Thank you to everyone who submitted a story to the nonfiction portion of the Winter in the Bay writing contest. Here, the first place story by Sophie Uhlarik, 11, and the first honourable mention story by Robson Rievaj, 10. Congratulations! Our judges enjoyed all the stories submitted by our talented young writers, aged 10 to 12, and we look forward to sharing them here for your enjoyment, too.
It’s not too late for you to tell your story! Submit your fictional short story (maximum length 2,500 words) by March 15 at 11:59 p.m. to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in the fiction contest. Or submit your nonfiction essay of 350 words or less or your fictional short story of 2,500 words or less anytime for sharing. We will post it here once all contest entries have been published. Let’s keep telling our stories of the Bay!
I woke up one morning with a stream of sunlight shining in through my bedroom window. I got up and wondered why there wasn’t a whole lot of sunshine. Looking around, I saw that my window was completely covered in snow.
I ran outside, grabbing mittens, a hat, and my coat, my father met me out minutes later.
Piles and piles of fresh, untouched snow sat like a gentle quilt on the world. It covered absolutely everything, and the morning sun made it sparkle a little. It was around January and this might have been the nicest winter day so far, at the time, I was about six years old and the snow was up to my waist.
Smiling I bounded into the woods, through the trail that winded for miles behind my house. My father and I have taken walks every day since I was old enough to walk. Our house is set on a small hill on the outskirts of Halifax, with acres and acres of forest behind it. A small stream ran gently beside the well trodden path, and a small breeze stirred. No birds chirped but it was a lovely quiet, the only animal noise heard was my dog, Amarak, softly panting.
We walked until I saw the lake spreading far across the horizon, like a painting, there was an early morning sunrise that set an ombre effect against the sky and clouds. Amarak was stiff when we stepped onto the ice, but my father had tested it and it was thick, not to mention that we had done this same hike every winter for four or so years.
I remember the ice being covered with snow so much that you couldn’t see it, but it gave more grip. Amarak shot ahead, chasing the wind, but she always came back after a few minutes. Our small group went to the island in the middle of the bay. Once we reached it, my father sat down on a rock under the single tree that swayed on the rocky island. Amarak joined him.
Sophie Uhlarik, 11, chose to illustrate her story with Gretchen Amirault’s painting, “Hidden Gem.” To read Gretchen’s inspiration for her painting, visit the Winter in the Bay online gallery and click on the image of the painting.
The best thing to hear on a snow day is our neighbour clearing the snow. I get very excited when I hear the wet snow being packed together and the gears changing. I know he will always leave big drifts for me to build snow forts in!
I can’t wait to go out and build an awesome snow fort. I hope the banks are big enough to execute my plan. I plan to dig a big den. The den will be enough for me to fit if I kneel. Of course, I will leave extra room for snowballs.
When my snowfort is done, then I will drag my dad outside! He will try to hit me with snow balls but I will be safe and unseen in my snow fort! There will be little slits in my fort so I can see out.
I cannot imagine any longer. I must go check. I walked to the garage. I poked my head out the garage door. The wind nips my nose but I don’t mind. The drifts are bigger than me! That hasn’t happened since I was three or four. I am so excited to go out. I can’t wait. I will have snacks first and then go out. My snacks will be like having rations to fill me up for the battle.
Robson Rievaj, 10, also selected Gretchen Amirault’s “Hidden Gem” to illustrate his story.