Dear Readers,

All year I have been teaching two writing classes for homeschooled middle school students. They have been filled with laughter, inside jokes I do not pretend to understand, and pages upon pages of writing. I chose to showcase these students’ voices on Write Well Austin in part because I am proud of them, but in part because their voices are just so strong, rich in sensory detail, and extraordinarily imaginative. Our first featured writer is Willow Goldsmith. Her writing style often encompasses the highly fantastical, like her story about a crab befriending and changing the life of young girl, but I like this particular collection of snippets because Willow’s writing makes me feel as though I have been wrapped up inside of each of these locations, from a tiger cage to a fairywood. Enjoy!

Ashleigh Pedersen


I look up at the dark shelves that hold the fate of so many characters. I smell the pages and hear the murmur of people whispering. I hear a page turn and a check out button pushed.

Tiger Cage

I feel the rocks under foot as I sprint toward the door a zookeeper holds out to me. I hear the tiger behind me and smell the meat on his breath from his last meal.

Meadow in the Winter

I run through the knee-high grass and feel the chilly air sting my nose. As I run I feel the dirt on my toes and the grass grip me as if it doesn’t want me to go.

City at Night in the Rain

My hair clings to my face and I listen to the slapping of feet on the pavement. A honk from a car in the distance meets my ears and I shiver as the sky cries.


Rough bark on my fingertips, best friends stand at my side with laughs that shake the trees. Dusk begins to settle over our little heaven as we run with glee, camp fire smells wafting toward us as we climb our seventh tree. Dark roots and branches trip us as we walk out to the campfire.

Under the Ocean

I flip my feet, propelling me forward with an unstoppable force. Me. Just me and my little diving group in a huge ocean. One large fish swims by me. He might also feel alone. Now neither of us have to be alone. I swim by his side.


My egg cracked all around me and if felt like I was exploding. Make it through, make it through I tell myself over and over. Another fracture ripped through my egg. I inhale sharply. Using my feet I push with all of my might. My egg snapped in half. I started to pant for a moment. I open my eyes to the world I will live in. A world of possibilities awaiting me.

Willow Goldsmith, 2017

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