Four Shelton students win short story contest

Four Shelton students were announced as the winners of a short story contest that included nearly 300 competitors, ranging from kindergarten all the way up to their senior year in high school, at a recent Board of Ed meeting.

Kindergartner Janice Samuel of Elizabeth Shelton School, second grader Helen Bukowski of Booth Hill, sixth grader Jeffrey Wojtowicz of Perry Hill, and seventh grader Ella Dzujna of Shelton Intermediate School were announced as the winners of the 2017 Terrific Tales Short Story Contest.

The event, which was organized by the Shelton Public Schools, the library system, and Written Words Bookstore, was designed to promote creative and independent thinking among local students.

“It seems like students are being taught to think inside of the box, and we’re trying to break through that. For the students to come through and deliver such fine work as this, it’s very comforting,” said Dorothy Sim-Broder of Written Words Bookstore, located on Howe Avenue.

Board of Ed Chairman Mark Holden said although he hadn’t gotten the chance to personally read the winning essays, the work submitted by Shelton students makes the board proud to be working within the school system.

“It’s wonderful to see programs and contests organized such as this one that engage our youth and seek out their creativity,” said Holden.

The students were allowed to choose one of two story prompts on which to base their short story.

The first prompt reads: A flower arrangement mysteriously disappeared from outside a shop on Howe Avenue. What do you think happened?

The students’ second choice for a prompt reads: There is a bicycle submerged in the Housatonic River by the Riverwalk. There’s even a helmet on the handlebars, the way someone would have left it when the bike is parked somewhere. How did the bike and helmet end up in the river?

Sim-Broder said the hope is that this will become an annual contest for students of Shelton to participate in.

The students said they all enjoyed the structure of the competition and how it encouraged them to let their imaginations run wild.

The winners walked away with various prizes to be used at local businesses, a $15 gift card to be used at Written Words Bookstore, and a Handmade Greystone Book Works book provided as a last-minute gift specifically made for the competition.