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Fraser Writing Contest selects three winners in 2022

Fourth-graders tie for top honors

Special to The Aspen Times
The winners of the 2022 Fraser Creative Writing Contest pose for a photo with organizer Julie Zats and contest judge Jill Sheeley.
Deidre Bennett/Courtesy photo

After a one-year pandemic hiatus, the 20th Annual Fraser Creative Writing Contest for Aspen Elementary School third and fourth graders had three winners in 2022: third-grader Annabelle Coyle and fourth-graders Estella Winter and Emily Nitti, who tied for top honors.

The theme of this year was “friendship,” with 81 submissions from local students. Julie Zats organizes the contest at the school. Jill Sheeley and Lynda McCarthy served as judges for the contest and reviewed submissions anonymously. Sheeley would like to thank Zats and McCarthy for their work on the contest.

The following essays were deemed first-place winners for the third and fourth grades. Submissions have been lightly edited for punctuation and spelling.



“Once Upon Some Wings”

By Annabelle Coyle




Third Grade

Teacher: Kristine Accordino

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved birds. This young girl was named Saria. When Saria was about ten, her parents decided to let her get a pet bird. As Saria ran into the store, eager to get her new pet bird, she immediately stopped short. None of the birds were right for her. And so the search continued. Day after day, year after year, none were just right. One year, driving to the country, they saw an old shop that seemed to be selling birds! They pulled over as fast as they could. The store was crazy! Robotic bunny rabbits hopped everywhere, and an ice breathing dragon shot ice over their heads! And then Saria saw it. A beautiful parrot. The parrot was crimson with white stripes coming down from its eyes. True love. After they bought it, they immediately became BFFs. Saria went everywhere and Crimson (the bird) followed. They had many adventures, more than one can count. But I do remember two.

#1: lt was Cecilia’s b-day and they were throwing a surprise party! Saria was making balloons. Suddenly the balloons flew into the sky! Crimson flew into the sky, ducking and dashing, gliding and twisting, She finally got ahold of those pesky balloons! Although she was now miles above the ground and could not see her master. Being scared, Crimson chirped as loud as she could. Hearing her bird chirping, she yelled to Crimson. Crimson, hearing her master, knew immediately where to go. She flew down to her master and finally they were reunited.

#2: Saria and Crimson were exploring in the woods, when they came across a tree with its roots hanging above a rushing and rocky river. Naturally, they needed to climb it. As they were climbing it though, Saria slipped on a rock. Hanging on for dear life, Crimson, seeing what was happening, flew up to the nearest branch and attempted to grab the nearest branch. Being a very small bird, this was hard work, but seeing her master in danger fueled her. The more she pulled, the more tired she got. Then, Crimson finally pulled the pat branch down. Though now Crimson was so tired she fell. Down. Into the river. “CRIMSON.” It was a very dark day for Saria. She had locked herself in her room. Crying. Then she thought. Is this what Crimson would’ve wanted? No. She would’ve wanted for her to keep going! But how could she ever? Suddenly she knew she had to be brave. She had to keep getting better. And so she did. She kept getting stronger, more powerful and braver.

“The Story of Peachy and Nelly”

By Emily Nitti

Fourth Grade

Teacher: Katie Fox

Once upon a time there was a rock named Nelly and there was a leaf named Peachy. It was the prettiest day of the year. The sun was out and there were no clouds in the sky. Peachy was doing her morning routine. She went for a walk and got ready for the day. Until she heard crying so she went outside to see what was going on.

She saw a rock crying so she said, “What’s wrong.” The Rock said, “I’m trying to find my family.” “What’s your name?” Peachy asks. “My name is Nelly,” said the rock. “Can you help me?” asks the rock. “Of course,” Peachy said!

“Let’s go!” said Peachy. So they went on their journey. While they were on their journey Peachy said, “Where is your family?”

“Well I don’t know. When I was a kid I was playing hide and seek with my parents. Then I could not find them. I was going round and round and I could not find them so I started walking through the forest. Then I ended up here. Now I’m trying to get back to my family.”

“Wow that’s such a sad story,” said Peachy. “I’m so sorry. Well now we have to help you find your family. What was your last memory when you guys were playing hide and seek?”

“Well it was really steep and I remember there were a lot of trees and leaves.”

“OH NO,” said Peachy. “Was there snow?” Peachy asked.

“I don’t know, a little bit,” said Nelly.

“I think you’re talking about dragon mountain.”

“What dragons?” asked Nelly.

“Well they say a dragon roams the mountain and whoever goes and never comes back.”

“Are you sure if no one ever came back? How did I live there?” asked Nelly.

“Well you’re a rock,” said Peachy.

“And you’re a leaf,” said Nelly. “So I guess we’re good.”

“Yeah so let’s go!”

While they were on their journey they heard a weird growling sound. “What’s that sound?” asked Nelly. “I don’t know,” said Peachy.

“I think it’s a lion. I don’t know if it’s pretty rare to see a lion in the Rainbow rain forest.”

“You never know they say this forest is full of surprises,” said Nelly.

“Let’s go help the lion,” said Nelly.

They turned the comer to see the lion stuck in a river, the lion was screeching and crying. So they decided to help him out of the river. They grabbed a branch and threw it to the lion.the lionThe branch and it worked together to pull them out of the water.

Nelly and Peachy high-fived each other. “We did it!” they said. “Thank you,” said the lion! And they went off. While they were going, Nelly asked, “Are we friends?” “Of course,” Peachy said. While they were walking, Peachy was thinking about Nelly’s question. Did she really think they were friends? Nelly looked up and said, “Wow look at that mountain.”

Peachy looked up too. “I think that dragon mountain,” Peachy said. “I guess we should start climbing.”

And off they went. While they were walking they got closer and closer to the dragon layer. Peachy was getting nervous. So was Nelly. But they had to keep going. “If they are gonna get Nelly to her family, we can’t give up now,” said Peachy. “OK” said Nelly. They were halfway up the mountain when Nelly asked, “tell me more about this well they S dragon ?”

Well they say they live in a cave at the top of the mountain.

“Well then my house is right behind it. Guess that means we will have to face the dragon.”

“And how are we planning to do that?” Peachy said.

“Well I guess we just have to find out.”

Peachy and Nelly hiked a long long way, Eventually they made it to the top. Wow go that cave is big. “I guess we should just go in.” “Come on you got this!”

When they walked in all they heard was crying the closer they got the sooner they saw it was the dragon. “What is wrong?” they asked.

“Well I stepped on a thorn and now my foot really hurts.”

“Maybe we can help!”

They pulled and pulled and pulled finally they got it out. “Thank you,” the dragon said! “How can I help you well?”

“We are trying to get her home to her family,” Peachy said.

“No. You know I’ve learned that my family is right here. I think family means being with the people you love no matter what. Let’s go back home,” Nelly said. And they lived happily ever after. The end.

“Friendship is the World”

By Estella Winter

Fourth Grade

Teacher: Katie Fox

Not long ago there were four friends and they were going on a hut trip with their parents. The hut they were going to was on top of Snowmass so they had to walk all the way to the top of Snowmass. It would take two days to get up to the hut. When they arrived at Snowmass Village they put all their equipment on and started to hike. About two hours later the sun was setting, so they stopped and set their backpacks down and set up the tents. After they did that the parents went to go get firewood to make a fire. When the parents got back they set the fire up and they ate dinner. When it was time to go to bed their parents said, “Sweet dreams our little adventurers…”

When morning came the girls woke up, their parents weren’t in sight, their packs were gone! They looked to find their parents but they were nowhere to be found. They ate breakfast and packed up the tent and the other stuff. Then they saw the clouds were blocking the sun and a big gust of wind showed up and snow started to fall. They were starting to freak out! Luckily they had everything packed up. Addy said, “Follow me, I’ve been to this hut before.” They followed Addy’s lead, and a few minutes later the storm stopped and they kept going and knew they could persevere through the rest of the hard times and they yelled, “TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!” They started to hike on and Genevieve said, “I believe in you guys, we all are doing great!”

“Thanks, Genevieve,” said Ryleigh. “It’s getting late, I think we should stop here for the night. Addy and Genevieve, do you want to set up the tents for the night and I will take Ryleigh to get firewood?” Estella instructed the group. “Sure!” they all replied. They did what they were supposed to. When it was time to go to bed they all said, “Good night!” and put out the fire.

The next morning they ate breakfast and packed up the tent and continued the journey. When they were walking they saw something move in the trees, next they saw big beady eyes, and then they heard a growl! They ran as fast as they could, they lost the animal! Ryleigh said, “My legs are getting tired, can we take a break?” We all agreed it was time for a break. Addy said, “I forgot my other gloves and my hands are cold.”

“You can borrow my glove because my hands are warm,” said Genevieve. “Thank you, Genevieve,” said Addy. “That’s what friends are for!” Genevieve replied. “Look, I think I see the top of the mountain, and my map says we are only a few minutes away!” exclaimed Estella. “Finally!” The four friends cheered. “Let’s keep hiking,” said Ryleigh. “Look I see footprints, I think it’s our parents, let’s follow them,” exclaimed Addy.

They were only 20 minutes away from the hut but then, Estella tripped on an ice chunk and scraped her knee and yelled, “OUCH!” “Are you okay?” said the girls together. “Yes, I am okay, but my knee hurts, I hope I can walk!” replied Estella. Estella got up and started to walk but when she did, the wind blew the footprints and the map away! “Oh no the map and the footprints blew away! What are we going to do?” asked Genevieve. “We are only 5 minutes away and plus I can see the hut from here!” exclaimed Addy. They kept walking and they finally were at the hut and they were so happy to see their parents again and they were so happy to have finally made it, but it couldn’t have happened without TEAMWORK!

Awards and Honors

Third Grade

First Place: Annabelle Coyle

Second Place: Zsofia Bartha, Camille Glasgow, Anna Taber and Willa O’Doherty

Third Place: Abby Welgos, Carson Lowe, Bergen Loeffler and Clark Rowland

Golden Honorable Mentions: Emmy Hartsfield, Egan Hinderberg, Calvin Gloor, Kya Bennett and Emily Bassion

Honorable Mentions: Anabella Maupin, Dash Schmidt, Finn Zubrod, Bentlee Smallwood, Andrew Fink, Scarlett Gleason, Winn Connolly, Tosh Bennett, Ryan Libman, Vivienne Lucius, Eleanor Nixon and Katherine Issa, Anna Riley

Fourth Grade

First Place tie: Estella Winter and Emily Nitti

Second Place: Sam Gilmore, Andrea Eguia, Ranger Seguin, Aiden Haynie, Ember LaPenna, Golden Lebovich and Greta Campaigne

Third Place: Izzy Poole, Liv Umansky, Jonathan Grzyb and Ellis Burggraf

Golden Honorable Mentions: Trinidad Palasz, Hannah Lee, Kennedy Feast, Colton Folk, Miguel Bolger, Ryleigh Rizzuto, Jagger Burstyn, Carlie White, Sunny Morehouse and Aryn Drake

Honorable Mentions: Channing Keating, Lenox Botts, Alden Hancock, Maddox Miller, Willow Friedley-Hall, Henry Nottingham, Tamir Finesilver, Ella Yaw, Teagan Kidd, Perry Sohn, Rocco Margjeka, Phoenix Marfino, Daniel Quigley and Hailey Ward


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