Since its beginning in 1984, the Young Writer\u2019s Contest has been held under the auspice of the West Virginia Writing Project. It is managed by CWVWP at MUGC with the help of the State Department of Education. Young Writer\u2019s Contest, which is funded by the West Virginia Department of Education and supported by Marshall University Graduate College, the University of Charleston, and the Charleston Daily Mail, has grown to showcase and honor student writers in grade one through 12 in every county. Close to 1,000 students, teachers, parents, and family members attended the celebration last year at the University of Charleston.\r\n\r\nWinner in the Grade 5-6 category: \u201cAutobiography of a Giraffe\u201d by Willa Gibson, Frankford Elementary, Amber Workman, teacher. Honorable Mention: \u201cThe Adventure\u201d by Kate McClung, Lewisburg Elementary, Shannon Rittenhouse, teacher.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAutobiography of a Giraffe\r\n\r\nBy Willa Gibson (Grade 5-6)\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHello down there! I am a giraffe. I live in a zoo. I eat lots of plants. All the animals tease me. They say things like, \u201cHow\u2019s the weather up there?\u201d That\u2019s not even the worst part. They won\u2019t invite me to play limbo because, \u201cI\u2019m too tall.\u201d\r\n\r\nYou may think living in a zoo would be fun. Well, it\u2019s not. The elephants run everywhere because they thought they saw a mouse. The monkeys scratch places you wouldn\u2019t want to know about. The zookeeper - don\u2019t get me started with the zookeeper! First, he never waters my tree, and he always gives me meat. I\u2019m an herbivore for goodness sake! He thinks he\u2019s a good dancer. Reality check - He\u2019s NOT!\r\n\r\nStill think the zoo is fun? This will change your mind. Little kids with grubby little hands always try to touch me. Then the parents go, \u201cOh, honey! Don\u2019t touch that\u2026 it may bite!\u201d That\u2019s very offensive, thank you very much! I have lived here since I was born. I won\u2019t live in the jungle. I hear the frogs are very aggressive. Also, the tadpoles will eat you whole. The trees are dead. The water isn\u2019t sparkling. I can go on for a long time, if you like. Let\u2019s just say I\u2019d rather live in the zoo, and that\u2019s a lot coming from me!\r\n\r\nI just received some news. I am getting moved to the San Francisco Zoo, the most wonderful place ever! I\u2019ll see lots of exotic animals like goats - the kind that waddles, zebras, antelope, and lots more! So, I\u2019m packing my bag, putting some leaves in my carry-on pillow, and some toothpaste - a girl always has to brush her teeth!\r\n\r\nHere comes the zookeeper! Eek! I\u2019m going to San Francisco! I\u2019m going to San Francisco!! I walk on the plane and I have to bend my neck. I better be in first class. When I got to the zoo, it was better than I thought it would be. I took a deep breath and stepped off the plane and into the bright sunshine. When I got settled, I quickly realized these animals were classier than the animals at my old zoo. A friendly giraffe quickly welcomed me. Her name was Spots. I restrained from giggling at her name. She showed me the mineral-enhanced food, sparkling water, and the most luxurious sleeping quarters I have ever seen. I quickly fell asleep. When I woke up, I was being stared at. All the other giraffes were walking around like super models, so I gave it a try. I pranced around like everybody else. I got lots of camera flashes and applause. I was famous.