: December 13, 2022 : Suzy Akin : 0

In December, the English Department issued a challenge to Upper Division students, faculty, and staff: submit a piece of writing with exactly 59 words for the 59th day of school!  Each piece must, in some way, involve the theme of light. 

The power of light is foundational to The SPARK Campaign, most concretely in the ways SPARK has brought more light into our academic spaces, but also conceptually. Naturally, we were inspired. We are pleased to share with you our SPARK-themed submission, as well as the winners and honorable mentions selected from 71 contest entries!


At the firepit we gorged 

on toasted marshmallows

their sweet smell drawing 

others near

it only takes a spark to ignite 


sharing warmth and welcome 

as it grows

binding us together 

in purpose

in belonging

and joy 


it begins with a spark

we feed it

we pass it along

we do not keep our light to ourselves

Suzy Akin


The mortar-like rain has been pounding us for so long. The monsoon is almost over, but until then, we wait. At first sun, we make bread and sing until dark, the only lights the stars above our heads. When at last the rain fades, I pad softly out on my paws. My wings spread; I welcome the new year.

First Place: Margot M, Grade 7


Light as a feather



Hidden in my brain

It says but not a word

Many years will pass,

I’ll worry.

I’ll grow.

That tiny bit of weight,

It will start to overflow.

I’ve learned in life

To enjoy each moment 

For stress is quite abundant.

A person’s just a feather,

Hidden in a bird of the world

Second Place: Emily F, Grade 6

59 WORDS!?

I have to write a story with 59 words. How? It also has to do with light. How random! I’ll have to cut off words and sentences and make it look mystical, like poetry or something. Let’s see, bright, light bulbs, the sun. There are so many types of representations for light. Impossible. Oh wait, I just did it.

Third Place: Guy R, Grade 6


Up above in the swirly navy, the sparkles reveal her. Eager to spin and dance, shooting through the sky. Bursting all her colors, she twirls, leaps, and loops around letting herself go. As she joins the other bright stars, there is a human somewhere out there, looking up at the sparks of light in the night sky. Shooting stars.

Honorable Mention: Emily S, Grade 6


As darkness rots across the land, shadows overcast, a long-lost hero wakes. In a futile attempt to clear the malron, the hero is brought to his knees. His heart fills with pride, as he gazes at what was once his. He knows the war isn’t over, and knows his allies will never stop. For light is never really gone.

Honorable Mention: Brian H, Grade 6


There’s a new toy.  More specifically, many new toys, neatly arranged, hanging for me to choose from.  My favorites are the glowing bulbs that detach and make a satisfying clicking sound on the floor.  Don’t tell: I buried one of them under the bathmat.  

Tonight there is a new strand; the bulbs don’t detach.

Evidently, the tree won today.

Faculty Winner: Liz McCollogh