2017 Summer Camp Winners

Below is the list of the short story and art contest winners of the Central PA Writers and Illustrators Summer Camp held July 10th through 21st at Harrisburg University. The camp included students going into 3rd through 12th grade in the fall of 2017. The camp was coordinated by the American Literacy Corporation (ALC).

The theme for the short story contest: Once I Dreamed…

For the art contest, campers were asked to create original art during the camp. Congratulations to all participants and winners of the contests. Special thanks to Central Penn Parent and Journal Media for partnering with us on the contests.

Grade 3-4 First Place Short Story Contest

My Journey Through Space

By Sadie Ross

Once I dreamed about me being the only person who could fly. I race the birds and always win. I never have traffic. One day, I wanted to use my power to the fullest. I packed clothes, packed food, and I got ready to fly to space. I started July 12, 2017.

As I flew, I could see all of the world. Two days later, I got there. I was astonished and flabbergasted because I could breathe. First, I went to Mars. It was so beautiful. After flying one mile, I saw a living creature up ahead. Was it an alien? I flew closer. It was! It was a red alien with 3 eyes, 3 mouths, and 20 arms and legs. It also had a cool jetpack. I took some pictures and then headed to Saturn. The rings were magnificent. They looked so cool that I roller skated around them for two and a half hours. Then I felt kind of tired so for a little I just looked at Earth. I was accompanied by a nice alien girl named Shhhooolulu. We talked and talked until I said it was time for me to leave. She asked to come and she did. Then I woke up knowing I had the best dream ever!


Grades 5-6 First Place Short Story Contest

Once I Dreamed…

By Joleigh Nailor

Once I dreamed that I was an alien named Vesin. I was originally from Venix. I was on a mission to get into the Gem Museum and recoup the 24 karat diamond from Earth, but something struck my ship and I crash landed in a dry area. I had enough spare parts to fix it, but it did not hold. After about a mile of flying, I crash landed again, but this time in the middle of the rainforest. Eleven days of hiking the rainforest went by and I finally found the Museum. I climbed up the fire escape and immediately lowered myself into the diamond case. I snatched the diamond and climbed back up the rope, down the fire escape, and hiked back to my ship. I saw monkeys climbing all over. As I spoke, they seemed to understand. The monkeys and I worked together to patch the many holes I had suffered in my ship and attempted to patch once before. I asked the hippos to help me move the ship out of the rainforest so I could take off. After three hours of hiking and sad goodbyes to my new friends, I was on my way back home. Two days later, I made it back to my planet, Venix. That night, my plan was to sneak the diamond back into the Venix Master’s Shack so that no one would know I had found it. I snuck it in the shack and no one knew. After one week of hearing it nonstop on the news, I decided to claim responsibility for my actions and take credit for the find. I was proud to have served my planet in rescuing the 24 karat diamond.


Grades 7-9 First Place Short Story Contest


By Emily Keim

Once, I dreamed of a day that I could be free from my father. I feared the dream would die soon after I caught it, like a firefly trapped in a jar. Of course, I wished for an escape from him, even if it came to me in death. I was tired of the constant abuse that I had grown to know better than the back of my hand. It was so simple to me – another mistake led to another beating by my father – yet it seemed whatever I did was seen as a mistake in his eyes.

“Amadi, you’ve broken your mother’s shell necklace!” my father roared, his voice a bellowing cry which had to have been heard by our entire South African village. “Have your sisters ever done anything so foolish?”

My younger sisters, Kulwa and Kakra, were twins born after a series of children lost by my mother and father. As such, nothing they did was seen as a mistake. My father would never dare lay a hand on them. They were angels to him.

“It doesn’t matter what Kulwa or Kakra do. I am neither of them.” I mumbled. My father glanced to his fist, clenching it tightly.

“What did you say?” He glared at me, and I puffed up my chest.

“I am my own man, and you can’t continue to abuse me the way that you do.” A new found aggression was boiling inside me, and when he raised his hand to my face, I pushed him away. His head struck the table nearby, and he collapsed to the ground. A twisted sense of pride rose inside me, knowing I had finally stopped him.

“Amadi, you cannot leave us. You must respect your family.” His voice was ragged and pained, but I turned away from him. Though I was not sure where I would go, I left my home and my father behind. I had no remorse walking out of that door. My dream had been achieved, and I was finally free.


Essay Contest Winners

3-4 grade

1st place – Sadie Ross
2nd place – Tegwin Liggett

5-6 grade

1st place – Joleigh Nailor
2nd place – Carson Bouder

7-9 grade

1st place – Emily Keim
2nd place – Laurel Fleszar


Art Contest Winners

3-4 grade

1st place –Tegwin Liggett
2nd place – Melessia Shehata
Honorable Mention – Sadie Ross

5-6 grade

1st place – Addie McCarty
2nd place – Hanna Warren
Honorable Mention – Holland Harrell

7-9 grade

1st place – Crystal Echeverria
2nd place – Aneesa Williams
Honorable Mention – Laurel Fleszar