May 14, 2014

The 2014 Ravine

The 2014 Ravine

For the second annual 2014 Azalea Ravine writing contest, we highlighted the work of local students. Their challenge was to write a story about the people, history and beauty of Florida, within the tiny space of 500 words. With the help of their dedicated teacher, Laurie Alsobrook, Melrose Elementary, one class came through with a group of stories focused on the events of Florida's history, including the 1926 hurricane, Florida cattlemen and cattle rustlers, homesteading, and fighting between settlers and Florida's Native American residents.

The prize winning entries, in order, were: Flashback, by Justin A.; The Great Storm, by Jade C.; and Confederates and Federals, by Austin U. The Cypress Forest, by Sarah G. and Bushwacked!, by Ethan G., received special mention.*

But all the stories were gripping and sympathetic, so we are publishing each of them in the Ravine 2014. Their emotional content reminds me that we adults often don't comprehend kids' depth of feeling. We imagine them in a happy bubble, protected from the knocks of life. We have forgotten who we were as children. 

The Ravine will be available in print at Read (Think) Books by the end of May and is published here on our site. (You can also use the tab under our logo at the top of each page.)

* For privacy, only first names and initials are used.

2015 Writing Contest

Read (Think) Books will offer the Azalea Ravine writing contest again in 2015. We will announce the writing contest format and subject in the fall on our website, Facebook page and by email. If you want to be on our email list, send your email address to

Laurie Alsobrook, teacher, and Beth Nelson, principal, Melrose Elementary School. In front, from left: Justin, Jade, Austin, and Sarah.

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