Monday, April 26, 2010

Award winning story of THE SPILLING INK CONTEST

A Short Note about this contest: All through my school years, I never remember anyone teaching us anything about writing stories. We had to write spelling words in sentences and do book reports and essays. The essays always seemed to be connected to major tests or final exams. However, I did write poetry in high school, and because of that, I think, I received the Creative Writing Award at graduation. I never forgot. I still have the envelope that says Clara Gillow was the recipient. Over the years when the writing days were very hard and publication seemed out of my reach, I'd take out the envelope and read those words again. 

I know how hard it is to be a writer and I also know how great it feels to hold a published book in your hands that has your very own name on it. One of the reasons I persisted through years of rejection came from the generosity of that giver who made a creative writing award possible.  My hope is that this writing contest will do the same for all  the talented young writers who shared their stories with Anne Mazer, Ellen Potter and me. Congratulations to all of you.

Without further ado, please welcome and applaud the Grand Prize Winner of the Spilling Ink Writing Contest, Marissa Simpson.

I'm Marissa Simpson. I'm in 6th grade. I live in Iowa. I enjoy playing softball and basketball. My favorite book is The Clique Series by Lisi Harisson. My favorite subject in school is social studies and math.

The Dress
      It was family picture day. I had to wear brand new dress. It was brown with blue and green polka dots.
      Pictures weren’t until after lunch and all my friends were going to the park. I asked my mom if I could go. My Mom said, “No, I don’t want you to get dirty before pictures.”
      “But, Mom, I won’t,” I begged.
      “Oh, alright. You have to be home by lunch time and be clean,” said Mom.
       I went to the park on my bike. There were puddles everywhere and the grass was all muddy. I decided to take a shortcut through a grassy trail. I saw there was a hole. As I went around it, I slipped and fell off my bike. Plop! Into the hole full of mud!
      I looked down at my dress and it was ruined! There was mud all over it! Instead of being a new polka dotted dress, it looked like a mud dotted dress!
      I bawled the whole way home. My mom would be furious. I stayed outside and found a washcloth by the faucet. I took the washcloth and rubbed it on my dress. It started to smear! I started to cry more!
      I heard a noise and then a lady popped out of the bushes. She handed me a box. It said “Please Don’t Ruin.” I opened it and saw my dress! It looked brand new! I turned around to say thank you and the lady was gone…

Thanks so much, Marissa. I think we were all captured by your brand new brown dress with blue and green polka dots that got mud all over it. I know it is an experience many of us have had! Please leave a comment for Marissa to let her know what you liked about her story.


  1. Congrats, Marissa, on your suspenseful story that won the contest! Maybe you'll write another story about the mysterious lady in the bushes. You might enjoy reading "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes. It's a very different story, but it has some of the same feelings in it as yours.

  2. Great job Marissa! I love the irony of your story. Keep up the great work.

  3. Awesome story, Marissa! I would love to learn more about the mysterious lady with the box. Very intriguing. Keep writing you are quite talented.

  4. I certainly wish that there was a woman to supply me with replacement clothes every time I had dirtied mine :) Great job, Marissa. Keep up the writing :)

  5. Dear Marissa,
    OK, I have to confess I am the lady that popped out of the bushes with the dress. LOL
    Thank you for writing such a lovely story with such a lovely ending.

  6. Very nice Marissa, You have a wonderful talent. Congratulations!

    Karen McGrath

  7. Congratulations, Marissa. I enjoyed your writing. You've gotten everyone curious about the lady in the bushes--could it be that this is the first chapter of a chapter book?

  8. Marissa, I love this line: "Instead of being a new polka dotted dress, it looked like a mud dotted dress!"

    Then her predicament grows even worse when she tries to clean it! Good irony! Keep up the great work!

  9. Marissa, awesome story. Congratulations on your win. I hope you create many more stories for the future! :)


  10. Wonderful, fabulous!! Congrats!

  11. Marissa, You should be very proud!
    We are!!! Keep writing, I will keep reading!

  12. Congratulations, Marissa. That is a neat story. I hope this win inspires you to keep writing.