Student Writer Spotlight: Abir B!

Anna Starecheski

One of my favorite parts of my job is managing student writing contests. We get so many fantastic entries, and it's truly a joy to read them! We love to recognize our winners and their hard work, and thus the Student Writer Spotlight was born. Each issue, we'll choose one winner from Storyworks and Storyworks Jr. to celebrate here on Ideabook. We hope that this will both encourage your students to enter and provide you with some great examples of successful entries.

Without further ado, meet our first Spotlight winner: Abir B! Abir submitted a great entry to Storyworks' Umbrella contest. Students were asked to "imagine you're hiring an inventor to create a better umbrella. Using the information above, write the inventor an email describing the flaws you'd like fixed." We were utterly charmed by Abir's entry—read it for yourself below!


October 5, 2017

Dear Inventor,

I am so delighted that I finally found a willing, clever designer like you. I am doused in water even though there is an umbrella in my hand. I hope you can help the 21st century evolve the umbrella, so all of us can stay warm and dry for the upcoming rainy season. I believe that the umbrella can use an upgrade. After all, it has been around for 165 years! The common design that most people use is harmful, wasteful, and inconvenient. But there are several ways that it can be fixed.

First of all, tinker the umbrella out of strong but biodegradable material, like the rind or skin of citrus fruits, so that it is environment-friendly. They can be thrown away and be recycled and disintegrated by bacteria instead of getting dumped in a landfill. Today's umbrella is unstable and inadequate. It turns upside-down with one quick squall of wind. With decent material, it will not be as flimsy as the regular one and be more suitable.

Second, the umbrella tips should be tucked inside, or folded and glued to the bottom. May be you can encase the metal framework with a comfortable material like rubber. This way, 3,000 Americans will stop getting hurt each year.

Finally, I wish to have another key feature - wrist cuff. With a strong, sturdy attachment for the wrist we don't have to carry it or you could attach a hat to the bottom of the umbrella so we can wear it and have a free hand. It won't blow away, and that flaw should be fixed. PLEASE make a disposable sturdy umbrella for all. I would really appreciate to hear back from you soon, possibly with more suggestions.


Your Drenched friend Abir 


Abir's entry was chosen as a winner because of his fantastic grammar and vocabulary, clear structure, and attention paid to the prompt. Well done, Abir! To learn more about Storyworks contests, click here. And keep encouraging your students to enter: We love hearing from them!

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