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Written Works Contest Winners

1st Place: Sun - Jacob Hauk


I once was told never to look at the sun 

As a young boy grinning ear to ear in an open field 

Rolling in the grass freshly wet with morning dew 

Young, innocent, ever playful and filled with glee 

So much, so so much that life had to offer me 


Bike rides on dusty backwoods paths 

Driveway games until nights end 

Passing out in bed, then waking up to it again 

The fires of youth burned vigorously 

Days that I thought would have no end 


Days to weeks, weeks to months, months to years 

Pretty soon that young boy was getting older 

Voice getting deeper, shoulders getting broader 

An awkward stage to say the least 

Yet so filled with ambition and dedication 


Everything at my fingertips, everything was in front of me 

No looking back, because all the good things were ahead 

No stress, just anticipation, no fear, just headstrong pride 

Ready to go, ready to strive, nobody left behind 

The world is my oyster, and I’m going to shuck it 


It’s a lot to take in, so much all at once 

Everything going so fast, yet it feels so slow 

Got to do this, make sure to do that, can’t forget about those 

So many people, so many new things, too many new things 

Everything feels required, yet its labeled as “recommended” 


Going to bed tired became waking up tired 

Late night games became late night work 

That young boy in that grass field is so out of touch 

Anticipating growing up, is now resenting growing out 

Out: into a world that I thought cared 


I wish the world truly cared 

About those birthday parties at a friend’s house 

Or those times I’d scrape my knee on the blacktop 

But I seem to be the only one who does 

Acceptance is the hardest thing in the world 

Even if you can accept, you’ll always wish that you had it back 


I once was told never to look at the Sun 

I guess I’ll just have to accept that 

2nd Place: Half a Country Away - Zachary Lyons


Half a Country Away  

I wake up this morning  

to a text from my sister, 

She wants to know  

when she can see me next, 

But I’m not able to explain 

why it won’t be for a while. 

I tell her to ask her mom  

and that I would try to see her soon. 


I’m supposed to be the protector,  

the guide, the open book, 

But I can’t be that for her 

when she lives half a country away. 


I put down my phone, 

try to go back to sleep,  

but its futile, I begin to break 

down and throw a fit 

in my room. I text my Dad  

why he had to mess up,  

why they had to leave— 

at least our younger brother  

won’t have to try 

to remember my face. 

3rd Place: First Day - Braeden Streets


Everyone loves the first day of school, right? New year, new clothes, and new friends. It’s a day of potential and hope before the sadness of reality comes to ruin your fun. 

I contradict others when we have a dialogue about the first day of school, as I like the first day for a different reason. I have a unique power that enables me to study students. When I look at people, I visualize an aura that surrounds them.


The aura communicates the time they have left on earth.  

Most of the kids my age have a solid green hue, which means that they have plenty of time left on earth. Those with a fair amount of time have a yellowish tinge to their aura. It probably means that they will suffer some type of tragedy in the next several months. In these cases, the person will unexpectedly be taken "before their time".


When I see the red aura, which I barely see because I live in the most boring town ever, it means it’s over soon. 

I always get to class early on the first day, so that I can see my classmates' fates. Today, the first kid walked in, surrounded by a red aura. I chuckled to myself, as I felt sorry for him. Then, the next kid walked in. I was confused to see that they had red auras as well. Once everyone started flowing in, I noticed a red hue surrounding all of them. I wondered why and started to panic. I caught a glimpse of my rose-tinted reflection in window: stunned, and afraid to move.


Shortly after the realization of our fate, the professor walked in with a green aura and locked the door. 

Visual Works Contest Winners
1st Place: Rainy Nights In The Future - Charles Wit
Rainy Night in the Future by Charles Wit (#1 Visual).jpg

2nd Place: American Resolve - Ryan Nickel
American Resolve by Ryan Nickel (#2 Visual).jpg

3rd Place: Red Light Trail - Luke Shropshire
Red Light Trail by Luke Shropshire (#3 Visual).jpg
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