First Place Winner: 2019 Explore Horizons Writers’ Awards

April 18, 2019

Check out the entry that our judge Murray Richter awarded 1st place in the 2019 Explore Horizons Writers’ Awards: “A Chance To Change the World”

Author: Anthony Vu

School: Otto Middle School

Project Blue
        It was 5 A.M., and Alex and his dad were out in the ocean fishing. Dad said, “Help me drop the crab trap.” After a few hours of waiting, Alex pulled up the crab trap and was shocked to see it full of plastic! As he searched through the plastic for crabs, he found a baby sea turtle choking on what appeared to be a plastic bag. He quickly removed it out of the turtle’s mouth and showed it to his dad. “Put it in the salt water tub and feed it some seaweed from the trap,” Dad commanded.  He felt his heart shatter into a million pieces as he looked at the helpless sea creature. Why would anyone pollute the ocean and hurt such an adorable animal? Don’t they know how much pain it caused the poor thing?
     When Alex got to shore, he jumped out of the boat and ran to the house computer. As he searched through the internet, he found an article about how the Pentagon refused to give aid to protect the ocean until they have proof that the ocean is polluted. When Alex went to sleep, he knew that this was his chance to change the world.
        As soon as Alex woke up, he got his old video recorder and ran to find his dad. This time, as Alex waited for the crab trap to come up, he set up the recorder to get a perfect view of it. The moment had finally come. He set the camera and pulled the crab trap up. As he searched through the trash, he was mortified. There was a pile of dead fish trapped in plastic! He was completely disgusted by the sheer amount of dead fish in the trap. After he filmed the crab trap, he began recording the view of the ocean. There were soda cans, water bottles, and straws floating around in a heap of debris. He missed the days when the ocean used to be clean, clear, and beautiful. As soon as Alex got home, he uploaded his footage to twitter.  
         When Alex woke up, he checked his computer and was utterly stunned to see that his post had gone viral! Within a few hours, the post had 2 million likes! He walked out of his room and saw his dad watching the news. “Breaking News! A video posted to Twitter of a crab trap full of plastic and the ocean filled with trash has caused the Pentagon to support and give money to ocean cleansing,” said the news spokesperson.
        They were fishing when Alex began to get lost into his thoughts. He was struck into reality by the voice of the radio host. “Around the world, children and adults are working together on “Project Blue” to help pick up trash and clean the ocean. It’s crazy to think that just one video from a little boy changed the world,” the radio host announced. Alex let out a grin the size of the ocean.

What did our contest judge, Murray Richter, have to say about Anthony’s story?

Vu does a fantastic job of writing concisely and choosing words that truly feed the story. Full of emotion and excellent description, “Project Blue” gives us hope  to change the world by addressing, and curing, a very real and concerning issue. Vu’s word choices for setting were crafted with an outstanding eye for detail, and put me directly next to the characters in the story. I will be watching this budding author’s career with keen interest.

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