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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Drake Withers. Uniform Runners. Grade 11, Age 17. 2012 Silver Medal, Photography.

Great flash fiction works the same way as a finely-honed razor: it’s quick, precise and often, cuts deep. A tightly-written piece uses its economy to convey tone, voice, and also to capture a scene that is worth re-examining for its nuances. Seventeen-year-old Peter LaBerge uses this form to his advantage in Again, which earned a Silver Medal in the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Like a roller-coaster ride, it may make you both breathless while you read it and wanting immediately to return to its first word. Check it out!

She knew he was going back to fight again. She found the confirmation slip from the army this morning, under his coffee mug. She also knew he was hiding it from her. There was a smidge of coffee across the top, which had dried by the time she found it. It resembled blood. Read More