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In the Spotlight!

For the past 2 years, I've held a writing contest at St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School in Oakville.

This is a picture of me with the kids in the gym last month.

The contest was open to all students in grades 4, 5 and 6. The only rule  was that all entries must be a complete story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. In other words, it couldn't be the first chapter of that great novel in progress that so many young (and old) writers start and never finish.

This year, the imaginative story topics included murder mysteries, science experiments gone wrong, bullying in the schoolyard, show dogs and sled dogs, spiders, shipwrecks, summer camp, time travel, evil queens, serial killer, and scary sleepovers - to name just a few. Whew!!!

Choosing the overall winner was a very difficult decision to make, with so many budding writers flexing their creative muscles.

But in the end, there was one story that grabbed my heart a little tighter than the rest. It was a very short piece called, A Lesson for Life, written by a grade 4 student, Nicole Hotchkiss. She chose a "spoken word" style of story-poem to get her message across in only 34 lines. As part of her prize for winning, Nicole's story was published in the Oakville Beaver with a full page spread of the event.

Nicole Hotchkiss, grade 4 student, contest winner  June 2013


Congratulations Nicole!

Click here to read her winning story poem

Special thanks to all the students, teachers, principal and staff at St. Matt's.



Thanks for reading. See you between the lines.

Pat Skene


Nicole wrote a great story with such a wonderful message to kids. I love the rhyme she used. Schools should use her poem/story as part of their anti-bullying campaign. 


Yes, I agree. Thank you for your comment.