Congratulations to all the finalists and grand prize winner of the What's it Like to be a New Kid Writing Contest! Seven schools participated in the writing contest, and many, many well-written and creative entries came my way. I must say to all the students who entered: Thank you so much for your hard work, your creativity, and, most of all, your honesty in the stories you shared. I enjoyed every single essay.
Here's how the contest worked: I scored the papers on these elements: opening line, details, anecdotes, how the essay relates to Violet or Melissa, effort, and emotion. After reading each essay at least three times, I selected a pool of finalists, and from that pool, I selected a grand prize winner for each grade level. Finalists received the new Violet Raines paperback, a bookmark, and a little alligator (glass, not live!). Grand prize winners received the same booty, with the additional prize being the hardcover of the newly released The Summer of Moonlight Secrets and a written critique from me on their paper. The prize winning essays and photos of their authors are featured on the student page of my website.
But I enjoyed the essays so much, I thought you would, too. For the next three weeks, I'll post one grand prize winner over the weekend. I know the young writers would be thrilled to see any comments you might leave on my blog or my Facebook profile.
Without further ado, here is Caroline, the fourth grade Grand Prize Winner, and her essay. (Click on essay to enlarge it.)