Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Run of my life

RUN OF MY LIFE by Analia, 10, USA

Photo courtesy Anthony Moore at Image shows a child in a blue shirt running through a forest

“Get ready, set, GO!”

The air horn blared, breaking the silence. We all ran off, leaving behind a cloud of dust. In, out, in, out, my breathing went. A steady beat of determination in my breath ran through me all the way down to my feet, pushing me on. We entered the woods, a place of peace but not now. Now, it was a place of competition where we knew if we stopped we would never make it to the finish line. Jumping through the branches and sliding down the rocks, I felt the forest in my blood. I was impossible to stop, weaving in and out of different paths, following the red flags standing out in the green and brown. It went by in a flash, quicker than I imagined, and suddenly I was climbing my last hill. Completing my last descent. It was going to happen. Half a track to go and I was there.

Footsteps thudding. People cheering. I ignore it all and focus on the sound of my breathing. My heart leaps inside my chest. The final stretch, my running over in one step. Exhausted, I wasn’t sure if it was even possible to cross the finish line. My coach, Mandy, had decided to pursue the race along with me, and we crossed the finish line victorious.

“Go, Analia!”

My family cheered me on as I swept past them, completing the cross country 5K I had worked so hard to complete. Smiling in the sunlight I glance around feeling the support of all the other runners who had finished before me. I couldn’t wait for my next 5K!

Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Young Writers in Action

Young writers in Action: Driving blind


DRIVING BLIND by Analia, 10, New York, USAFoggy mountain photo by Vincent Tan at

Nothing. Just grey. Panic took control of me. Why did we have to drive at night? What if we were driving off a cliff? I was close to tears on the high mountain. My mum tried to put on a reassuring smile but it was clearly fake. I squeezed her hand so tightly it hurt for me as well. My sister was the navigator and my dad was the driver. Endless grey consumed us. The lights of the cars behind us shone but there were none ahead to guide us. We had to brake several times before the cars behind us got impatient. They weaved left and right, then passed us. They cruised ahead then halted as they became blind. I felt like I was in a horror show and there was no exit, no escape to leave. As the other cars regained their speed by turning on “fog lights” that we didn’t have, we almost lost the cars. That’s when the arguing began.

My sister thought it was best to increase speed so we didn’t lose our guiding light. I agreed with my mum, though, who thought it was risky to increase speed driving when we can’t see anything. My dad agreed with my sister so he started speeding up to catch up. I squeezed my mum’s hand and started to hyperventilate.  I couldn’t calm down. With my free hand, I put my hand on my heart and uneasily listened to the rapid beating.

As if the situation couldn’t get any worse, my sister announced, “There’s a sharp turn coming up.”

The large yellow signs with the midnight-coloured left arrows were the only help for us. Again questions invaded my mind. How will we escape this? Will we lose the cars ahead? Just then the car in front of us disappeared. A new question formed inside my stressed head. Was it condensed in the fog or lost to something else ahead?

Sadly, my dad didn’t share my same worries so we continued, but found the car again in front of us. As we silently drove, I continued to hyperventilate until at one point, it let us go. Clear from up ahead. This didn’t comfort me though. There could be more of those areas. I was tired and wanted to close my eyes but the fear overtook me. Squeezing my mum’s hand while listening to my heartbeat I continued to look up ahead but didn’t see anything but roads, jungle, and no fog!

Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: In Too Deep

Photo courtesy Kijal at Pexels


by Analia, 10, USA

The waves splash calmly against the small cruiser. The salty sea air tickled Erica’s nose as she leaned closer to the water. Dolphins splashed in and out of the water in glee, swimming next to and under the boat. Oohs and ahhs rose from her mother’s mouth as she fell in love with the dolphins. Erica’s sister stood off to the side recording the energetic creatures. Erica and her father stood silently watching the dolphins and leaned over the railing, smiles showing on their mesmerised faces. The driver of the boat often glanced to the sides at the dolphins around the boat. After a while, they left the pod and were consumed again by the endless water. The world seemed to come to a pause as they drifted. Erica only heard the occasional cry of a bird or the lapping waves against the boat. All land around them faded out of view and seemed to be swallowed up by the clouds. The sun beat down on them as it continued to shine.

As the driver once again glanced off to the side, Erica felt a bump. Then another. Everyone suddenly tipped left and right, dangerously leaning over. Her sister’s phone slipped from her grasp and into the ocean. Her sister groaned at her loss. Erica gulped in fear at her possible future.

“I hope we don’t end up that way.”

For once the driver spoke up. “I hope not. I wasn’t paying attention to the course we’re headed in. There is a bunch of sharp rocks in this area. As soon as the sharpest one hits, down goes the boat. We can try to abandon ship and swim to a small island we passed.”

Guilt passed in Erica’s eyes. “I don’t know how to swim. Maybe we can use life preservers.”

The driver’s face brightened at the idea then darkened again. He chose his next words carefully.

“There is a slight chance that would work BUT since we can’t swim, a boat would have to come to our rescue. There would be no boat out here in these rocks. There’s no way for me to turn around because the rocks would hit us for sure. We do seem to be reaching the end so maybe if we can just wait until then, we’ll have a fighting chance.”

Suddenly a bump hit the boat. Water started to seep in through various holes. It wrapped around their feet until the water was up to their thighs.

“We’ll never make it to the end like this.”

Another bump threw Erica over the railing. She reached her hands out for the rail but couldn’t grab onto it. With a splash, she fell into the water, clear of the rocks. The light above her faded away. She was consumed by the darkness. Erica didn’t know how to swim but she had seen her father do it when he attempted to teach her. She started moving her legs in a quick, swift, kick and batted her arms back and forth to escape the force of the waves. In a slow steady movement, she fought her way back to the surface. Lungs bursting, she felt like she would fall into the sea all over again but she didn’t. Determined, she slowly fought her way to the surface until she broke the water. Turning her head left and right, she spotted the boat with four little specks on it. Realizing that she could only stay on top of the water for so long, she waved her arms back and forth before starting to sink back into the water. Luckily, Erica’s message was caught and they charged ahead to her. Reaching down, they helped her up. Erica coughed up water and then looked around in confusion at the floating boat.

“How did the boat not sink?”

The driver gave a narrow smile. “We used goggles and your sweater to plug up the holes. It won’t last for long. We need to head back!”

“I’m game, as long as I don’t get knocked back into the water again!”

Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Thirty Reasons to Read

Thirty Reasons To Read
by Zohar, 11, USA

  1. Pexels photo courtesy Amina FilkinsYou’re bored and have watched all of Netflix.
  2. You can’t leave your house, so why not leave reality.
  3. You can’t sleep.
  4. Why not learn about something new while having fun?
  5. You have some really good books at home but haven’t got a chance to read them.
  6. You “have to” read for school.
  7. Your brain will thank you.
  8. It keeps you busy.
  9. If you seriously don’t want to read, sort through your books, ex. alphabetically, by which you would read next.
  10. You are worried your dog will chew them up.
  11. Your books are taking up space.
  12. Your brain gets to relax and not stress over when your next test is.
  13. You travel around the world for free.
  14. Books make you laugh!
  15. Books make you think about things differently.
  16. Reading helps you write.
  17. When you finish a book, you feel like you climbed Mount Everest.
  18. Reading books helps you pay better attention.
  19. Books are genuinely fun.
  20. Who doesn’t want to time travel?
  21. You feel like you have ten million friends.
  22. Reading books helps you be more creative.
  23. It’s like you’re using all five senses when you’re only using one.
  24. Reading books answers your questions.
  25. Reading books make you look at things differently, ex. what would happen if a deadly virus would be on the loose?…(we still aren’t sure!)
  26. It doesn’t require much to read.
  27. Reading books makes you a better writer.
  28. Books can be used anywhere.
  29. Books could be life changing.
  30. WHY NOT?!?!

This is Zohar’s first publication at Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: A Fresh Start

by Analia, 10, USA

Backpack photo by Luis Quintero on pexels comThe bell rang, setting the hallways into chaos. Left and right kids raced past me in an attempt to get to class while I awkwardly stood there, confused. I patiently and nervously waited as the hallways cleared up. Now, I was the only one. Chatter rose from inside the classrooms around me but I was too scared to move. This was my first time transferring schools, and I was in the middle of 6th grade. The middle of the school year is always the worst time to transfer but it’s when my parents wanted me to take the step. There was nothing wrong with my other school. Normal class, normal teachers, normal lunch. The only thing was that it was an hour away. Now I understand why my parents wanted me to transfer but they could’ve waited 5 months. Then, I would’ve moved to another school like normal for middle school. My parents think it’ll be a fun experiment. I don’t agree.

“Excuse me, I don’t believe we’ve met,” a voice sounded from behind me. I turned to face a thin, tan man with a snappy suit on and a Starbucks coffee in one hand.

“Sorry, sir. I’m Lola. Lola Sanchez. This is my first day here and I was a little confused about where my class was. Can you help me find room 554?”

The man smiled, “Ah, as principal, you know these hallways like the back of your hand. Mr Johnson’s your teacher for this year. Just take a right up at that hallway then it’s the first door to your left,” the man explained as he gestured with his hands.

“Principal? I’m so sorry for wasting your time. I’m sure you have a bunch of important work to do. Thanks for the directions. Bye!”

Whipping the wooden door open, the classroom of 554 danced around me. The paneled walls didn’t have a speck of dust on them and I felt like I was floating on the newly mopped tiled floor.

Kids snickered as I nervously placed myself in an empty seat. Mr Johnson, who was wearing a suit like the principal, had curly blond hair and piercing jade eyes.

Mr Johnson barked, “Have a seat! You’re late!”

Mr Johnson continued to criticize other kids as I seated myself. Then, finally, he began teaching us. My head was in another place, though. My other school. It didn’t have the best principal but it had special kids. My friends. The stress of starting over was nothing compared to the feeling of not having any friends at a new school. No one to support you, just yourself. Sometimes, that isn’t enough.

After school that day, I walked over to Central Park where I spotted a bench to drown myself in music as I waited for the bus to pull up. When it arrived, I took off the headphones and climbed on. Staring at my phone, texts sprung out multiple times from my friends. They all wanted to know how my first day at the new school was. I didn’t think they would understand. At one point, they tried doing a group call. I ignored that, too. I looked my problem right in the eye, but not the solution. I thought seeing them would remind me too much of the life I left behind. What I would give to go back there again. I’m stuck in this school, now.


The next week as I trudged up the stairs to Mr Johnson’s class, something caught my eye. In a corner of the hall, a girl with shoulder-length blond hair was crouching down, trying to hide. I walked over to the corner and studied her face. It was the same face as mine, last week when I arrived. The same face of misery, confusion, and defeat.

“Hiding won’t help.”

The girl lifted her head so I could see her swollen crimson eyes.

“How would you know?”

Calmly I answered, “ I know because I came here last week and I tried to hide. People here don’t let you. What’s your name?”

“Jamie Hunter. What’s your name?”

“Lola Sanchez. Nice to meet you, Jamie. Do you want to team up so you and I can defeat middle school?”

A smile crept onto Jamie’s face, “Why not?”

I grinned as well, “We’ll make it into a game. Level 1: Surviving your teachers – especially Mr Johnson.”


This is Analia’s second publication at Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: The attack

by Analia Rivera, 10, USA

It was 8 pm. Attack time! In the morning, they just made noise, but at night they come to terrorize the house or anybody who dared to come too close. As we drove into the driveway, the cicadas bounced off the muddy CRV. We were trapped; there was no escape. If we got out, they would swarm. None of us were brave enough for them. We spent a half-hour trying to figure it out. Then, my dad got impatient and fled, slamming the car door. Approaching the house’s side door, he fumbled with the key in the inky darkness but couldn’t place the key in the lock. My sister shined the light from her phone to help. BIG MISTAKE! The cicadas were attracted to light and instantly made my dad their target. He screamed in terror as they attacked him. Pulling the door open, he lunged in and then closed it, leaving us still trapped in the car. We debated for another half hour on what to do. Then, a light flickered on outside at the other side of the house. We waited, hoping the cicadas would be attracted to it. Then it flickered off and was replaced by a light right where we were.

“Turn off the light! Turn off the light!”

My dad couldn’t hear us, but eventually, he did turn off the light. The darkness comforted us as we waited for the cicadas to evacuate our escape route. I was starting to get restless, and so was my sister and my mum. We decided to be quick and move. My sister, Indi, and I were right next to the unlocked door, but my mum was on the other side. We let her get out first and waited until she got to the back of the car. Indi and I opened our doors, joining my mum. Indi made a run for the door and was followed by my mum. I trailed behind, getting shoved left and right by Indi and my mum. The unpleasant sound of cicadas buzzed in my ear, and I could feel them attacking me. Indi and my mom were already in the doorway, and the wooden door started to close in front of my chestnut eyes.


Sprinting into the doorway, I heaved a sigh of relief. We had won the battle, but the war was still to come. Some cicadas got inside, and now it was our job to dispose of them. Once that was done, the four of us laughed at our survival from the bugs and settled down on the couch. Then we heard the buzzing sound, inside! We missed one! Searching for it, we located it and calmed down except for me. I was thinking, and then I formed my practical question.

“Are there any more?”

The sound of the cicadas filled the endless night as we pondered the question.

This is Analia’s first publication at Alphabet Soup.To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Cradle Mountain Adventure

by Monica, 10, VIC

Cradle Mountain is home to all your favourite native Australian animals in the wild. With an exquisite hotel surrounded by wildlife, adventurous night walks through the bush and beautiful scenery everywhere, Cradle Mountain has everything you need for a perfect holiday on an adventure.

Up near the Enchanted Walk, there is a gift shop and hotel. The Enchanted Walk is full of echidnas, wombats, and wallabies so you can sometimes see animals wandering around outside your window. Enjoy the pleasure and thrill of hiking and seeing adorable native animals over a few days and even join a night walk.

Tasmanian Devil by MappingMeganTravel on pixabay
Tasmanian Devil (Photo by MappingMeganTravel on pixabay)

By 8pm, the mountains are alive with animals. Hundreds of them poke their heads out of their homes and set off to explore. At this time, people will take long walks through the bush, squealing in delight when they spot an animal. There are wombats, wallabies, echidnas, quolls, platypuses, and a shelter for Tasmanian devils.

The water in Dove Lake ripples and glitters like a million diamonds, the forest has beautiful flowers and densely packed trees, and the bush is full of animals. There is so much wonderful scenery in the mountains, you are sure to get a lot of amazing pictures.

Cradle Mountain is such an exciting and fascinating place. Book a trip to Tasmania and visit Cradle Mountain for your next holiday.

This is Monica’s second publication at Alphabet Soup. Read her poem ‘The Four Seasons’ here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young writers in Action: Some way or Another

Some way or Another
by Liora, 11, Manhattan, USA

I am from the cozy, soft, white chair in my room
From sports fields and good books
I am from climbing, swinging, and running everywhere
And from “We need to sign Liora up for this sports class”
And “Stop putting your leg up everywhere.”
I am from the sweet, juicy pineapple that I love
Whose tingling sensation makes me feel warm on the inside
I am from the gymnastics mats where I’ll do Acro for hours
And dancing and stretching lots of places I go
I am from Ari (who’s always optimistic)
And Brigitte (who loves to walk)
I am from my mom’s banana chocolate chip muffins
And my dad’s famous, creamy Wacky Mac
I am from these moments when it’s all laughter and smiles.

Children on swings at a park. Image courtesy

Read more creative writing from Liora hereTo send us YOUR book review, poem, story or artwork: check out our submission guidelines.

Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Jolie’s Adventure … A trip inside a book

by Amanda, 7, New York City, USA

Chapter 1

Hands turning an open book pageOne summer day Jolie was stuck in her bedroom looking for something to do. Jolie, an 8 year-old girl, loved her bedroom because it was her comfort zone and a space for her imagination to grow. Sitting on her canopy bed she picked up a book named ​Especial Characters ​sitting on her nightstand.​ ​Jolie, a very fast reader, loved to read drama filled stories and Especial Characters​ fit the category.

As Jolie began to read the words from the pages started to leave the book and spin around in large, round circles. Suddenly, a character appeared in real life. In that moment Jolie said to herself – what just happened​!

Jolie gasped in surprise. “Hi!” said, Lina. Lina was the character that Jolie just read about in the book. As the book described her, Lina was tall with long dark brown hair, and wore braces only on the top of her teeth. She was dressed in a blue jumper with small, green leaves covering the front of it.

Chapter 2

Jolie was so startled she couldn’t even speak. Jolie fainted because she couldn’t believe this was happening. Jolie got up as fast as a tiger chasing prey. When she woke up she saw Lina looking over her. Lina was as tall as Jolie – the height of a 8-year-old girl!

“Why are you here? Who are you?” asked Jolie.

“I am here because I need you to help me find a golden glove and my name is Lina. Most people like to call me Lin,” Lina shared with Jolie.

“So, you’re telling me you want me to help you find a golden glove?” Jolie said confused.

“Yep, just hold my hand!” Lina said happily.

“Wait! Where are we going? My babysitter will be worried if she does not find me sitting in my room!” Jolie says nervously.

“ Just hold my hand!” Lina commands. Jolie holds her hand tightly and starts to spin around like the wind in the hurricane. All of a sudden, they are in the book ​Especial Characters​! Jolie is feeling anxious. She is panicking because this reminds her of The Magic Treehouse book series … and she never imagined being Jane!

What Jolie doesn’t know is that Lina wants to find the golden glove because it will keep all of the characters inside the book. This needs to happen because in the past few months other children have been throwing the books away once they see the words spinning off of the pages. Once this happens the story changes and the characters disappear forever!

Chapter 3

Holding hands, Jolie and Lina jumped into the book and landed in C​hapter 4:​ Jane and the Treasure Map! ​Jolie hoped this was going to be another fun excursion like her journey to Mathematics Land. They found themselves in California standing in front of a townhouse. Lina knew inside this townhouse there was a treasure map. ​Knock! Knock!​ Lina knocked on the door. A girl with long golden hair opened the door. It was Jane!

“We need to talk,” Lina said in a serious voice. “Okay,” Jane said.

Jolie was wondering how Lina knew Jane. Lina and Jane knew each other because they are both characters in the same story. Lina quickly told Jane what was happening to the characters when a reader opened the book. Lina desperately asked Jane if she could look for the treasure map in her house. Jane let her in and as Jolie waited outside she thought to herself – where could the treasure map be?

Eventually, Lina found the treasure map under the bookshelf and it showed that the golden glove was at​ The Harlem BookStore, which is in C​hapter 5: TheBookstore​.Now Lina and Jolie hold hands and spin around and around again to their new destination .

Suddenly, they are at TheHarlem BookStore​ and find the golden glove between two books.

“Now that we have the golden glove what do we do?” questioned Jolie.

Lina replied, “You have to take it back with you and restart the book.”

“Restart the book?” Jolie was confused.

“Jolie, there is a key hole at the top of ​Especial Characters​ for the key that is inside this glove!” Lina explained as she took out the key. Lina took Jolie’s hand and they twirled around and around until they got to Jolie’s bedroom.

“Put the key in the book and close your eyes,” Lina said in a sad voice. As Jolie inserted the key Lina disappeared back into the book. In the next minute Jolie’s babysitter came to her bedroom and said, “Are you okay … you seem so quiet?” Jolie nodded her head and smiled. She thought to herself what will be my next adventure?

This is Amanda’s first story for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR book review, poem, story or artwork: check out our submission guidelines

Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Pancake

by Elizabeth, 7, NSW

Gold house photo courtesy of pixabay.comBeth and Pancake are best friends in the world.

They live in a gold cubbyhouse. Pancake is an excellent and smart dog. She is a beautiful black dog. Beth is a loving, gentle and kind girl.

One day, Pancake was watering the yard and suddenly, there was a bang! The door slammed.

Beth said, “I am sorry for slamming the door. It is locked!”

Pancake said, “Do not worry. I can fix it.”

Pancake tried to open the front door but it did not work. Pancake tried to open the back door but it did not work.

Pancake climbed up to the big window and went into the cubbyhouse and got the key. Then she let her friend back in the house.

Beth said, “Thank you.” She gave her best friend a hug.

Elizabeth is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read more of her work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!