One of my favorite things about working with kids is seeing their growth and creativity.  Their work often delights me, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite pieces with other students and parents.  I receive over a hundred papers a week from students of all ages and abilities, so I can only share a small portion of what I receive.  But I hope that students whose work I spotlight will feel proud of their hard work, creativity, and accomplishments, and that it inspires other students to stretch themselves to do their best work as well.  

I also hope readers will take the time to explore the work of these talented students and appreciate the hard work and dedication they put into creating it. I am proud of all of my students and look forward to celebrating more of their work in the weeks to come.Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter and for supporting the work of my students. 

This week I want to spotlight a story from a class that is brand new this year, my Creative Story Writing class.  I have been blown away by the amazing stories that the students in this class have been writing, and I wish I could share them all!  

This story is based on the classic tale of “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” but, as instructed, this student author changed the characters, setting, and details to make it her own.  

About the Author

Natalie has been taking my writing classes since 2019, and I have loved seeing her growth as a young author!  

How old are you, Natalie?

I am eleven years old.

How long have you loved writing stories?

I have loved writing stories as long as I could write! Since I have started Ms. Holly’s classes, however, I’ve loved creating stories even more.

What do you most like to write about?

I really enjoy writing about mystical things, such as gnomes, elves, and fairies, but I also love writing about horses and all things western!

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

I get my inspiration from reading books and thinking of ways to make the things in those stories my own; I also use the things that I encounter in real life and use them in my stories.

What inspired you to take Creative Story Writing Class, and what do you like most about it?
I wanted to take the Creative Story Writing Class because I love to write stories, and I knew that I would learn techniques to write better. The thing I like most about the class is my teacher, Ms. Holly; she is so kind and encourages me to write.

Anything else you’d like the Spotlight readers to know about you?
I am currently writing a book, and I hope to publish it someday.

  The Fairies and the Fletcher
by Natalie Dahl

Once upon a time, in the thick, and gloomy forest of Alaska, there lived a fletcher named Scarlett, and her dog, Dillon. She had long, dark brown hair that blended in with the tree trunks, and flowed in the breeze, and a hooded, green dress that blended in with the bushes. She was very kind, loyal, and brave. Scarlett lived in an old, wooden cottage. Moss coated the roof and rust covered the metal chimney. Her workspace was attached to the north side of the house. A fletcher needed a place to make bows and arrows. Nobody was moving into the woods anymore, and she was beginning to worry that she didn’t have enough money. 

    “Oh, Dillon.” Scarlett began speaking to her dog as she sat in a creaky, old rocking chair. “What are we going to do? I don’t have money anymore! I only have enough for one more piece of fletching and one more string.” Dillon just whimpered and jumped into his bed. 

    “I know, buddy. I should just go to sleep, and worry tomorrow.” She petted him, put on her pajamas, and lay down in her bed. Four little fairies, Bella, Benny, Mary, and Mason, were listening to her from outside the window. 

    “We must help her!” Mary exclaimed. 

    “Yes, let’s make a bow and arrow with her new supplies,” Benny suggested. 

    The fairies worked all night, and in the morning, they flew away to their homes. Scarlett awoke with a start. She decided to get up and walked into her workspace. She then gasped as she saw her string and fletching weren’t only laying on the table as she left them. They were turned into the most beautiful bow and arrow she had ever seen! The bow was a beautifully curved stick, stamped with dye from wildberries, and flowers were weaved through the string. The arrowhead was the shiniest and pointiest metal she had ever seen, and the fletching was so straight and perfect. Later that day, a hunter was walking in the woods, and saw Scarlett’s home. He bought the bow and arrow, and gave her enough money to buy more fletching and string, plus extra supplies. That night, Bella, Benny, Mary, and Mason came back, and each time made more beautiful products. They came back every night.

  Finally, Scarlett got to a point where she was so curious that she was pacing around in her tiny, one-room cottage. 

    “Dillon, who’s making the bows and arrows? I really want to know!” She threw her hands up in the air, plopped down onto her bed, and sighed. Dillon turned his head sideways and jumped onto the bed with her. 

She laughed and said, “I want to thank whoever is doing this for their kindness! Whoever they are, they helped us and now we will be able to stay in the forest. I just need a plan.” Dillon woofed in agreement. 

Then, he walked to his bed behind the doorway, and lay down. Dillon peered at Scarlett through the door, then gave up and put his head back down. Scarlett jumped up with a smile on her face. 

“Hey, Dillon! You just gave me a great idea! I will wait by the doorway until whoever is doing this comes. Thanks, buddy!” she exclaimed and hugged him. 

That night, Scarlett hid behind the doorway sitting on a stool. She had food and coffee, enough to keep her awake. Then she waited. 

It was about twelve a.m. when Scarlett heard singing. She stumbled out of her stool, doing a poor job not making noise. The fairies looked up, alarmed, but then continued making the bows and arrows. They were fluttering around, attaching fletching to sticks and sharpening metal. Scarlett nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw the fairies! She had no idea they existed. Then, her heart fell as she looked more closely. Their clothes were merely rags, and not very clean ones. Their hair was messy, and she could see that they were thirsty and hungry. They were panting from dehydration, and she could hear their stomachs growling from across the room, despite how small they were. 

“I must give them food, water, and new clothes! They have helped me so much that now I must help them,” she thought. 

The fairies left eventually, and Scarlett got to work. She sewed Bella and Mary tiny, pink dresses, and she sewed Benny and Mason little jeans and shirts. She cooked chicken and bread, and drew water from the well. That night, the fairies were thrilled. They sang and whistled so loud, that even Scarlett could hear them while she lay in bed. The next morning, the food, water, and clothes were gone. She smiled to herself, and thought about how happy they were. That night, they didn’t return. In fact, they were never seen again, but Scarlett never forgot them. 

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