Skip to main content

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Children’s/Young Adult Fiction First Place Winner: "Upside Down Man"

Congratulations to Sara Karnoscak, first place winner in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning story, "Upside Down Man."

Congratulations to Sara Karnoscak, first place winner in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning story, "Upside Down Man."

WD-90th-Annual-2020-LaunchLogos-1100x615(1)

[See the complete winner's list here]

Upside Down Man

Emmit loves being upside down. He goes upside down all over town.

He walks on his hands, he sits on his head, he hangs upside down when he goes to bed.

He’s very proud when he’s at work. He’s the company’s first upside down clerk.

He files his paperwork in an upside down way – he starts with Z, then goes to A.

He visits the dentist upside down, which makes it quite hard to give him his crown.

When the barber tries to trim his beard, he finds the angle rather weird.

He holds his umbrella with his feet. He uses his toes to cut his meat.

People who meet him don’t know what to do. It’s a little awkward shaking his shoe.

He often gets stared at on the bus. His shoes in the air can cause quite a fuss.

But he doesn’t mind if people stare. What right side up people think, he doesn’t care.

One day as he walked down the street, he saw another pair of hands instead of feet!

“Hello!” he greeted with a grin, for he was talking to a face instead of a shin.

“Hello,” replied the woman with a nod and a smile, the first he had seen in quite a while.

Writer's Digest 90th Annual Competition Children’s/Young Adult Fiction First Place Winner: "Upside Down Man"

“Fancy meeting you here, another hand-walker.” He hoped that this woman was a talker.

“I’m Susan B Oozen from Bottomupp. Who are you, if you don’t mind me being abrupt?”

“I’m Emmit Wyckoff-Wellington the Third. But Bottomupp? I’ve never heard.”

“Never heard? That can’t be true. It’s full of people like me and you.”

Emmit couldn’t believe it. An upside down town? She had to be yanking him around.

“Would you like to see it? I’m on my way.” Why this must be his lucky day!

They talked and they laughed as they walked on their hands, to this wonderful, magical upside down land.

When they arrived Emmit was in awe. Everyone was upside down everywhere he saw!

The postman pushed his cart with a shoe on each handle. The masseuse used her bare feet to light up a candle.

Children rode bikes pedaling with their hands. There was even an entire upside down band.

Signs were posted upside down. Doorknobs were situated close to the ground.

“What an absolutely delightful place!” Emmit said with a smile upon his face.

Susan took him skating in Bottomupp Park. They watched upside down animals in the dark.

They flew kites and painted and tossed pizza in the air. They rode on the Ferris Wheel at Bottomupp Fair.

Emmit was having the time of his life, but after a while he became filled with strife.

What could possibly be wrong? He mused and he questioned. In this wonderful place, what caused his joy to be lessened?

He wrinkled his brow and sipped from his cup, and realized that things felt… right side up.

When doorknobs and chairs are made upside down, you’re no longer the other way around.

Emmit liked being upside down in a right side up world. He liked being different from other men, women, boys and girls.

He thanked Susan B Oozen for showing him her town, and promised he’d come back and see her around.

Then he went back to the place from whence he came, feeling quite happy that he wasn’t the same.

Writer's Digest Competitions

Get recognized for your writing. Find out more about the Writer's Digest family of writing competitions.

Sharon Short | Point of View Quote 1

Managing Point of View: Mythbusting

In the first of this three-part series, novelist and WD columnist Sharon Short breaks down 7 of the most common myths about choosing which POV is right for your story.

Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur for Your Writing Labor of Love

Channel Your Inner Authorpreneur for Your Writing Labor of Love

As self-publishing continues to become an attractive and popular options for writers, it’s important to know what you’re getting into and to have the right expectations. Here, author and entrepreneur Tom Vaughan shares how to channel your inner “authorpreneur” to help your book find its readers.

Mark Kurlansky: On Coincidences Driving Memoir

Mark Kurlansky: On Coincidences Driving Memoir

Award-winning author, playwright, and journalist Mark Kurlansky discusses the experience of channeling Ernest Hemingway in his new memoir, The Importance of Not Being Ernest.

In-Between: Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Personal Essay Awards Winner

In-Between: Writer's Digest 2nd Annual Personal Essay Awards Winner

Congratulations to Alyssa Rickert, Grand Prize winner of the 2nd Annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards. Here's her winning essay, "In Between."

Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts and the Supernatural in Fiction

Things To Consider When Writing About Ghosts and the Supernatural in Fiction

From maintaining subtlety to visiting haunted places, author J. Fremont shares everything to consider when writing about ghosts and the supernatural in fiction.

6 Effective Steps To Promote Your Forthcoming Book on Social Media and Feel Good About It

6 Effective Steps To Promote Your Forthcoming Book on Social Media and Feel Good About It

Social media is a daunting albeit important aspect of promoting our work. Here, author Aileen Weintraub offers six steps to promote your book on social media authentically.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 609

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a world-building poem.

Writer's Digest Presents podcast image

Writer's Digest Presents: World-Building (Podcast, Episode 5)

In the fifth episode of the Writer's Digest Presents podcast, we talk about world-building in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including interviews with authors Whitney Hill (fiction) and Jeannine Hall Gailey (poetry).

Heirloom

Heirloom

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, someone's shown up demanding your narrator's family heirloom.