Breaking News

Read "A Well-Worn Window Seat," our Novel Excerpt Contest Grand Prize Winner (13 and under age group)!

In February, we challenged you to submit a 400-word excerpt from your NaNoWriMo novels. From over 600 fantastic entries, we chose two Grand Prize Winners and four Runners-Up. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did! (For more excerpts, check out this forum thread.)

"A Well-Worn Window Seat" by Julia B.

Many people mistakenly believe that the record for the 50-meter dash was set by Irina Privalova in 1995, however the real time was set by Eleanor Franks as she slid down the hallway and into the principal’s office.

Ellie had never been to the principal’s office. It wasn’t like she got into trouble (not that she had time for trouble), and she wasn’t one of the girl-scout types who carried a clipboard wherever they went and guilt-tripped your mom into buying cookie dough she didn’t need, but didn’t not need. She knew plenty of those. She used to be one of those.

She spun around the doorway. The PA system had said, in the grainiest voice possible, that her mother was here, and that could only mean one thing: Grandpa.

“What happened?” she demanded. Grandpa was something special, an inhabitant of a different world that was somehow lonely and bursting with people and places and things and ideas that you could coax out of him with a beer and basketball on the couch.

Ellie wouldn’t let anything happen to Grandpa.

“Miss Franks, please refrain from running in the halls.” The principal, Mr. Travis, was intimidating, but he was so tiny that Ellie at her relatively short five foot four could tower over him.

“Yes, sir,” she said.

“Mrs. Franks, we have her excusal slip right here. Give me a moment…” He wandered off in search of her pink slip.

“Ellie, it’s Grandpa. He’s in the hospital. The rest of us are over there right now.”

“Well—well, is he going to be okay?” She couldn’t stand this limbo. Grandpa was alive, Grandpa was dead. She had no intention to let her precious Grandpa become fate’s Schrödinger’s cat.

“It seems like it.” Ellie’s sigh of relief was enough to wake up Mrs. Tafferty, their sickly sweet school nurse, who was napping in her chair like usual, and that was a feat she could put on her resumé.

Mr Travis returned, holding the elusive excusal slip. Ellie’s mother placed a hand on her shoulder and looked at her like, “Quit bouncing your leg like a crazy person,” so she did.

“Take a few deep breaths while you’re at it,” her eyes added. The eyes were usually correct, so she followed those instructions as well.

The only time Ellie hadn’t listened to those eyes, her little brother Cody lost a lot of blood.

Special guest judge Christina Li had this to say about "A Well-Worn Window Seat""It had an incredible first line and set up the story really well! Definitely one of the most memorable story beginnings I’ve read."

author photo

Julia (aka Josie) B. is a voracious reader who likes to draw comics, play the drums, shoot hoops, and spam famous poems in chats to her friends when she’s not at school. Her favourite genres are romance and action, which is unfortunate, as she actively roots for the love interests to fight to the death for the affections of the main character. She plans to spend the summer finishing and editing her novel.
View All Breaking News