Thursday, July 30, 2015

Local youth gets short story published

Her last name suits her.
Mackenzie Wright is a writer—and now a published author.

The Grade 8 student from St. Francis School here recently had a piece of work published in a collection of short stories written by young Canadians.
Titled “Winds of Change,” the book features winning stories and honourable mentions from an annual contest initiated by Polar Expressions Publishing in Maple Ridge, B.C.
“There was a poster about it in the library and my teacher encouraged me to enter,” Wright recalled.
“I enjoy writing, so it’s something I wanted to do,” she added.
Although Wright wrote often at home, she wanted to draft something special for the contest.
“I told my parents I needed peace and quiet to write, so they left me alone and I was done in an hour,” she recalled, noting she had a topic she wanted to write about.
Called “Finishing the List,” Wright wrote about a girl who was in a car accident, hit by a drunk driver. But she survives and wants to write a “bucket list” of things to complete in her lifetime.
“I wanted to write something that had a lot of emotion and that was the first scenario that came to mind,” she remarked.
Wright said she was happy with how her short story turned out, but that she has learned and grown as a writer from the experience.
“If I could, I might changed it a little bit,” she admitted. “I would not write everything so exact, so there would be room for the reader to think about what they were reading.”
Wright submitted her entry back in November, and in February was notified that her story received an honourable mention and would appear in the book, along with other stories written by Grades 6-8 students from across the country.
The book was released June 6.
“When I saw the package sitting there, I said let me see it,” Wright enthused, adding she was thrilled to see her story published.
“It was kind of a happy dance moment.”
And she said her classmates also were very excited for her.
“It’s awesome,” Wright noted. “Now I’m actually out there as a writer.”
The youngster has considered writing as a future career, but also has an interest in becoming a doctor.
“They are two very different paths so we’ll have to see,” she reasoned.
Nonetheless, Wright said she certainly will continue writing. In fact, she plans to enter Polar Expressions Publishing’s summer writing contest, which is open to all ages, as well as the student contest in the fall.
“I think I’d like to write something a little more fun this time,” she remarked. “Maybe an adventure piece.”
But she stressed entering the contest isn’t all about winning. “It’s just nice to have a purpose to write for,” she explained.
And that’s precisely the intent of Polar Expressions Publishing’s contests.
“The young people of Canada have an outstanding ability that is often not recognized by the literary world,” notes the company’s website.
“The creativity they are able to display through their writing can be astounding.
“We . . . believe those youngsters should have an opportunity to share their work and see what their peers are thinking about,” it adds.
“We want to provide that important venue so they are able to write about these things in a positive environment.”
The national contest is open to students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
There is no entry fee and no obligation to purchase anything.
For more information, visit

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