Young Readers League 2018 Writing Contest

Honorable Mention

Category 2 (ages 12-14)


Amber Elias

Age 12 (Grade 7), Blair Middle School



I had always thought that there was no other way. That I would stay in this dull, repetitive loop until I died. But something happened that changed it all. I made a choice that changed my path to something greater. I live in the City of Angels, the best City in the North. We were a City that everyone looked up to, a City everyone was scared of. We held promise, fortune, and secrets to running a successful City. But don’t be too quick to judge. Living in a perfect city comes with high standards. Because of the outline we were given, we needed to go to new heights to fill in the space. It can become overwhelming at times, but most of us have been able to stand it. The few who couldn’t died. The others ran away. They didn’t run away to a different City, no. When you leave your born City, you can’t join another one. The luckiest ones find way to survive in the Outside. The less fortunate find the Entrance. Every City has an Entrance, the place where all newcomers come through and the place where newborns are sworn into the City. Once you’re sworn in, you can’t leave. That is, unless you find the Exit. See, I was taught from a very young age that what goes up must come down. So it’s only reasonable that what goes in must come out. Eventually. So that is where the Exit comes in. It’s the only way out unless you’re granted permission by the Council, which you never are. Very few have ever found the Exit and those who have never came back. The Council got involved and hid it again, never to be found. You’d be a fool if you think I didn’t find it.

Thank you to our judges: McKenna Blackshire, Alaina Joby, Nick Smith

Click here to view a list of all our contest winners