Judges' Feedback on 2021 Stories

Just like past years, the judges were blown away by the quality of the stories. We’ve consolidated feedback from our judges on each of the stories. The table is sorted on contestants’ names in alphabetical order.

CategoryContestant’s NameName of the StoryStory SynopsisJudges’ Feedback
10 < Age <13Abigail ChanThe Night Avenger10-year-old Olivia Jones was beginning to think her summer holiday couldn’t get any duller until an unexpected visitor arrived. Was the one person she knew best keeping a secret from her?  Will she finally crack the mystery of the Night Avenger?  Olivia is on the case.Good attempt and the storytelling style is very fresh. The thing you should think about is: how do I make my story believable. Reader will end up wondering how Granny was able to access the corgi, or how she was able to tie the theives – given this story is not about magic (may be showing earlier that Granny was a magician would have made it more believable). Also, mother left very abruptly – a small mention earlier that she was going to go for some time would have helped.
13 < Age < 16Addison HillTwelve YearsTwelve years ago, Odette’s brother mysteriously disappeared on a flight, and she hasn’t been able to let go since. However, one night in the airport will change everything.This story explores grief and loss in a powerful, orgiginal way. Beautiful use of language and details to emphasize the emotions and make the story feel more real. The climax was raw and the ending was an unexpected and cathartic experience.
13 < Age < 16Aiden WongA DreamWhat would you do if your life suddenly fell apart?A clever, creative, and unpredictable story with a good message. The story’s dialogue could use more focus, as things are often disjointed and at times difficult to follow, but overall, I think this is a well-writen and very memorable story.
13 < Age < 16Aleena SebastianCoffee DonutsA girl finds an unlikely friendship through coffee donuts.The characters are well-developed, there’s a good use of vocabulary, and while the use of texts amidst the dialogue can sometimes be confusing, the voices of characters are very realistic.A clever story about the importance of nuturing friendships and understanding empathy.
13 < Age < 16Aleksia KumeMY WORLD UPSIDE DOWN Great world-building and really good characterisation.  I really loved the sibling dynamic between the main character and her bratty little sister, Gilly. It did get a little confusing toward the end because of all the dialogue – I’d suggest some more description!
10 < Age <13Alexis LamIn the Shade of the Palm TreesIn the dark world of 1940s Las Vegas, detective Grady investigates a hit-and-run case. Nothing is as it seems, and nobody gets what they wish for.The story started well, and a reader was ready to the big suspense reveal. But it did not live to the expectation. Everything turned out to be very predictable. There are so many stories written and movies made on this exact idea. A very important part of a story is it’s novelty.
10 < Age <13Alita SebastianRemember Yesterday?Safi is going about her day as usual until  a stranger calls her name. The stranger claims to know her, but Safi doesn’t remember her…or anything that happened the day before.A very good plot. The character development could have been better. The mother’s motive wasn’t very clear when it seems that what she was protecting Safi from was usual for any kid.
13 < Age < 16Amani ArungaRosebudSerena has everything perfected and everything planned. The perfect place, the perfect outfit, the perfect night, and the perfect girl. She even saved a quarter for the jukebox- to play the perfect song. When the time finally comes she’s brimming with excitement, but every rose has it’s thorns, so can Serena reach for hers without getting hurt?I adored the dream-like, surreal tone surrounding this piece with the 1970’s aesthetic. You depict emotion and capture the scenery very well. There were times when the paragraphs didn’t quite connect together well, jumping from one thing to the next, but it was still a great story that was simple but also complex at the same time.
10 < Age <13Amber ChiaoThe Next GoddessAkila is a normal girl, with a normal life. But one day she finds a book that changes her life forever ..The story started at a very promising note, but soon it wasn’t clear that there wasn’t a very clear story the author had in mind. It rather seemed like start of a novel. The author can write well for sure – just need to spend time on understanding how to develop and end a story after a good start.
10 < Age <13Amrutha KavuruWhat happened on April 16?Nothing has happened for a long time in  Nicole and Winnie’s neighborhood. But one day, when they were babysitting the Garcias, they found out that a precious ring had been missing. The next day the police asked them to solve the case. Using clues that the police provided will Winnie and Nicole be able to find out What happened on April 16th?A good attempt tto write a suspenseful story. It will be great for the author to keep readers in mind while writing as the story seemed a bit abrupt at places.
10 < Age <13Ananya Kavi Diary of an Older Sister – From My Own ExperiencesI am a ten year old and, what I wrote is about some of the experiences I had while being and becoming an older sister with my younger brother and, the bonds I formed with my brotherThe author has a knack of writing a diary. It was a cute little memoir – but it was missing few elements of a good story – like plot, character development, build up, end, etc.
10 < Age <13Anica LestThe Evelyn AwardThe story of how a boy who searches for his best friend when she goes missing.Author has a good storytelling talent. She is successful in writing this hearbreaking story. Needs to watch out for mixing present and past tenses in the story – it makes it  very confusing for the reader. Also, make sure the story is believable – “people quit their jobs just to look for her” – not many will quit their job for $200 – that too several days later when she is still not found. Also, the story transitions abruptly at places. Keep writing – you have the talent required to write many good stories.
13 < Age < 16Ankita KaruturiSunny SideWork and school. That was Jen’s life until that girl showed her something beautiful.I really liked how you handled the themes of lonliness, responsibility, and escapism. The character development was strong and the story alluded to the characters’ difficult lives without diving too deep into it, allowing the reader to imagine for themselves.
13 < Age < 16Annie ChenTrustMy name is Valen Fenrir, and I’m a vampire. This is a day in my life.The characters were well-written, the introduction was attention-catching, and the dialogue was both realistic and smoothly written. Though there was a good balance of dialogue and story, I felt lost along the way and could use some more help with context/world-building.
13 < Age < 16Anoushka KolluruSummer MoonEveryone is assigned their role in the story at birth. Protagonists have it best, they get all the attention, never make a mistake, and most importantly, they get the coveted Happily Ever After. However, when the protagonist of our story suddenly disappears, her role is up for the taking. What will happen to the rest of the characters, and can someone replace the protagonist?An ingenious and creaetive story. You gave your main character a strong voice and who was clever when facing all the unexpected twists and turns. Good pacing and use of descriptive words. As a very emotion-driven story, it stands out in a unique way.
10 < Age <13Anthony PanThe Story of Ethan and the FloodEthan is an unusual teenager who is obsessed with being the hero. Soon he gets his chance when a flood hits his city, but things don’t work out as he planned.This was a very different and a very ambitious story for the age of the writer. Overconfidence and over reliance on one person is never good – that’s beautifully depicted. At the same time, the sorrow of someone who deems himself responsible for all the destruction has been captured very well. The hearbreaking end too the story seemed a bit far fetched for the age of the potagonist – but the story was still well done
10 < Age <13Anwita DereddyIn The FutureIn the future, technology is there to help us everyday. But when two boys had a chance to use their robot for their own pleasure, they made terrible decisions. Find out what they did and how they learnt their lesson.Good idea, but lacked a plot and execution.
10 < Age <13Ardra ArwinA night in the National parkA night in the National Park is about a bizarre situation, where a young family gets stuck in the middle of nowhere inside a National park, with wild animals and no cellphone reception. Would they make it back alive? Or would they get eaten by the bears? (Based on a true story).Good description of the trip to the national park and the event that got readers engaged as to how the family was going to overcome it. The story could have been developed more. The ending was a bit rushed as well.
13 < Age < 16Arya KamathRealHe was afraid of being loved back then, and he left. But he made her a promise, and he was going to fulfill it even when she was past moved on.An emotional and bittersweet short story with really strong plot development. It is clear you put a lot of thought into how to best use the word limit. There was an overuse of adverbs that broke the flow of the story at times, however, all in all, the detaisl and dialogue were highly skilled.
10 < Age <13Ashley BohnenbergerBleed A fantastic story. The loss and the memories of a dear one are depicted really well. The story has very challenging transitions, they are handled so well. Ashley is a great storyteller and she should continue to write so that the world gets good stories!
10 < Age <13Ashley KwanThe QuestA brilliant scientist risks everything to recover a valuable venom. Will he succeed?Great adventure story.
10 < Age <13Ashritha VuddharajuThe Enchanted LibraryThe seemingly ordinary life of these twins gets turned topsy turvy, when they discover a building that they feel hypnotically drawn too. Do the twins have the guts, it takes to figure out what lies inside or will it remain a mystery for all time? 
13 < Age < 16Ayala ErezA Tale of VengeanceA kidnapped girl is taken by the Pirate King. Is she the one he is looking for? Will she be the key to his plans?The diaglodue and vocabulary were really good and your attention to detail was amazing. The introduction was straight into action, although the ending was a bit too fast-paced in comparison to the rest of the story.
13 < Age < 16Bella MarcianoThe Crescent Wave CafeWhile Rebekah loves her life as a home designer, she secretly has other dreams. Will her hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter ever come true?Great character voice and I love that you included song lyrics.  The exposition can be too much, especially during the beginning and there were a few moments where the character motivations were recited in a drier way than their passions had reflected. Overall,  this story captures very well the way that dreams and talents bring people closer together
10 < Age <13Bhargav NarayanThe Diary of a WitnessA chilling night in the life of a victim who went right through the grips of death. Who was the victim? What happened, through the words of a witness.A very creative story that keeps the reader woondering till the end as to what’s happening. Bhargav has a very good imagination and should continue to create such original stories. Also consider to develop other aspects of the story a bit more as well.
13 < Age < 16Brenden JiangThe FoolA skilled and knowledgeable sailor who struggles to find meaning in life goes fishing alone amidst a brewing storm.This story does an excellent job of exploring the effect of experience and wisdom on an individual. Although the story could have used a stronger intro and a bit more emotional connection within the characters and dialogue, there is still a lot of depth to this story.
13 < Age < 16Brenna NicholsA Dance with An AssassinAdelyn Westwood is a young assassin, who is tasked with the murder of the prince Aiden. She is resolved to do her job well, but fate has other plans.The characters are both likeable and flawed, beeautiful and realistic, with strong vocabulary, creative scenic descriptions, and realistic dialogue. I like that the assassin’s motivations are explained, however it felt like the change in heart was rushed, although you did well in showing it.
13 < Age < 16Bridget PouliotThe Fountain and Their FuturesPeople go through hardships all the time, but what if one person and a fountain can make someone’s life a little easier?A unique, yet timely and relevant piece that hooks in the reader. I liked the use of vocabulary and ways in which subtle hints and dialogue were used to draw attention to the character’s problems, while still leaving room for the reader to understand themselves.There was a bit of repitition (ex. similing) that was a bit distracting, however, the writing was still strong through-out.
10 < Age <13Brishti AdhikariThe Miraculous Journey Of Elodie SephtisAccording to Elodie, Arcton is a miserable town, full of miserable people. Elodie Septhis was not the person who you came to when you were writing a paper on the wonders of Arcton, Idaho ‚ a population 3,406. Something you could approach Elodie about, however, was criminology. Dubbed as a “wannabe junior detective” by Arcton Police, Elodie knew everything there was to know about the laws of everywhere. Except she had no where to apply those laws to, because Arcton was empty. Arcton wasn’t big enough for Elodie. When her complaints got louder, the universe decided to grant Elodie’s wish, a place big enough for her needs.This story is set in a
10 < Age <13Caitlin JiangSin For AllWhen Dave gets put with a murder case at Wilson’s Secondary he figures that things aren’t as simple as they look. He soon realizes that things don’t always go as planed and makes sacrifces for him and his friends.A good attempt at a murder mystery. The writer has good imagination. The writer should find a few readers to get a firsthand feedback on what areas of the story might need more work. In this case, the introduction of characters a bit abrupt and few things were hard for readers to believe.
13 < Age < 16Camille BuzzerioA Monument’s Point of ViewFor generations, the Eiffel Tower has fascinated Parisians and visitors alike, but who knew it had a mind of its own?This story is intriguing and imaginative. It is clear that a lot of research went into this with its scenic dialogue and impressive historical facts. The main character was well-developed with strong characterization and dialogue. From the captivating opening to the emotional ending, this story was very original and well thought out.
13 < Age < 16Camille BuzzerioMondayUpdate laterI enjoyed your use of descriptive words to paint a clear picture of what’s happening in the story. The story has some great ideas, but it loses organization and becomes difficult to follow partway through. Some further editing and focus on subtle detail could aid in making it easier for readers to follow along with.
10 < Age <13CHAN Ho Yan KyleBETRYALElias was forced to serve in the German army in WW2, but he hates it there.Good story. The build up was great. The writer also demonstrated a good understanding of the war subject and used it well in the story
13 < Age < 16Charmaine CHEWWhere There’s a Will, There’s a WayIt’s said that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And it would seem that the murderer is determined indeed. When tragedy strikes at sea, avid mystery reader Jolene takes it upon herself to investigate.Realy great use of imagery and a good balance of fun and tension throughout. Your pacing was excellent given the long story you managed to fit into a few pages. There were times where the story seemed unfinished; there are some sentences that are choppy and incomplete, as well as interruptions that seem out of place.
10 < Age <13Chelsea CHEWThe KarenIn a small town in the depths of Britain, a monster unlike any other lurks in her disgustingly pink house, spying on her next prey…Except this victim has more brains than brawn. Which begs the questions: Will he fall into her trap or not? If so, will he escape?Good attempt at crearting a funny story. But the story lacked good development.
10 < Age <13Chloe SetoThe Twin DisappearancesA teenage girl in Hong Kong discovers her disappeared father is hiding a great secret.The story had speed and a twist in the end.
13 < Age < 16David ManLet the Wind LeadA man recalls the death of his beloved grandmother, his feelings after, and how his life ultimately changed for the better.A beautiful and tragic story with beautiful writing and imagery. You depict human bonds and relationships in a believable and heartfelt way while handling the subject of grief in a very mature way. The image of a cheerful dandelion in juxtaposition with the Grim Reaper was an impressive way to write about the confusion and wistfulness that comes with death.
13 < Age < 16Despina TsiogasTo The Sound Of My HeartbeatWho knew love could be this way, end so differently as It’s always been told.
In a romance novel, anticipating a ‘happily ever after’ is what keeps us reading until the end. We assume the author wouldn‚Äôt create something so beautiful for it to end in something so tragic, but does it always end as perfect as the last line on a thin sheet of paper?
 I love the way you have used music in your story. Though the dialogue was stilted and unnatural at times, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and its bittersweet ending.  The introductory paragraph wasn’t as creative or attention-getting as I would have liked, but the author’s twist at the end is so creative and original that I couldn’t help but admire that power of writing
13 < Age < 16Dwayne ClyburnCloseA young teen wishes to explore the only bit of nature at Central Park. With two weeks of school left and a good amount of games to play his summer is looking bright. This soon changes as a problem gets close, and our teen will see violence for the first time, closer than expected.Great use of imagery, you plunge us straight into your character’s mind and it’s really effective.Your descriptions were vivid and intense, but the ending felt incomplete. Make sure to draw upon the themes you presented at the beginning as well!
10 < Age <13Ean LaneThe Jewel Net of TimeDissident Irish Republicans take Wembley Stadium hostage. But a secretive group has an extraordinary plan to stop them.The writer has good command on storytelling – successful in creating suspense. Good transition across scenes.
13 < Age < 16Ella MatterfaceNebulaDeep in space, astronaut Quinn braces for landing in a foreign world. Will this new land bring potential refuge for a dying earth? Or will an abrupt turn of event leave Quinn to question the true meaning of survival of the fittest?Excellent use of descriptions to build suspense. You really understand character motivations and scene setting. While the introduction wasn’t particularly strong and there were times where more emotion could have been added, it was a well-written story.
13 < Age < 16Ella XueHead in the CloudsA little boy is separated from his parents and stranded on the moon – is it real or is it all a dream?A beautiful story filled with engaging imagery and a scenario that evokes a sense of childhood nostalgia. Although the writing could be a little confusing at times, the emotional aspect of the story was impactful.
13 < Age < 16Ella XueA Butterscotch LollipopA compassionate man loses faith in the world after a tragedy, but a small girl with a pure heart restores his innate kindness.A sweet story with an important message about kindness and the joy and revival of friendship.There was strong symbolic writing (the butterscotch lollipop) and clever literary devices used.
13 < Age < 16Ella XueTwo Boys, A Baseball, and a FishNewly arrived in a foreign land, a Japanese boy tries to befriend a neighborhood kid, Daniel, who shares a similar passion of baseball. But when Daniel unexpectedly shows up at his door, the Japanese boy is surprised, letting him into his home and heart, not knowing that things aren’t exactly what they seem.Strong writing coupled with the relevant issue of racism being addressed made this a shocking, hard-hitting, and moving story.The beautiful symbolism and descriptions of the koi fish evoked a deep sense of emathy. You also show great skill in getting in the minds of your characters.
10 < Age <13Emily ChangDo What Thou WiltVerona Lord, a British Orientalist, encounters the real-life, larger-than-life mystic Aleister Crowley. What is he planning?The writer has a very good control over the language and that’s really enjoyable. The story opened with a great promise but couldn’t keep up with it – the plot and character development could have been more thought through.
13 < Age < 16Ethan KanTen Thousand YearsAn elite Chinese special forces team must stop a rogue Russian officer from triggering war with China.In terms of descriptive detail, you did an excellent job placing the reader into the gruesome reality of war. The storyline was a little tricky to follow with all the names and action and there were parts of the story that were lacking in character emotion and in a stiff manner.
10 < Age <13Ethan LanThe Trial of the Jaguar BoyDr McClusky and his men are going exploring in the Amazon. When they encounter an uncontacted tribe, their whole trip changes. There is a mystery that needs to be solved.The story started really well, and the ending seemed abrupt. But overall a good story thayt was very enjoyable
10 < Age <13Evangeline Joy FlynnUna Nina AmericanaRaquel learns what it is to be not only a Dominican girl, but an American girl, when a marvelous opportunity presents itself, and leads her life up an unexpected path.a great story about emotions a kid goes through when moving to a different country
10 < Age <13Evangeline Joy FlynnThe Legend of SilvestriaIn a perfect world millions of years ago, Queen Silvestria finds herself battling a wicked deity that was supposed to be dead.a highly imaginative story. The author created another explanartion for the origin of sun and moon.
10 < Age <13Fiza FaisalTimelessThe protagonist realises the value of time from a conversation with an old man.The dialogue on time was enjoyable, but the conversation is more like start of a story. Overall, many elements of a good story were missing
13 < Age < 16Grace ChenThe Alzheimer’s BananaIn a touching story about the emotional scars of Alzheimer’s disease, a girl visits her grandparents in Shanghai.Your mastery with combining cultural elements and deeper, emotional lessons really came through in this short story. The dialogue was realistic, the conclusion was emotionally poignant, and the introduction was memorable. There were times where the paragraphs became disjointed and hard to follow along with, but other than that, it was very well-written.
13 < Age < 16Grace CiakWhat to doWhen Cameron wakes up late for school, she freaks out getting ready.  It seems as if everything is going wrong until her dad walks in.Hilarious and engaging, the internal dialogue was well-written and believable. he story was often difficult to follow, the introductory paragraph was very confusing, and there were parts where the other paragraphs jumped around in a puzzling manner. This is a good little story, and with some more editing and focus, it would make for a really engaging piece.
13 < Age < 16Gwen SlaughterThe Unfinished StoryHave you ever wondered how a story came to be? One snowing night, Lois hears the family’s tragic legend of Zale Solace, and learns that it could be more than just a fantasy.This story was very creative with impressive vocabulary and great emotional moments. There were times when the long blocks of dialogue/exposition became a bit distracting. It may benefit from some more action or scene setting. The transitions between past and present went smoothly without becoming confusing.
10 < Age <13Ha Jin SUNGThe Shimmers That Take Us BackStars. We look up at the night sky, and watch as bright glowing figures peer down at us. They are beautiful, but what if they carry something so much more than beauty? For Ariea, these stars bring back memories, heartbreak and a tingling feeling that someone is out there for her. Sometimes, when you feel like you have lost everything, these small things, encapsulating treasured memories, can give you the hope that drives you onward.A story of heartbreak and hope shining through darkness. Amazingly written.
10 < Age <13Harinee AdivarahanAn ‘Out of the World’ AdventureWe unexpectedly embark on an ‘out of the world’ adventure  and learn so much about the cosmos and the power of technology. We also imbibe various values crucial for humankind’s continued progress.A good attempt on creating an adventure story. The plot wasn’t very strong.
10 < Age <13Isha VitaleFinding My WayA bright girl takes on a new challenge and has to find her wayFirst day at middle school described really well, and the realization that the main character has in the end about friends and relationship
13 < Age < 16Ishani SinghPicnic BasketA dysfunctional family of 5 makes an attempt to put some normality into their lives by planning a trip to the zoo. Eager and excited, they prepare a load of home cooked food and pack it all in their special basket handed down from the kids‚Äô grandma. However, their perfect day doesn‚Äôt go as planned, and an unexpected event forces them to face a harsh realization.Each member of the dysfunctional family was characterized wonderfully through dialogue, even though the tags (“he said, she mumbled”) were excessive in some areas. There are some peculiar moments where the dialogue doesn’t sound realistic, but the story quickly develops a good flow and gets the reader wholly engaged with the tragic plot.
10 < Age <13Jasmine ZhangA Carnival of the SensesTwo sisters board a rollercoaster, unaware that the theme park has been taken hostage by criminals. Can they survive?A good attempt at adventure story. It came bit short in convincing readers on what was happening
13 < Age < 16Jerry ZongEvery Circle of HellAn antihero discovers he is cursed to rebirth, until he lives the right life… or perhaps takes sufficient revenge.A very creative storyline with good action descriptions. It was a little difficult to follow with the fast pace and switching of perspectives. There was solid vocabulary and descriptive language, as well as realistic dialogue.
13 < Age < 16Jocelyn MakStand Up This story has an eye-catching introduction and a strong, memorable conclusion. While the writing had short, choppy sentences at times, and the timeline was sometimes rushed, the dialogue was realistic, the descriptions were creative, and the conclusion was a real surprise that I didn’t expect, making it stand out quite effectively.
13 < Age < 16Jona David Cordonier GehringBeyond the NarrativeThe creative writing challenge of a young man’s English exam offers him the opportunity for a glorious fantasy adventure – or the deepest despair.A creative and beautiful way to show the beauty of storytelling, including the frustration of writer’s block. It was creative, imaginative, and filled with vivid vocabulary, colors, and desecriptive language. A very relatable and fun story.
13 < Age < 16Josie SprinkleThey X the DeadAn old man walks home one day to an, as usual, empty house. The man finds a mysterious little girl sitting in the middle of his own bedroom, a series of events occur that leave the man frightened and his life threatened. The author uses strong, creative language and an unlikeable, mysterious main character to set things in a spooky atmosphere. While the introduction was strong, the conclusion was lacklustre and confusing.  I liked the use of vocabulary and evocative language to make things more vivid, however,I’d recommend breaking each section so that it’s easier to read, and shorter sentences also helps with action/suspense scenes to spice up your tale.
13 < Age < 16Julia AbbottThe Invincible ChickenIn a sweet children’s tale, Julia tries to save a chicken destined for the soup pot. Filled with childish friendship, mischief, and love, “The Invincible Chicken” is a lighthearted tale perfect for young readers. It’s been tested on the author’s three younger siblings!While the pop culture references could be distracting at times, I think the author has a real talent for capturing realistic adventures in daily life in a way that anybody can relate to. IT was a creative and fun story showing the importance of friendship and teamwork.
13 < Age < 16Karuna ChandranWistful ThinkingFriends come and go, but the memories that form at a young age have a lasting impact.You created a believable friendship story that progressed in a way that didn’t feel too rushed. The dialogue and character emotions were realistic and powerful. The final lines were very poetic.
13 < Age < 16Kayla XuRice-Paper GirlsA mother remembers her estranged daughter and regrets trying to force her own wishes upon her. Will they reconcile after so many years?Wonderful job at scene setting and establishing the world you created. The mother/daughter dynamic was equally beautiful and hearbreaking and highlighted thorugh a strong use of language and descriptive imagery. The story got a bit confusing mid-plot, however, it had a memorable introduction and strong conclusion that tied the story together really well.
13 < Age < 16Kelsey PizanteFor A Fraction Of A SecondOn a rainy day in New York City, a grief-stricken cab driver contemplates the complexities of life and time by listening in on his passengers’ conversations and analyzing their relationships while taxiing them around the city for potentially the last time.A maturity in writing that shows the lives and perspectives of a multitude of characters. Deep and reflective, this story has thoughtful questions, strong scenic prose, and realistic dialogue. You did a great job of plunging the reader into the complex mind and world of your character.
10 < Age <13Kristy ChanThe Citrus GroveTwo very different girls – a child of privilege and a refugee – forge their friendship in adversity, fighting a human-trafficking group.A good read. However, the story could have been more believable for the readers.
13 < Age < 16Kshemaahna NagiIn Cold-BloodNetra is just an ordinary eight-year-old. Or is she really? She has been having a string of odd experiences lately.You have created a really unique and intriguing storyline.  The introduction was captivating, the main character is vividly described and interesting, and the story is thrilling the entire way through.
10 < Age <13Kylie HuiThe Final DespairDuring the ghastly Blitz in London, detective Caine investigates a string of murders.The writer has good skills for writing suspense stories. The story flow could have been worked on more. The number of transitions was on higher side for such a short story. It almosts gets the reader our of the story
13 < Age < 16Lauren SchaeferIn the AtticKatherine moves to a new town, following the death of her father.  Upon finding a key to a book, her curiosity leads her to the town bookstore.  She soon begins to discover secrets, hidden in her haunted home.You build tension really well and this helps to hook the reader in and make them wonder where you’re going to take us next. While the introduction was a bit choppy and could use some revision, I think the author has a strong talent for suspense writing.
10 < Age <13Leanne TangGray DaysA boy finds himself trapped between this life and the afterlife, and learns only friendship can bridge the gap between those worlds.The writer surely can write well. However, the story lacks a plot and the end isn’t very satisfying.
10 < Age <13Leonard ChongRebirthA boy is reborn as an unlikely animal, and learns a dark lesson about karma.Good plot and story started well. It lost the momentum & direction somehow. Try to look from a reader’s point of view and improvise on the story.
13 < Age < 16Lily LiuBreaking Free from the Curses and SmokeRising from the ashes of Pompeii, the story of Tag, a medical slave, continued from the last sentence of the novel “Curses and Smoke”.  What would he do with his newly found freedom?What a cool idea to continue a story that you love yourself. You did a great job of bringing the reader into the story even if they’ve never yet read the book it was based on. I love how you wrote the settings into your story, however, keep in mind to make sure your dialogue sounds more natural.
13 < Age < 16Lily LiuStick RomanceA golden chopstick lost her life-long pair and had to face the helpless reality of a new partnerA unique and fun perspective to hear a story told from, showing a real talent of personification. Although it took a couple of pages to fully understand what was happening in the story, but it quickly built up into a very creative, well-written fantasy with strong dialogue and descriptive elements
10 < Age <13Lucie OhYouA heartbroken mother tells the beginning and the end of the life of her little girl.Heartbreaking story of grief striken mother who has to lose her precious child at the tender age of 5 year. Beutifully told.
13 < Age < 16Lucy PresecanThe StormA girl faces the greatest threat to her life, from the person she most fearsThere isn’t much break from start to finish and everything read into one, detracting the reader from the story.  The ending following the murder scene felt very rushed and hard to follow; it could have used more editing and emotion. Otherwise, this story really is a solid showcase of great talent and maturity in understanding the darker side of life, capturing it through fiction.
13 < Age < 16Mahi shethThe RingA girl named Jenny has a normal life until she stumbles upon a ring, that grants wishes. Then one wish causes a serious accident, harming a loved one. Will Jenny be able to get rid of the ring?This is a very promising start with a creative idea that combines fantasy with supernatural suspense in quite a clever way. However, your dialogue was extensive and stilted. Consider adding some more non-dialogue options, like action or scene descriptions, in between.
10 < Age <13Maiya ClouseGretta and Her CoinsAn alternative version of Little Red Riding HoodThe iidea of having a whisper tell the story was really creative. The plot wasn’t very strong. There should have been more to make readers believe a realistic enough reason behind a young girl like her can perform such duties.
10 < Age <13Marcus SzeSpring ThunderIn a dystopian future America, detective Smith must stop a genius terrorist before he destroys Detroit.Good attempt at the dystopian story. The story is entertaining but also reminds you of similar scenes/setting in movies
13 < Age < 16Matthew CalifanoThe Physician Who Would Be GodIn ancient Greece, a young boy mourns the death of his brother and rages against the physician who failed to save his life.  A wandering bard tries to console the boy and assuage his anger by telling him the little-known myth of Hubristes of Heliopolis. What the boy learns helps to shape the future of medicine. The story here has strong vocabulary, consistently realistic dialogue, and characters who feel emotional and vivid throughout. The introduction could have used more of an eye-catching paragraph, although it did do a strong job of setting the scene for readers. Your story was wonderful as a tale. Consider breaking it up somewhat to maintain the flow.
13 < Age < 16Matthew CalifanoFrom the Journal of P. Quinctilius VarusIn 9 A.D., three Roman legions disappeared into the darkness of the Teutoburg Forest, never to be seen again. Recently unearthed diaries of their commander, Varus, tell of the betrayal that cost the general his life and checked the ambitions of the Empire.Great work capturing the literary styles and syntax of the time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the progression of events in the form of a journal, which made your story unique and gripping. There are parts of the story that feel more like the character is reciting a script; more emotion could be added to improve this.
13 < Age < 16Maya AnvarThat MouseA wise old stuffed animal passes on his wisdom to a new one, and speaks of his story of love, loss, and finding his purpose.Imaginative and emotional, this story is truly wonderful. It is solid from introduction to conclusion with characters that are well developed with strong descriptions and beautiful dialogue. Nice use of personification and narration to evoke emotion throughout.
13 < Age < 16Maya AnvarThe Magnificent BirdA mystical bird who has dedicated her life to spreading love and goodwill throughout the world must pass on the duty to her friends before it is too late. Unexpectedly, her friends come back with a gift to reciprocate the bird’s kindness, a gift that continues to impact the world today. In an abstract and magical approach, this story tells of the long lasting and powerful effects of kindness.This story started off strong with an attention-catching opening paragraph. The moral of the story was of kindness and love, however, instead of falling into conventional tropes, you were able to use nature, whimsy, and fantasy to take a more unique approach.
13 < Age < 16Maya Jasmin RoseboroThe Song of the BirdsDestined to be together, twin sisters are reunited by one final song. There’s a strong use of character development, dialogue, vocabulary and imagery throughout. The conversations between the sisters was a tad confusing – I’d suggest adding more action or scene-setting in between.  It’s clear your story is well-thought out and I love that you used sign language in your story
10 < Age <13Mihika NarayanEarth’s PredicamentLooking down at Earth from the clouds could be fun, but not for Terra who has an extraordinary connection to everything that happens on Earth. Will Terra survive the strong connection on Reflection Day?Good start of the story, and a good message in the end. But overall, the plot wasn’t very strong.
13 < Age < 16Mridula SrinivasDeja VuA rushed pace. A tragic accident. Thinking the world was against her, Amelie ventured into the place of her dire accident, Star Harbor. Stepping foot in that fateful place throws unexpected hurdles in Amelie’s way.You did an excellent job of portraying character development and describing the story setting.  There were many points where the story became disjointed and difficult to follow, and less emphasis on what the significance is of certain characters and events. Still, I think this is a memorable and important story.
13 < Age < 16Natalie Bolton30 YearsAfter a nuclear war, America is in a state of destruction and confusion. An Officer known as Everett Denton is leading what she thought was a simple supplies expedition with her crew from a bomb shelter, but by the end, her world unravels. Everett is left torn between the future she’s been working towards her whole life, and a new one that could change everything she’s ever known.The characters are well-written and creative, although side characters weren’t really defined as well as I had thought they might be. The dialogue is often disjointed and hard to follow, and the conclusion ends quite abruptly. I do think that this is a good story idea, and with more development.
10 < Age <13Neer JainSevenSeven keys need to cooperate and get out of the piano into the world.a great, creative idea of the 7 notes fleeing from a piano.
10 < Age <13Nico Cordonier GehringSong Spark Recovery MagicMagical music comes to the aid of a young blind immigrant struggling to wake her adopted city, in order to secure a spark of real recovery and build back better lives in the aftermath of a global pandemic.beautifully written, the story flows like lyrical music itself. Nico has a gift of a poet. The overall message of the story was very powerful.
13 < Age < 16Niharika ThuppannaA Meal That Saved LivesAs Venkat and his brother attend their new public school in southern India, they are faced with undesirable conditions, from dirty old structures called “classrooms” to a tiny teacher with an even shorter temper. Their high school experience has started off questionable, but can they take on the challenges ahead?While the story starts off a bit slow in its initiral paragraphs, it quickly develops and picks up speed. I greatly enjoyed your balance of dialogue and descriptive language, you really ground your reader in the world you’ve created.
10 < Age <13Noah LiangGuan Yu’s Journey to Planet ArtermingGuan Yu, a righteous general, is put to the test by a Dark Lord. Will he survive?Good plot and fast action made the story engaging. For such a short story, it had so many transitions, which usually doesn’t help make a story stronger.
13 < Age < 16Noah OhLet’s Call it FriendshipA cunning talking fox decides to try taming a human, Meanwhile, a lonely child sets out to make new friends.Written in an old-fashioned fable sort of style, this story was fun and light hearted. The characters are lovable with their creative voices and unlikely friendship. The ending was sweet and memorable.
10 < Age <13Octavian LYNCH PAWLEA Mountain Climbing Trip to Mars  Sir Edmund Mountainie and Eighteenzing Southgay prepared to climb Olympus Mons, on Mars. They wondered how much chocolate they would need to climb to the top.A funny story filled with imagination. Became a little repetitive toward the end, and had a very abrupt end.
13 < Age < 16Olivia A. DukeAnd the Child Shall Follow‚ÄúIn the world in which we live, nothing matters.” In this dystopian narrative, a man chooses the world he wishes to inhabit based on his definition of truth but a man’s child will follow in his footsteps and not all roads lead home.You handle a complex and sensitive subject well with characters that have depth and personality. The introduction was somewhat confusing and sporadic, and some of the main character’s dialogue was inconsistent, switching between old-fashioned and curt to more modern with slang expressions.
13 < Age < 16Pranavi VedulaChain Message MagicKajal feels awful when she’s next to her friend Lara. She would love to be just like Lara, and to be cool and social like her. Later, Kajal sends a chain message along to her friends that says that the result for doing so will make her “the person she always wanted to be”. That’s just like Lara. Right?Strong use of dialogue and imagery to craft a creative scene for your characters, and the characters felt realistic and admirable. There was a constant influx of pop culture references that often made the story confusing to follow, however the story has a good moral message that many can relate to.
13 < Age < 16Preeti ParmarSilenceBeing a girl in a man’s world is not easy, especially when you are royalty. Princess Anne, also known as the only child of Queen Caroline and King Leopold, was the core of her country: Pembourn. For years she watched Pembourn prosper, and for years she witnessed the necessity for the Queen to birth a son. Soon, Anne finds Pembourn on the brink of destruction, anxiously fearing the state of her nation. Can Anne battle the misogyny of the crown and finally take control of the country she so very adores? Or will she be forced into the background, observing Pembourn’s demolition, and living a silent life forever?While the introduction was slighly confusing and disjointed, this dark tale is easy to follow and transitions well for the most part. The frustrations and desires of your main character ring true today making this story very relatable and relevant.
10 < Age <13Ruthvik VeerapaneniPier the PeacefinderAlex Pier is having the most unusual days, first while rouge animals starting a war to rule the world. With an amulet that allows him to talk to animals, can he stop this raging war, or will the war keep on ripping the world?Good attempt and imagination. The plot was good but the story development did not do justice to it.
10 < Age <13Sahale BurgessTraveling to Imaginationland Do you want to travel to Imaginationland?  It’s a continental universe of creativity!Good creative writing, but missing many elements of storywriting
13 < Age < 16Sahana IyerAmerican TeenSongs can spark feelings and memories. In a personal memoir, the author describes how memories of a teenage crush are revived by songs from an artist’s album. The COVID pandemic came in the way of a one-sided romance. The characters were vivid and well-written although there could have been a stronger usage of vocabulary to build imagery. It was easy to get lost in the dialogue – consider adding more non-dialogue in between as well as separating them as paragraphs of their own! I do, however, think that this story shows a great deal of promise.
13 < Age < 16Sahana IyerThe Cousins and Their Zodiac PowersA group of cousins with superpowers based on their zodiac signs spend some time together. They go on an adventure when spices from foods get absorbed into the Red River, a river at the border of Texas and Oklahoma. The cousins use their super powers to set the world around them straight again.This story has a lot of interesting ideas, and it’s clear from reading it that the author has a very creative talent for imaginative plots. However, the pacing was slightly rushed as if it was a continuous train of thought. I’d suggest reading over and seeing where you can add some pauses for effect.
13 < Age < 16Samantha HsiungThe CloakJackson is given a choice to see his parents one last time, but there’s a catch. He must wear an invisible cloak to veil his presence. However, if his parents somehow see him, then all their memories of Jackson will be erased. Will he accept the offer to see his parents?Your premise for this short story is so unique and interesting! Although the story overall could use more emotion and dialogue work, the ending was very heartfelt and bittersweet.
13 < Age <16Sandhya VetrivelThe magic inside of youPrincess Sophia has always longed to be beautiful. But as the only princess without a fairy godmother, that wish doesn’t seem to be coming true. However, after a falling into the mirror where her fairy godmother’s imprisoned, will her values change?It’s amazing how much world-building was spun into a short story. You have a very notable talent for not only fantasy writing, but also for integrating relevant social messages into the plot of the story.
13 < Age < 16Sarah Serena ThompsonThe DoorA young girl finds a key that will change her whole life. One day she gets stuck. Will she get out?You set the scene really well and paint beautifu pictures with your words. I’d recommend starting your sentences more varied (ex. other than “she”). The ending was somewhat abrupt, and the story could have used more character emotion at various parts.
10 < Age <13Savannah ChaudhryWildest Dreams Good description of the wild dreams. The ideas used in the story were good, however they could have stiched together in a more unified way to make the story more engaging to the readers
10 < Age <13Seung June YoonAlleyman All MouseA genius mouse and a London hotel manager become the unlikeliest of friends.Good imagination and an idea that could have been detailed a bit more holistically
13 < Age < 16Shreya BirudavoluBus StopEvery day, Mila has always seen the same few people at her bus stop, only this time, a little boy is missing. Worried as to what might of happened to him, she decides to investigate and find clues, as to who that little boy really is.This story balances spooky ghost mysteries with a heartfelt tale of friendship and the connection between siblings. I enjoyed how you built up the suspense and mystery. You combined realistic dialogue with vibrant visual imargy to bring events to life.
13 < Age < 16Shreya BirudavoluAngel FallenAnnalise must have done something terrible to be exiled to Earth like this, only she has no idea what. As she realizes what has happened she wonder if  she will ever be able to return to her world, or if she will have no choice but to adjust to life on Earth.Really interesting premise you have developed, but it can be tough to fit it into a short story format. While this story is at first somewhat confusing, as the main character isn’t explained as a fallen angel until much later into the plot, this is a powerful story with a strong ending and a well-written beginning intro.
13 < Age < 16Shreya BirudavoluStarry EyesRuby is the General’s daughter and she’s been trained to fight her opponents without question, and yet she can’t help but be curious when she sees how familiar and unsettling her opponent’s eyes are.Great work describing the action scene! I loved how you placed it amidst chaos to amplify the drama. However, I’d suggest adding some more background to the sorceress and focus more on character emotion.
10 < Age <13Siena LohmeierThe PhenomenonWhen we stop taking care of nature, it stops taking care of us.The idea is good – that when we don’t care ab out nature, it stops caring about us. The story development wasn’t very strong. Also, at times things seemed pushed abruptly – like passing of their parents.
13 < Age < 16Sophia DouglassNea GiWhen the plague that forced humans to relocate to Nea Gi makes a reappearance, Adira Mullaney, a 13 year-old girl living in New America’s colony, is forced to choose between safety and protection or love and family, to save her country.You are very skilled at world building and I love the way you describe the people and setting of New America’s colony. This story started off slowly and perhaps could have used a stronger beginning, but it was extremely well-written otherwise.
13 < Age < 16Sophia LohmeierBlue ButterfliesFor a young Japanese girl living in Idaho, life is forever changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and new horrors await her in the Minidoka Internment Camp.An empowering story on a difficult and very real subject. Your powerful descriptions plunged the reader into the middle of the action. You write of great compassion and beauty in juxtaposition with unspeakable horror. The story has a strong introduction, realistic characters, powerful uses of vocabulary and dialogue, and an unforgettable ending that seamlessly connects everything together.
13 < Age < 16Sophia LohmeierThe WatchersThe watchers watch their loved ones live the lives they never could; after their untimely deaths as the most innocent souls.This is a very real, complex story that you enhanced with your excellent story-telling capabilities. Sometimes, it felt like the exposition was prolonged, but that was a result of most of the story being set in flashbacks. Some work on continuiting issues could help fix some inconsistencies in the story as well. Overall, this is a very strongly-written and creative piece.
13 < Age < 16Soumya ShenoyAmbivalenceAria loves being a pirate, but as a battle rages she learns that everything comes at a cost. Even saving her own life.I love how you write your action scenes. They’re quick, intense, and descriptive. Though the exposition and dialogue meshed together in the middle, making it harder for the reader to follow, the plot was thrilling and suspenseful without feeling too rushed.
13 < Age < 16Summer Rose HeutelChicagoCan something beautiful come out of a vicious world?Written in an almost lyrical style of prose, with beats that ebb and flow to the rhythm of the story, it is clear you have a strong command of language. The story has an eye-catching, jarring introduction, although the ending was very abrupt and could have perhaps used a statement or thought to close on.
10 < Age <13Suyeon HeoEscapeWind blowing against my face, I look upon my very own brother, lying on the old, smelly bed. His closed eyes and dry, brittle lips express everything we went through. After what had happened in Joseon, we are the only ones we got.Good attempt. The setting needed to be developed a little bit more. At times readers fails to successfully imagine the shape and the nature of the surroundings the action is taking place in
10 < Age <13Tara CallinanLetter in a bottleA luxurious holiday in Hawaii goes terribly wrong for a girl on her 11th birthday.The writer has good writing skills-  but needs to make stories more believable else readers aren’t engaged. For example, can it ever happen that someone is taken by rip tide and did not wake up while it happened? Also, how could pen, paper, and bottle appear magically next to the protagonist?
13 < Age < 16TaylorLiving on the Wrong Side of TownA young boy living in his idealistic imagination finally gets a taste of reality when he learns more about the clash between social classes. This coming of age story delves into the realization that the world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The main character has to accept the brutal lesson that life isn’t always fair, and you have to be able to take what you can get.This is a very imaginative piece with a strong introduction, excellent vocabulary and visual descriptions,, although the story’s pacing becomes really rushed towards the end. You have a knack for giving your characters distinct personalities through their actions and dialogue.
13 < Age < 16Taylor KlassMissingA story of a girl who went missing.This story was structured and developed  in a way that was fluid and connected everything together. There was nice repetition of the “missing” theme that enhanced the emotional impact of the story. You showed rather than told the story with a good use of literary devices, an important talent for any writer, and this was quite impressive.
10 < Age <13Teresa CheungThe ConIn an alternate-history world, a gang of conmen plot the ultimate fraud.Good attempt. The story came out well. The number of transitions were way too many for this size of a short story – one of the most important things writers do is to minimize possibilities of distracting their readers
10 < Age <13Valencia AlmeidaAccidents HappenA strange visitor, A small girl and one big mistake. Amy learns that not all problems have solutions and even what seems like the smallest agreement can have consequences.Good suspenseful story with a plot twist. Good job
10 < Age <13Vanessa Hiu Wing CheungRemediumIn a country wrecked by an apocalypse, Leo, a lonely orphan boy, finds trusted friends, long-lost family, and but also unexpected loss.The story started well, and then seems to drift a little bit. Grandma’s story about not getting him from orphanage wasn’t very convincing.
13 < Age < 16William ZhangCome Hell or High WaterA rookie FBI agent takes on a terrorist group, and discovers a particularly dark secret to them.Wow, I greatly admire how you write action scenes. You vary your sentence structure and use strong verbs to accentuate the chaos that is happening during battle. Oftentimes though, it was very rushed, chaotic and hard to follow.
10 < Age <13Zayne CowieLivin’ with the ReptilesThis is a story about a bunch of sentient lizards, and their family. There is Jonathan, the father; Rebecca, the mother; and the children, Lola, Lulu, and Bob.It was a cute little writing, even though missing many aspects of story writing, it captured the beautiful thinking of the author
10 < Age <13Zoee FeierabendThe MeetingTorii’s life may have took a detour, but I believe you are where you’re supposed to be. Do you?A very good attempt and a twist at the end.