Ohio’s Original Interscholastic Creative Writing Program for Middle Schools

Humor Award

The 2020 Humor Award winner is the author of a story featuring anthropomorphic crayons whose petty disagreements land them in a difficult situation. Each crayon has its own personality that carries through the entire piece. Readers of all ages will enjoy the crayons' plight and relatable disagreements. Sun-Hee Smith was selected as this year's winner by Sage Boggs, a Power of the Pen alum and writer for television, whose credits include the Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.

About Sun-Hee

Sun-Hee Smith is graduating from St. Bernadette School in Westlake, Ohio, where she was co-chair of Student Council, and will attend St. Joseph Academy in the fall.

As a winning author in the 10-10 Festival of New Plays, her play "The Heart of a Princess" was produced by Chagrin Valley Little Theater.  As an accomplished actress, Sun-Hee has performed in "A Christmas Story" with Cleveland Playhouse and "A Christmas Carol" and "Music Man" with Great Lakes Theater. In the summer of 2019, she performed in "South Pacific" at Blossom Music Center with the Cleveland Orchestra.

She would like to thank Mrs. Clark for launching the Power of Pen program at St. Bernadette!

Colors in Trouble
by Sun-Hee Smith, St. Bernadette School, Westlake

Here we are, scattered upon the floor, with no help whatsoever on how to get up. A cry emerges from behind me. It is most certainly Blue crayon. What a crybaby he is, can’t restrain from breaking out in tears for a minute.

“Shut up!” I hear another crayon speak up, most certainly Pink. Her attitude is bigger than my grandmother’s hospital bill.

“Did someone say sugars pup?” a raspy voice asks, easily White crayon, the grandpa who is always mishearing. I would get him help, but I’m not exactly in a position to do that right now, considering I’m lying on the floor dispersed among my fellow crayons.
Why is it like this? Because our crayon box experienced a horrible tragedy this morning.

It fell right off Mrs. O’Malley’s table. What happens when a crayon box hits the floor? All of the colors start dropping out of the box with it.

It all started with the Black crayon. Being the “always upset,” slightly depressed, and most certainly angry crayon he is, he started screaming at Yellow crayon. I don’t exactly blame him. I understand Yellow was made to be cheerful, but sometimes her phony smiles, cheesy jokes and annoying positive attitude makes all of us want to shove her wax. Ouch!

Anyway, Yellow crayon was going on and on about how “Positivity is the key to happiness in life.” Black crayon was no creature of the sort. He grumbled, “I’m positive I want to shove you into a pencil sharpener and shave off your mouth.” I snickered at this, but being the Brown crayon, the one everyone simply ignores, my sound of snickering barely left my mouth. The Blue crayon, simply baffled by Black’s insult, began to sob uncontrollably.

“Would you zip it?” Pink crayon screamed.

“What? Who whipped Kith?” White crayon asked, obviously confused about what Pink said. Suddenly, every crayon in the box started snickering amongst themselves. Finally, Yellow crayon had had enough.

“Stop! Black crayon, can you please apologize to me?”

“Black apologizes to nobody!” Gray crayon said, standing next to Black. Everyone knew they were best friends and partners in crime from the very start.

“Well…” Orange crayon started, standing next to Yellow, “he should! He needs to learn some manners, or he’ll end up like Green.” We all glared over at Green, who was picking his wax and eating it. Gross!

“Yellow, I’m gonna shove you and your little Orange friend, who clearly looks like a burnt hot dog, out of this box!” Purple crayon stepped forward, snorting as she did so.

“Nerd alert!” Pink muttered, rolling her eyes.

“According to my calculations, Black, if you attempt to push Yellow out of our living quarters, mathematically all of us, including yourself, will fall out with her.”

Black had never been one to follow Purple’s theories so, being the rebel he is, he pushed the side of the box with all his strength. We started tumbling and, as we fell to the ground, Red crayon turned to God and started praying frantically. Pink fixed her hair, Blue started crying, and White was wondering if he put in his dentures this morning.

When we landed Pink immediately said, “And I thought Green was the stupid one!”


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