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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors writing contest: What could have Ben

He was weird. He didn’t really seem to care about his image. He didn’t seem to care about anything, really, but the kid was nice. He wouldn’t go out of his way to help you, but he wouldn’t go out of his way to hurt you either. I was awakened by the opening of my door and the shrill voice of my mother, “Time to get up! We’re leaving in an hour!”

Outdoor writing contest: Together as one

I hear number 62 called to the start box. I am number 102, and this is my cue. I gather the reins, bring my left foot to the iron, and swing myself up into the saddle. My legs fall into position from years of experience. I feel my horse’s excitement, and my blood is pumping rapidly. My horse and I pad down to the practice field and come into view of contestants warming up. I watch the stereotyped black and bay, over 16-hands, thoroughbreds galloping under the cue of their riders. Coaches are yelling instructions to their clients, and the shouts of who is jumping wanders into my ears. It is the second day of “three-day eventing,” the cross-country stage. This is my sport. This is my life.

Salute from the writing contest judge

Judging high-school writing contest entries isn’t easy. The following is an excerpt from an untitled poem submitted by Meagan Anderson, a sophomore at Ferris. While the entire entry did not make the final round of judging, this segment was tightly and colorfully written, bringing an honorable-mention smile to the judge’s face. I hate winter,

Writing contest: Better s’mores

Kids reveal a lot of their family outdoor secrets and traditions in the stories they submit for the S-R’s youth outdoor writing contest. Here’s a family recipe for alternative s’mores excerpted from a camping story by Kim Lawrence, a sophomore at Moscow High School.

Book Notes: DiFranco tops Get Lit in 2011

Ani DiFranco will be the April 15 headliner at 2011’s Get Lit. Wait – Ani DiFranco? Isn’t she a singer-songwriter? Why would she be headlining the region’s premier literary festival?

High school writing contest geared to outdoors

It’s time for high schoolers to begin thinking about fame, fortune and the great outdoors. The Spokesman-Review once again is joining the Outdoor Writers Association of America in sponsoring a contest for youth outdoor writing.

Math, reading gap among Native American students

Native American students at schools overseen by the federal Bureau of Indian Education performed significantly worse on national standardized tests in reading and math compared with those in public schools.

Wash. high school test results will be in the mail

High school students who took the statewide achievement tests this spring will be receiving their scores sometime in the next week or so. These are the first results from the new High School Proficiency Exam.

Retired Coeur d’Alene teachers co-author second whodunit

Three retired Coeur d’Alene High School English teachers who have collaborated on two murder mystery novels say they followed Mark Twain’s advice to “write what you know.” The one exception: “The hardest thing is to come up with a good way to bump someone off,” said Vikki Moormann, one of the three authors. “Obviously, we don’t have any experience with it.”

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St. Michael’s student wins High School Outdoor Writing Contest

A story by Christine Koneazny, a senior at St. Michael’s Academy, has been judged the best of 191 entries to win The Spokesman-Review’s 2009 Outdoor Writing Contest for high school students. In “Answering the Call,” Koneazny details an adrenaline-charged moment in a youngster’s bow hunt for deer.

Answering the call

I glare down at my walkie talkie. Not working. Again. I groan quietly, and move the compound bow in my hands as I shove the radio back into my pocket.

Hang on

He looked down at the obstacle. The massive jump stared up at him from a hundred yards away. He stood, motionless. Thinking of a plan, a way out, an exit.

Top of the world

Seen in books as a child stories unreal and fanaticizing

Food for naught

Lurking in the shade, they grip onto branches of the great maple with their tiny brown talons, staring down upon passersby and sending a hungry vibe. They hunch down, pointing their necks to the ground, allowing their round feathery bellies to budge over their feet. They are far from starving but have little else to do in Riverfront Park on a Wednesday. The Garland Theater’s Dollar Wednesday popcorn special is too far away so they spend their time eating gluttonously for entertainment.

Best-selling effort needs more bark

Jack, come sit at my feet, my faithful and loyal dog. We need to have a long, serious and difficult talk. I’ve decided that I need a dog with a wiser, more philosophical soul. A dog who can teach me valuable and touching lessons about life. A dog who can teach me what it means to be human.

Writing camp open to juniors, seniors

Junior and senior writers who want to get a jump-start on the 2009-’10 school year must turn in their applications for the High School Writing Camp at Harriman State Park by Monday. The camp will be Aug. 2-8. The high school writers will have the opportunity to work together in small groups and one-on-one with professional writers to learn and improve their imaginative writing techniques. Authors Chris Dempsey, Catherine Jones and Nicole LeFavour will be working with the young writers.