Two Fifth Graders Win Big, Publishing Their Pandemic Stories

Jules and Kelly Share Their Tales With the World


Kelly Yang celebrates her new book’s release by holding a writing contest about sharing our pandemic stories. Graphic by Solah Han.

Solah Han and Alyssa Chang

We all have stories to share. The pandemic changed the world as we know it, and now, people are ready to put their unique experiences on display. Kelly Yang, an author in the YA genre, is releasing a book titled ‘New From Here’, wherein she recounts her tales in lockdown. Now, students around the globe can follow her lead in telling their own pandemic stories; the author has opened a contest for students under 18, with winners getting published on her website and winning a copy of her book. 

Kelly Yang’s worldwide pandemic-story contest will continue! Courtesy of Kelly Yang’s website.

Hearing the news, many 5th grade students eagerly participated in the event. After undergoing examination by 25 judges, two representatives were chosen: Kelly and Jules. The two girls were ecstatic when they first heard the news. “It was so frustrating when they told you to wait for the results,” recalled Jules. “When Ms. Morissette called my name, I was like ‘Did she say my name? Did she call me? Is it true that I was selected?’” 

Kelly chimed in, sharing her feelings about the announcement. “It was hard because I didn’t know what to write, and I was so surprised because I didn’t expect to be chosen. But I’m very happy that I won.” 

There are thousands of great authors around the world, and two of them are right here at DIS. “I love to write,” Jules explained that her hobby was part of her motivation for joining the contest, and her passion shined through. “Writing is my greatest hobby. I spend a lot of time home alone so I spend my time writing stories.” 


Jules’s and Kelly’s intriguing stories can be found in Kelly Yang’s website. Courtesy of Kelly Yang’s website.

Ms. Morissette beamed with pride. Her students took the chance and shared their personal experiences with the world. She encouraged everyone to “tell these stories from our lives so we can know, support, and cheer each other on.” 

One day, we’ll look back and all our stories together will make up our collective experience of the pandemic.”

— Kelly Yang

“I’m really grateful that the students were willing to share their pandemic stories. It was interesting to hear what came to their mind when telling their stories,” said Ms. Morissette. She and fellow 5th grader teacher Ms. Son received word from Kelly Yang on February 25th: both Kelly’s and Jules’s stories had been published on Kelly Yang’s website.

Kelly Yang’s writing contest is soon coming to an end as the last of the stories are being published. “Thank you so much for the teachers who selected me and for the students who liked my writing,” exclaimed Jules. Even though many weren’t chosen, there are still many stories left untold. So turn right now and ask the person next to you: What’s your pandemic story?  As Kelly Yang announced on her website, “One day, we’ll look back and all our stories together will make up our collective experience of the pandemic.”