Mission Catastrophe

Congratulations to our Mission Catastrophe 2019 contest winners!

We're delighted to announce the school winner and student winners are...

School Winner

Haddonfield Middle School, NJ

Published in "Mission Catastrophe - New Jersey Stories", who have won the Young Writers' Award of Excellence for submitting the best selection of entries from the contest!

1st Place


Lindsay Kent
Radnor High School, PA

Published in "Mission Catastrophe - Pennsylvania", who has won an iPad and trophy!

False Invincibility

The end began with cautious warnings. One degree warmer. Scientists' pleas birthed protests and fruitless promises for change. Two degrees. They wrote of an expiration date as if our planet was a milk carton. Three degrees. We laughed.

Four degrees.


We laughed, drunk on false invincibility. After all, we had survived century upon century, ice ages, floods, and fire.

We laughed.

We were wrong.

Five degrees.

Waves ravaged coastlines, droughts parched farms. We buried ourselves beneath the same Earth, whose landscape we had consumed and destroyed. And now we make homes in self-imposed prisons, laughing only at our foolishness.

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



Each student has won a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Jaye Kaplan
Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, CT

Published in "Mission Catastrophe - Tales From New England"


Winter used to be my favorite. The snow, animals tucked into burrows, catching snowflakes on tongues and coming home with rosy cheeks. I didn't understand when Mom told me to stay in the basement. Not to look outside. Not to make a sound. I was five.

It glowed green, the snow. Now I can feel my bones withering, creaking from radiation. My mother is gone. My home? Empty. The snowflakes taste like death. Winter will last forever, and there is no source of water beyond the glowing green. The apocalypse is far too quiet. I don't like winter anymore.

Marie Cheng
Dulaney High School, MD

Published in "Mission Catastrophe - Maryland"


Hunger was a scaly beast constantly trailing behind me. It clawed at my sides, carving out ribs and sinew into my sallow skin. I sank to my knees, my aching joints sighing in relief. My time as a wanderer on this barren Earth could finally end. Well, not until that pesky creature stopped growling in my ear. I groaned for it to leave me alone, for once. It tilted its head and whined in response, kneading its claws into my back. Finally, I looked up. Something like a smile stretched my cracked lips. Just beyond the horizon, a campfire crackled...

Adela Palacios
Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, PA

Published in "Mission Catastrophe - Pennsylvania"


It was the day the sun fell. The light in her eyes was extinguished as the beautiful moon denied her. The sun's pain reflected that of Icarus when he fell for her, wings of wax melting. She was full of anguish as she descended from the sky, heart breaking. Condemnation shook the Earth as the sun plummeted into the world that worshipped her. As villages were ignited, people cried out to the celestial goddess for mercy. They turned their filthy palms towards Heaven but wistfully realized that a deity in agony showed no mercy, only morose closure in ashes.

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