My Essay For The Newest WOW Contest

Saturday, September 22, 2007
Happy Saturday WOW Blogesses!

I can’t wait to see the entries for our new Fall Nonfiction Essay contest. The prompt is a great one—and I’d have several stories to choose from—but alas; I can’t enter. However, I can share one of my stories with you here.

When I was in Grade One—about seven years old—my English teacher exposed us to the wonderful world of publishing. Each student got to create their own Pulitzer Prize winning story and be taught what happens during the publishing process. Each of us got to write a story, create our illustrations and help to create our book covers—it was all so fascinating and exciting to me.

My story was about a little bug named Super Bug who had extraordinary strength and powers with only one thing he feared: a size 11 shoe! He donned a little black mask and a long, flowing black cape. His antennae stood long and strong on top of his head, and he had a super belt with the initials “SB” on it. Okay…so the story was only about 12 pages in total, a child recognizably sketched the illustrations and the pages and “cover” were laminated construction paper, but it was my very first publication. And I was so proud.

The best part was our little books were available in the library for other students to take out and read. How exciting it was to have a fellow student come up to me and say, “I read your Super Bug book, Chynna. I laughed so hard, milk came out my nose.” I think we were supposed to take our publications home at the end of the school year but, in all the excitement and relief of the school year coming to a close, I forgot to collect my book. When I finally remembered my book, I figured the school would just take it off the shelf and throw it away. Although I never forgot Super Bug, or the experience of writing it, I sadly tucked the memory away in the corners of my mind.

About 21 years later my sister, Heather, who was the same age I was when I wrote my first “novel,” came home from school one day with a small, faded blue book with curled corners. She waved the book excitedly around and said, “Chynna! Chynna! Look what I took out of the library today!”

I couldn’t believe my eyes: Super Bug! My sister said it was the funniest little book she ever read and, of course, she had to tell all her schoolmates and teachers her big sister was the one who wrote it. My school library kept it all of those years.

That was my sign—my omen—that writing was to be my destiny. How cool is that?

So...what are you waiting for? What was the one thing---good or bad---from your past that made a huge difference in your life? WOW wants to know! Really, we do. Get writing and enter our Fall Nonfiction Essay contest sponsored by skirt! magazine and share your story with us. I can’t wait to read your entries.

Happy writing.



Anonymous said...

During a recent trip to vist my eighty-seven year old mother before they moved her to a nursing home, I found MY first book. Hand written, I must have spent days on the cover, and in pristine condition (Thank you, Mom) entitled "Julia, The Farmer".

Here I am almost 50 years later writing the memoirs of "Julia, The Farmer". Who knew? I should have followed my heart then and kept writing!


julia ward - a BLINDING heart - a writer's blog

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great contest.

I'm wondering about the summer contest--when will we hear anything and when will the results be announced?


Sue said...

Hi, Anon, and thanks for the question! This has been one tough season, again. Judging is always a bittersweet honor! The formal announcement will appear in our next issue for October. All the winners and results will be revealed then. Good luck, and keep on writing!

Anonymous said...


What a great story! Hearing your story brought back a memory for me--one that I haven't thought about in years.

My 6th grade teacher entered a short story I wrote in a regional writing competition and it won first place. During an assembly, I was brought up to the stage to receive the award. I remember that it seemed so strange to me that anyone would make a big deal about something I wrote.

The story was about a magical unicorn that took me to a tropical island far away. I have no idea what ever happened to the award or the story, but of the two, I wish I still had the story.

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