Yay! The Middle-Grade Mafia has made their decisions and the winning entries are LIVE on their site. Go to www.MiddleGradeMafia.com to see who made this year’s list. And thank you…

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We had a lot of wonderful entries in last year’s BERTIE, a writing contest for middle-schoolers. Below is the 1st Place ($100.00) entry in the 12 & 13 year-old category. I hope you enjoy this awesome story!

The Book Whispered, by Skylurr Hall

Chris entered the small shop, clutter in every corner, he took a deep breath dust and his exhalation dancing in the air. He looked around for a moment before an old short woman appeared. She had tangled silver hair, small black eyes, and pale wrinkly skin. Chris recoiled at the sight of her but attempted to look less revolted, faking a sweet smile and standing up straight. The woman began speaking in a grave yet kind voice “Hello, I assume you’re here to look around? Or was there something specific you’re searching for?” she gave a small smile revealing yellowed and chipped teeth. Chris ignored this fact and gave a short reply “Just looking, thanks” he looked away and turned around, eyes scanning the dark shop. After a moment his eye was caught by the smallest amount of light gleaming off a leather bound book. He, unknowingly, began to approach it and all the while the woman watched. Chris picked the book up and it seemed to ripple under his grip; he flipped the pages and made a thoughtful “hmmph” sound. The old woman was behind him in an instant, laying a hand on his shoulder, and she spoke “Beautiful isn’t it” she whispered “I’ll give it to you for…2 pounds” she said in a sly voice. Chris thought for a moment, the book really was beautiful, he bit his lip “fine” he said. Chris was an aspiring author and he wrote short stories, the book would be perfect. Once out of the store,new book in hand, he set off towards his flat in central London. After paying the cabbie and entering his flat he opened the book, grabbed a pen, the got to work writing.

The sun has swept over the entire front room when Chris opened his eyes, looking down at the story he had just barely finished when he fell asleep. He sat up and yawned, bones popping as he stretched. The young man set off to his room to change before heading to his university.

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