Bear Creek Elementary Annual Creative Writing Contest

by Tom Snarsky, 3.24am March 10th 2021

Earlier this week, students in Mrs. Ellen Cotton’s class at Bear Creek Elementary participated in their annual creative writing contest for poetry. Mrs. Cotton, whose late wife Josie Ciaravolo was an accomplished poet and adjunct professor at a smattering of local colleges and universities, has been hosting the contest in her second-grade classroom for each of the last fifteen years.

The contest stirred serious creativity from Mrs. Cotton’s students, including Samuel, 8, who worked quietly as I observed the class and used every color in Mrs. Cotton’s 120-count Crayola box to fill a sizable strip of butcher paper with different iterations of the word “THUNDER”. (He didn’t respond when I asked him how his poem was going, as he appeared intent on rubbing the last little nub of his Desert Sand crayon to dust on one final R; Mrs. Cotton gave me his name.)

Mrs. Cotton herself seemed happy, if a bit distant, about the proceedings of the contest.

“The children are very talented. They are still looking at the world, not just remembering it.”

The winning poem was written by Nathanielle, 7, and was chosen by Mrs. Cotton.* I asked Nathanielle how it felt to be chosen as the winner of the contest and was met with silence after her introduction, when she mentioned that she was a bit younger than most of her classmates. 

In keeping with tradition the Bear Creek Gazette is proud to publish Nathanielle’s poem, along with the contest’s honorable mentions and some illustrations by children in Mrs. Cotton’s class.

 

 

*CORRECTION: We would like to issue the following emendation to the article based on reader feedback: Mrs. Cotton would like to make clear that, as with everything she does, she chose the winning poem of the contest in collaboration with her late wife, Josie. The second sentence of the article has also been amended to include Josie’s full name, so that it is not never forgotten.

Honorable Mentions


lots of dead lady
bugs under all the windows
Spring has just begun

——haiku by Anna, 8

-

I Love My Family

I love my family.

I love mommy and the ice machine.

I love the finger lakes.

I love bubbly soda.

I loved when my brother said, “Whoa! A centipede!”

I love my brother.

I love the car and the secret spot.

I love pancakes at IHOP and not telling.

I love my family.

——written by Sophia, 8

-

THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER THUNDER 


——approximate rendering of a multicolor poem by Sam, 8

-


The Best Video Game in the World

is Fortnite. I want to live
in Tomato Town with my friends.

Some of my favorite places
in Tomato Town are Uncle Pete’s

Pizza Pit and Dodgy Brothers
Car Dealership. My cousin

has a Tomato Head Funko Pop.
He doesn’t let me touch it.

——written by Ethan, 7

 

-

 


they
know 
they 
know

 

——written in calligraphy by Bijeh, 7

-

And the winning poem is!!!

My blood is shy

Sometimes it peeks out

From a nostril

Or behind one eye 

 

But mostly it stays

Warm inside

All curled up tight

In samey ways

 

Until daddy’s axe

On a bad day

Makes a shadow

For it to stretch out in, like a cat, & relax

——Nathanielle, 7

 


 

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