Grade 4 Bayridge Elementary student Jared Ren won top prize for his grade in a short story writing contest. His prize included publication of his story

Grade 4 Bayridge Elementary student Jared Ren won top prize for his grade in a short story writing contest. His prize included publication of his story

Young author honoured

Jared Ren’s story, Chicken Boy, earned him first prize in writing contest

The life of a chicken may not sound like the stuff winning stories are made of – but, after submitting exactly that to a national competition, Jared Ren knows better.

The Bayridge Elementary Grade 4 student learned last month that his short story, Chicken Boy, won first prize for his grade in a contest hosted by Maple Ridge-based Polar Expressions Publishing. In addition to $100 for himself and $100 for his classroom, Ren’s win earned his piece a prominent page in the anthology, Winter Flight: A Collection of Short Stories Written by Young Canadians.

It was an “outstanding” submission, Polar Expressions’ managing editor Rachelle McCallum writes in a congratulatory letter to Ren’s teacher, Brenda Webster.

Ren, 10, said Chicken Boy tells the story of a boy who turned into a chicken and laid eggs to fight crime.

“He married a girl chicken, and they had a girl and a boy and then he died… by oldness,” Ren said.

“I just thought it would be fun to write about a chicken’s life.”

The contest, which also had a poetry category, aimed to showcase the work of student writers of all ages, with a goal of inspiring a lifelong enchantment.

Thousands of entries were received from more than 500 schools across Canada, and the top 25 to 45 per cent were published, including those of two other Bayridge students’ entries, Natasha Burgert and Hannah Fehr.

Ren believes his passion for chapter books helped him clinch the top spot amongst his Grade 4 peers.

“I read lots of chapter books. My dad says that’s why I won,” he said.

For Webster, the win was made even sweeter when it came time for her students to decide what they wanted to do with the $100 awarded their classroom. They decided to donate it to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation – a gesture that still brings tears to Webster’s eyes.

“I just think it’s really sweet of them,” she said. “They’re global thinkers. They think beyond themselves. I just think it’s really neat that they want to do that.”

The money was to be presented to a foundation spokesperson Thursday morning, and Ren hopes it will go far to helping others.

“It’ll maybe let the doctors go to a country where there’s a lot of sick people and no doctors,” he said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock Rotary Club president Mauricio Browne de Paula (front right) with other club and community volunteers at the launch of the free hot lunch program at the city parking lot at Russell Avenue and Johnston Road on May 21. (File photo)
Daily demand for White Rock Rotary, city lunch program surpasses 40

Recipients ‘are very good people… going through some tough times’

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

Students at Creekside Elementary in Surrey wrote letters to seniors over the holidays, and are planning to write more for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)
Surrey elementary students connect with seniors through letter writing

Creekside students planning to send more cards for Valentine’s Day

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Police called to Surrey home for report of weapon, man taken into custody

Surrey RCMP say people evacuated from house, one found in a bedroom ‘hiding from police’

Judy and Ken Reid share a smile at Peace Arch Hospital in 2018. Judy raised concerns last month about how the COVID-19 vaccine would be rolled out. Now, she says no one is telling residents or families when they will start to see restrictions ease. (Contributed photo)
Timeline for reduced restrictions in long-term care a concern for spouse of South Surrey senior

‘We’re not yet at that point,’ says provincial health officer

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read