Are You Mad?

Posted October 2, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

This spring I met a cool high school teacher at a writing conference who supervises an online forum for young writers. If you’re are a student who’screate_caption_solonitz1.JPG interested in either creative writing or subversive approaches or both, check out MAHC today.

MAHC is a community that couldn’t be much more diverse. It includes:

Journalists, photographers, a college dean, a city attorney, three ex-cons, a folklorist, a horse race handicapper, a chef, a suburban housewife turned environmental activist, a novelist, a software designer, a stand up comic, a couple of teachers, a salsa dancer, a coffee roaster, a real estate consultant, some high school and college students, a lesbian couple, a couple of moms, a psychiatrist, a few dads, a British actress, a really savvy 12-year old, two cartoonists, one street musician, and a guy who manages a Blockbuster in Canada are among those who compose our forum.

And that’s a quote.

There are publishing opportunities galore, both on the site and elsewhere. If you think you’re mad enough, check it out.

Emerald Green by Andrew

Posted September 30, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Emerald Green, I adore you
When the wind blows, you shake
When we jump, you land first
I want to sing, “You’re everywhere
around me, making my heart want
to burst!”
You’re on the trees I always climb
You’re on the grass I lie in
You grow on me
You make me smile everywhere I go
I am always thinking about you
You flow down the river, whistling
my song

by Andrew, 4thGrade
Crespo Elementary School

Another Op: Frodo’s Notebook

Posted September 28, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Frodo’s Notebook publishes exceptional writing and art online by kids ages 13-19. If you’re interested in submitting to this journal, read several back issues to get a sense of the kind of work that they publish. The details of how to make your submission are here.


Posted September 26, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader. He helped black people. He said everyone should be nice. He reminds me of my grandma. She says, “Don’t fight. Be nice.” I have a black friend named Brianne. We play together. Someday I hope everyone will play together.

by Caesar. age 6
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by Okul via Flickr]

Crunchy or Extra Crunchy?

Posted September 25, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Dav Pilkey wrote many books that kids love–The Paperboy, Dog Breath, and Captain Underpants. Dav Pilkey’s Extra-Crunchy Website O’ Fun is filled with hilarious flip-o-ramas, free video, music and avatar downloads, jokes and riddles, and you can also create your own animated e-card. Oh yeah, insights into Pilkey’s writing process are included, too.

Beach Time

Posted September 24, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

beach.jpg I love going to the beach in Galveston. I like to walk in the sand. It feels like quicksand, like I’m sinking. Sometimes I bury my feet in the sand. The water is brownish and the waves aren’t very high. I walk out a little way, but not too far. Sometimes I think a crab is pinching my toe, but it isn’t. I hear the waves hitting the shore and people laughing. I love going to the beach.

by Tobi, age 8
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by Eschipul via Flickr]

My Fish

Posted September 21, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


My fish live in
my house.
They blow bubbles
all day long.
They breathe through
their gills quietly.
I feed them with a
little, tiny spoon.
They don’t make any
noise when they swim,
but all together they look like a rainbow –
orange, red, yellow, brown.
They’re friendly fish.
I know because when I put
my finger in the tank,
they don’t bite too hard.

by John, age 9
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by ShaneWarne_60000 via Flickr]

Perpetual Motion

Posted September 20, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Spinning around
like a tornado
I could go on
smiling for a long, long smile.

I love my mom and dad.

by Bria, age 8
Texas Children’s Hospital

[photo kwisatc via Flickr]

El Sol [The Sun]

Posted September 19, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

El sol me
es un diamante
gigante. Es una
canica flotante.

Es una semilla,
es una estrella
El sol es
que me seguira todos
los dias de mi vida.


The sun
surprises me.

It’s a giant
diamond, a floating

It’s a seed,
a giant star.

The sun is

that will follow me
all the days of my life.

by Gina, 3rd grade







Photo by Sakura via flickr

Free Day

Posted September 18, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


I am from spaghetti and meatballs and a place where you can sit with your family and talk without feeling uncomfortable. I am from a house that stays with Clorox, detergent, Tide, and everything you can think that helps keep a house clean. I am from the sun, because when you are in my bedroom, it seems as if you are in light. I am from a calm place that I like to call

by Jasmine, age 12
Texas Children’s Hospital
[photo by guas via flickr]

Writing in Nature

Posted September 17, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

I feel surroundedrobin-bird-by-webted-via-flickr.jpg
I feel relaxed
because the forest is

very silent. The sight
is beautiful. The trees

are big. I feel as
if I shrunk.

I see a bird. It
lands on my arm.
I touch it and

I realize that
this is the

perfect place
to be yourself
and to feel freedom.
I feel relaxed
and peaceful.

by Erika, Neff Elementary

*Meeting* Your Favorite Author

Posted September 12, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

roald-dahl-day-logo-2007.jpgOne of the cool things about being a kid these days is that your can find your favorite writers on the web. Roald Dahl’s site is filled with funny surprises, including a selection of revolting recipes and even a glass elevator.

It’s not all fun and games. There’s real information available on author websites as well. For example, did you know that Roald Dahl was 6 feet 5 and three-quarter inches tall? But that’s not all. Today (yes, today!) is officially Roald Dahl Day. Celebrate it!

Land to Ocean

Posted September 11, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Dear Ocean,

You hit me all the time with all your natural strength Most of the times when my friends come over, you steal their sandals or their jewelry and take ’em with you. After dawn, your bones are scattered everywhere. Seems like you work hard overnight. People seem to think about you as pleasant, but they wouldn’t be able to recognize you when it rains. You let all your fury and at times cause disasters.

by Sylvia, 11th grade

Wash it all away – Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight
Originally uploaded  to flickr by s0ulsurfing

A Poem by Nikita

Posted September 10, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Voices from my Past

Scream my name and bring back all my pain.
Waters of truth flow through my mind.
Open your eyes, I’m not fine.
The glitter of danger has caught my eye and
the voices of my past continue to scream and cry.
Look at me, I’m fighting to be free.
Desperate and damaged, I still manage
to attempt to hurry to the light
but as always the voices of my past continue
to hold me in such a tight grasp.
Lost time, a blocked heart, secrets burning
deep inside. I’m searching, I’m running,
I’m praying for that light to remove all my strife.
But the voices of my past continue to rule my life.
A mixture of panic and faith increased day by day
from the words they say haunting me in every way.

But I know that this too will come to an end.
Maybe all I need is just a friend to help all the
voices somehow end, the numbness I feel,
I’ll feel again…the time lost…I’ll regain 10 x 10.
Instead of desperate and damaged, I’ll be centered
and whole. I’m gonna stomp forward with the voices of
my past buzzing in my ear, with optimism in my heart.

by Nikita, 12th grade

photograph by deborah lattimore
via flickr

Contest for High Schoolers

Posted & filed under Notebook.

Rider University is sponsoring its 28th Annual High School Writing Contest. Here are the details.


  • 1st-$100
  • 2nd-$50
  • 3rd-$25
  • All Finalists will receive a Certificate of Honorable Mention
  • All winners will be considered for publication in Venture, Rider’s literary magazine


  • ESSAY: Write a personal essay, labeled ESSAY, on a topic of your choice of no more than five double-spaced, typed pages.
  • FICTION: Write a short story, labeled FICTION, of no more than five double-spaced, typed pages.
  • POETRY: Write a poem of no more than 50 lines.


  1. Type on the entry:
    Your Name and Address
    Teacher’s Name
    School Name and Address
  2. Include a letter from a teacher stating that the work is original and by you.
  3. Entries must be typed. Handwritten entries will not be read. Stories and essays must be double-spaced. Single-spaced prose will not be read. Please give your story, essay, and or poem a title.
  4. Only one entry per category will be considered. Choose your best writing and send only one.
  5. Mail your entry postmarked no later than December 14, 2007 to:
    Dr. Robbie Clipper Sethi
    English Department
    Rider University
    2083 Lawrenceville Road
    Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Entries cannot be returned.
Winners will be announced in April, 2008.
Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to receive a list of winners.

Lions Born Out of Trees

Posted September 6, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


Lions come from Africa. People
Around the world like to venture
The world and see lions. Lions
Are one of the strongest
Large cats in the world. Lions
Also have great night vision
And sometimes eat elephants
When there is no food and
When they are very hungry.
I think when I am older that
I will get the chance to venture
The world and see lions and other
Wild large cats. Male lions are
Very protective over their territory.
Most males pee to mark their
Territory and when another
Comes they will smell and know
That there is another lion
Living there. Lions were created
Out of trees.

by Frank, Boys & Girls Country

On Family Values

Posted September 4, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Two parents, two kids: the average, American family.
Grandma has a stroke and moves in.
Dad gets fed up and moves out.
Mom meets Rick, a systems analyst for a large corporation.
Dad meets Candy, the lingerie model with the large…never mind.
Grandma meets Abe. He likes to soak his teeth in your science project.
Rick is average too. Randy and Jack move in.
Candy (who’s above average—wink, wink) has five kids with Dad.
Tootsie, Hershey, Sweetie, and the twins, Mark and Mindy, M & M.
The average, American family:
Approximately two parents, two kids, two stepparents, two step siblings,
Two and a half whole siblings, a grandma, and Abe,
Who likes to soak his teeth in your science project.

by Scott, 10th Grade


When I Write

Posted August 31, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

When I write,
I imagine.
I use my heart.
I listen to my soul-mind.
When I use my hands,
I smell your pencil.
When I touch the tip of the pencil,
I write words.
I imagine things I want to do.
I can write a story.
I listen to myself.
I feel free.
by Nathan,  3rd Grade
Helms Community Learning Center

Poetry Contest For High School Girls

Posted & filed under Notebook.

What is the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest?
Since 1962, this contest has been sponsored by Hollins University and awards prizes for the best poems submitted by girls who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school.

What are the prizes?
First place (one winner)

$200 cash prize
Free tuition for the two-week creative writing class in the university’s Hollins summer program
Publication in Cargoes, the Hollins’ student literary magazine
Ten copies of Cargoescargoes_04.jpg
Second place (six winners)

$25 cash prize
Publication in Cargoes
Two copies of Cargoes
What are the requirements?

All entries must be typewritten and be submitted by a member of the faculty or administration of the student’s school. No more than two poems by any one student may be submitted, and manuscripts cannot be returned. Each entry must be on a separate sheet and each sheet must include the following information in the upper right corner:
–Author’s name and gender
–Author’s mailing address
–Author’s phone no. and/or e-mail address
–Year of author’s high school graduation
–Faculty sponsor’s name and e-mail address
–Author’s school
–Address and phone no. of author’s school
If the poem is more than one page in length, label each page with author’s name, title of poem, and page number.

What is the deadline for entries?
November 15, 2007

Who chooses the winning poems?
Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.

When are winners notified?
By mid April, 2008

Where should entries be mailed?
Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest
Hollins University
P.O. Box 9677
Roanoke, VA 24020-1677