Change the World Writing Contest

Change the World Writing Contest

Every summer, Delta County Libraries offers a wide range of engaging programming for the community to enjoy. The Change the World Writing Contest gave writers of all ages the opportunity to submit an original story or essay for a chance to be published. This year’s writing prompt for youth was “tell a story about what you would do to make the world a better place if you were in charge,” and for adults was “tell a story about people coming together and communicating in a positive way.” Thank you to everyone who participated and congratulations to the featured writers!

0-K Category

The Planting Process
By Dawsyn Mikle

If I were in charge, I would be a princess that would plant tons of healthy fruits and vegetables all over where there is nice, good soil. I would plant strawberries, lettuce, carrots, corn, blueberries, apple trees, radishes, beans, baby bok choy, tomatoes and peas. Every spring, I would ride my bike around and plant all of the seeds. Every fall, I would save enough seeds to plant them the next year. Then, everyone would have healthy meals!

1st-3rd Grade Category

Poppi the Cleaner
By Ara Mikle

If I were in charge, I would invent a big machine that cleaned up the Earth with her hands. Her name would be Poppi. She would be really tall, as big as a T-rex, with long arms and hands that can pick things up. She would be yellow, with orange eyes, pink cheeks and a big smile. She would be light like a feather so that she could fly around. She would pick up garbage and put it in a little pouch in her mouth, like a pelican. She would carry the garbage in her special pouch to her house at the North Pole, where Santa’s elves help her use a special machine to turn it into healthy soil for plants to grow. Poppi would collect garbage and fly it to the North Pole every day of the year except for Earth Day, because on Earth Day, she has a lot of help cleaning up garbage. I would invent Poppi to help us keep the Earth healthy, because all animals on Earth need clean land and water to live.

1st-3rd Grade Category

If I Was in Charge
By Liam Rolen

One sunny day I was going for a walk and a cat jumped out of a luscious green bush. So, I bent down and petted its soft fur. It curled up and spoke in a soft cat voice and said, “I am a magical talking cat, and I can grant you one wish.”  So, I said in an excited voice “I would like my one wish to be me being in charge of the world.” The cat said, “Let’s sit here and talk this over of what you’re going to do when you’re in charge of the world.” So, I said “If I was in charge……….

I would make food cheaper so people who don’t have as much money can buy it. Because people need food to live. Help endangered animals by protecting them and supporting animal rights and protection groups. Give turtles roller skates so they can go faster. This would make the world a more fun place. This would make people less bored and laugh. Laughter makes people happier and happier people are more fun to be around than grouchy people. Make things less expensive so grandmas can stay home more, and aunts can go to college easier. Aunts need to go to college easier because everyone needs to learn. Grandmas staying home more means they can have more time with their family. Make sure more people start cleaning all the garbage in the ocean to keep fish healthy and lessen the endangerment of underwater creatures. So, less fish will be sick. Make sure less people litter to protect the environment. Because there will be more trees and trees filter air, and everyone needs air to breathe. Figure out a way to make cars run on something that is not gas, because that affects the environment. And a happy environment makes happy people. Make sure that less chemicals are used while people are growing food to keep these chemicals from destroying people’s organs. Because you need healthy organs to live.

I said, “I would like to be in charge of the world to make the world a better place.” Then the magical cat swished his tail, golden sparks flew up into the sunny sky, and the cat said, “Wish granted!” Then the cat crookedly jumped back into the same luscious bush to go and grant someone else’s wishes.

7th-12th Grade Category

If I Could Change One Thing About the World
By Brienne Duncan

I was sitting on a sidewalk alone. Kind of. People walked past me pretending not to see a person in need. In a big city like this it seems no one cared about anyone. I tried to cry out but the words were trapped under my tongue. I Thought of the possibilities of my future. Then there was a girl kneeling down with money. Looking at her beautiful face I lifted up my hand and took the money.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

Her lips curled into a smile, “Any time.”

“What’s your name?” I asked quietly.

“You first,” she said, kneeling back down.

“Jake” I muttered.


“Why did you give me money?” I asked as she looked down the street.

“No one should be left alone.” She said “Have a nice day…Jake”

She said the last word like it were something bad that she ate.

“You too Lily”

She looked over her shoulder and down the street again.

“Are you okay?” I asked.


She ran a few steps and turned the nearest corner. Thirty seconds later two men came down the street. They passed me, I tried not to stare.

“Did you see a girl with blond hair come over here?” Said the man closest to me. the two men looked like the same people.

“Answer the question.” said the second man.

I shook my head, my messy black hair moving in front of my eyes.

Lily was in trouble, being chased by people who really want money.

The corner was a dead end. She would be robbed by those guys.

I stood quicker than I should have and peeked around the corner. I was shocked of what I saw. Lily stood there, her knuckles were bloody. The men lying unconscious on the ground. Her eyes seemed to be zoned out but she was clearly aware of her surroundings. I walked over to her slowly.

Her crystal blue eyes shot up at me so she could see me out of the corner of her eye. She relaxed but tensed with every step closer. I put up my hands to show I was not going to harm her. Her fists were still up as she turned her body more towards me. Her knuckles were white and her blond hair draped in front of her face.

“It’s alright” I said.

I rested my hand on her shoulder. She tensed. I took back my hand. She brought her eyes to mine.

“Are you alright? I asked.


I gave her a tissue.

“They have followed me for days” Lily said, cleaning her hands.


“They want my money.” she whispered. “Let’s go before they wake up.”

“You should call the police.”

“Good idea.” Lily said pulling out her phone.

She opened her phone and called 911. She put up a finger to tell me to wait. Lily turned around. I couldn’t hear her. After a while she turned and said, “they’re coming.”

“Alright.” I said.

We stood for a long time. Finally, we saw lights.

“Have a good day Lily.” I said turning and walking away. I sat down where I had been before and waited.

A few minutes passed and the cops put the two men into their car. Lily touched the cop’s shoulder and pointed to me saying something. The cop walked toward me.

“Hello,” he smiled, “your friend wants to get you an apartment and a job.”

The words hit me hard, my eyes widened. Lily smiled.

“Th-thanks so much.” tears filled my eyes.

“Any time,”

From that moment I helped any homeless person I saw.

Adult Category

Up for Interpretation
By Brittney Paul

Certain methods of communication have always been an art—music, paintings, sculptures, dance, even our food preparation.  We are capable of expressing ourselves in ways that go far beyond what we say to one another verbally.  I have personally experienced a most direct communication between the source of music and dance.

Years ago, I was among several thousands of people when I made my way to a center that was alive with drumming.  We were in a massive clearing in the woods, a gorgeous meadow amongst many creeks and smaller clearings.  The drummers got into an effortless flow, with others playing instruments of all kinds, some completely foreign to me.  There was a particular drum that seemed to resonate deeply and, while I was engaged with the people around me, I was also having a nonverbal conversation with the person playing this drum.  Every step planted firmly into the field was a reply.  Much of this could have been translated into song, but to give it words remains a difficult task.  It was something so heartfelt regarding life, as though the earth had given itself over to powerful emotion that was being swept up through its own material—a drum, a human being, relaying a message to thousands within a forest.  The emotion inevitably emitted these sounds that could be heard, felt and played with.  At one point, the responsiveness of my body seemed entirely without my personal input.  I had forgone any rationalization of what was happening and simply allowed the music take over.  I was like an instrument to music itself, the sound going in, and my body creating something with it, translating it with every move.  I became increasingly aware of the ground beneath my feet, beneath each knee and beneath both hands, as I gave it a powerful push and flew back up to integrate once more with the people around me, lifting into the air, swinging my arms around in every direction as if to gather everyone into the intimacy of this dance with the earth and life itself.  There was simultaneously joy and sorrow, a merging of dualities with every expression.

These are energetic conversations where much is said beneath the surface. It is akin to the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  If one still image is worth a thousand words, I would estimate that a dance is worth a million.  We must interpret for ourselves what any expression is truly saying, because to leave interpretation up to others is to negate one’s own awareness. When we put our perspective aside in favor of another, we exit the conversation. We become the consumer. While there is a time for all things, including the basic observation that makes way for a new creative expression to come forth, we must also keep in mind that we can only consume so much before we must do something with it, since we are beings of a cyclical universe.  This is where we become living instruments.  We take our food, our music, our beautiful views, and we offer the world our individual interpretations.  We say, with or without words, how it makes us feel. We tell a story. To come together and communicate in such a manner through artistic avenues is how we learn about ourselves and one another, giving way to compassion and sensitivities that allow for our spoken words to become ever more accurate and meaningful.  Each of us adding a bit of clarity to the whole, as the grand story continues to reveal itself.