Victoria Wirkijowski. Nowhere Man. Grade 8, Age 13. 2012 Gold Medal, Digital Art.

Choosing your words carefully is a serious business, but the outcome can be funny! If it’s a piece by seasoned flash-fiction writer Stefanie Freele you can be sure it will be, above all, real and relatable. Read on and see how deftly Freele uses details to make it so in just 522 words!

Every Girl Has An Ex Named Steve

We tell her not to date a man in a banana suit. A boy really. She’s young and doesn’t know any better, but dang, we wish she’d listen to our advice. We’re years older, we’ve been through it all, we know better. We tell her this on her bed, us six sisters, us six girls, quietly, so Dad doesn’t hear. If he only knew his youngest, his homeschooled, his oops from a second marriage had the hotsies over a banana.

We’re not going to tell him.
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In 1997, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards asked a few eminent, creative Americans to write encouraging letters to students like you: their younger selves. One Pulitzer-Prize winning humorist, Art Buchwald, kindly responded.  We hope he inspires you to Start.Write.Now!

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