems since 1st grade. My first poem was called “Bumble Bee.” Ever since I wrote that poem, I have wanted to write poems and become a poet. The thing that inspired me to write “Nature” was seeing the dioramas at the Bell Museum.


lynx imageSusan’s Wildcats
By Sarah Zaepfel
Ramsey Junior High

In a forest somewhere unreachable, there was a bobcat cub who was prancing around when he met a lynx cub. Similarly alike, they became quick friends. They were hunting together one day when they saw a human. About to run, they were caught by strong hands and taken to an odd place.

Mistaken for adult housecats, they were taken to the vet, then home, by Susan. She had always wanted a calico, but any cat would do for Sausan.

Over the years, the lynx and the bobcat grew. Susan took them to the pet shop to be fitted for leashes when the cashier screamed.
“What?” Susan asked.
“Unauthorized wild animals! Get the animal control!” he yelled. Susan ran home, but she never forgot her big mistake and never liked animals again.

The bobcat and lynx ran to the woods and tried to live normal lives, but everyone gave them strange looks. So, if you’ve ever seen a bobcat and a lynx with big pink bows, you know it’s the cats Susan had.

Author’s Statement:
I am 12. I live in St. Paul. I was inspired by the bobcat and lynx dioramas in the Bell Museum as well as by a story where the circus lion escapes and an old lady finds him and thinks he’s a “kitty cat.” The lion gets very lame and when it goes back to the circus, it is very sad and misses the old lady.


By Ariel Gutierrez
Murray Junior High

I wish to be a dolphin…
A dolphin that swims in the waters of the blue sea…
A HAPPY  dolphin,
A dolphin that plays, jumps, and does tricks.
Yes, Yes, a dolphin, a crazy dolphin that has  lot of friends,
Friends that like to have fun.
If I were a dolphin, I would be a shy dolphin.

Author’s Statement:
I like dolphins and they and the exhibits of the fishes in the museum inspired me to write this poem.


drawing and poemThe Hunters Are About
By Noah Booth
Ramsey Junior High

The hunters are about
Everyone hide
Or you will surely die
Find a hollow
A hole
A ditch
Hide in some logs
And watch out for their dogs
Find the kids
Tell your neighbors
Tell your wife
The hunters are about
The hunters are

Author’s Statement:
I am Noah and I own 4 hermit crabs and a pygmy chameleon. I don’t know what inspired me to write this – I just wrote.


Friends or Foes?
By Tajah Lynch
Murray Junior High

There once was a crane who was always upset and cranky!
Then he met another crane that looked like him quite frankly!
He said, “Oh my! How could you look like me?”
“Well duh! We must be from the same species!”
“Well, then you must be just like me, so polite and classy, and so clean, clean, clean!”
“Me clean? No way! I am never that clean. I must be in a dream!”
“Well, that upsets me. I’m clean, you’re not.
We must have something in common, but what, who knows?”
“I know! We’re blue; we have feathers and legs and we crow!”
“Well, don’t talk to me until you have found
Some class…You’re stinky, you’re dirty, and might
As well be a pup!”
“Ugh! You’re such a disgrace…You’re prissy, You’re mean and Oh, so stuck up!”
“Walk  Away!”
“Leave me alone!”
Argh! Boom! Crash! Fight!
Turns out the birds didn’t do too great!
They ended up taking it  too close to fake
But they’re all right, they’re still arguing, though.
But they’re still close…still friends and still foes.

Author’s Statement:
My name is Tajah and my poem was inspired by the crane sculpture on the second level of the Bell Museum. In the sculpture, it looked like the animals were arguing but were once friends, so that’s what I tried to convey in this poem.