Congratulations to our Imagine! contest winners!



1st Place
Winner of the Young Writers' Award of Excellence

Chester Academy, NY

has been chosen as the school that submitted the best set of entries overall in the contest. 64 of their students have been published in "Imagine - US Voices" - huge congratulations!



Imagine! Prizes

Each student has won $100 and a trophy. Here are their winning words...

Elizabeth Booher (12)
Edison Junior High School, OH

Published in "Imagine - Teen Ink"

Macaronic Eyes

White specks danced to the ground,
The cold air opaqued her soft, shallow breaths,
He looked into her macaronic eyes,
They spoke the unwanted truth,
And beautiful lies,
They showed her pain,
But they then conceal it with joy.

He looked into her macaronic eyes,
They spoke the painful, unwanted truth,
And lovely, beautiful lies.

The lies were woven,
Broad and bright,
Colors that were charming,
Brought smiles to those she loved,
He carefully glided around them,
Graceful, like a dove.

The gilded strings were sticky and strong,
Ensnaring those who touched them,
In a lie that said nothing was wrong,
Whether they believed it or not,
It was difficult to escape it.

It was like a dreamcatcher,
Except it kept the bad dreams in,
And in the morning light,
The good would disperse,
Trapping her inside,
With an expanding storm,
Ready to burst.

The truth was hateful,
A burning black mass,
Smoke filled the air around it,
Coated the ground with ash,
She was imprisoned inside it.

She sat in the center,
Hunched over,
Covering her heart,
He tried to reach out to her,
But his hand flared up in pain.

The truth was painful,
It burned anyone who wasn't her,
So she sat in solitude,
Cold and hurting,
The mass swirled around her,
Obscuring the light,

It suffocated her,
Slowly eating her away.

He pushed through,
Slowly diminishing the excruciating pain,
He looked into her macaronic eyes,
They told the painful truth,
And the beautiful lies,
He wanted to rid her of that life,
Allow her to speak the truth,
And leave behind the lies.

He held his hand out to her,
She denied,
He stood there waiting,
She didn't want to leave her heart behind,
The longer he stayed,
The more she could see the light.

She wanted him to stay,
But didn't want him to hurt,
He engulfed her into a hug,
Tears fell,
Singling her freedom.

He looked into her macaronic eyes,
They begged him to stay,
And told him to go away,

They spoke the truth,
And the broken lies.

She looked into his macaronic eyes,
They spoke the same truth,
And the same lies,
She wished to help,
But didn't know why.

© Elizabeth Booher

Carolyn Lau (16)
Independent Entrant, NY

Published in "Imagine - Poetry Odyssey"

People On The Walls

I want to paint the ceiling
so that my face when I sleep
is met with old dreams and people
who are living on the walls

I want to paint the ceiling
not the sky (someone has already signed away the sky)
with flowers I know nothing about

wolf's bane
water hemlock
peace lily
baby's breath

Pry open the window
He's mixing sky blue pigment
turning it the cold shades of an animal's eye
texturizing it with a rainfall which drowns my room
and colors and people slip off walls
and swim away from me
I catch them in my cup, hold it,
call it watercolor
but I have mixed together their faces
and their petals that I now know bleed with

a lock of delirium from the water's hem,
an offering of peace that led to war by the lilies,
the breath that killed my baby,
our kiss under the mistletoe
may have been a hallucination

The people used to walk sideways on the walls
I admired how their feet would always be moving
and never go anywhere
Sometimes there wasn't even anything to walk on

I float on a pool of white bedsheets (they are not mine)
while staring at the bright will-o'-the-wisps
and wonder if I should still make paintings
out of the things in my head.

© Carolyn Lau

Addison Kitzmiller (14)
Mountaineer Middle School, WV

Published in "Imagine - Dreams Of The USA"

The Reality Of Forever

Imagine you can live forever, no more death to fear,
The reaper's hands can't touch you, no church bells to hear.

While this eternal life you yearn for may be good in theory,
You will find an empty life, forever old and weary.

A life is not a life, without the fear of death,
Without the fear of growing old, without a final breath.

An end is why you wake each morning and feel satisfied each night
An end is why you try your best to do what's just and right.

So while it may sound good to you, a life that never ends,
Why have a life that goes on forever if you can never truly live?

© Addison Kitzmiller

Please note: the authors retain the copyright of their own work.