1st Place 2016 YAFF story by Sami Merad (1st Grade/CP)
29 March 2017
Thank you for a great 2017 YAFF!
3 April 2017

3rd Place 2016 YAFF story by Sienna Frederic (5th Grade/CM2)

2016 YAFF 3rd Place story by Sienna Frederic (5th grade/CM2)

The American Library in Paris is proud to be the organizer of the Young Authors Fiction Festival (YAFF). The YAFF is a city-wide writing intiative that aims to strengthen community among English-speakers in the Paris area through the art and craft of storytelling. The YAFF is free of charge and open to all students ages 5-18 in the greater Paris area who write in English.

The deadline for submission for the 2017 YAFF is 1 April 2017 at 22h00. To submit a story for the 2017 YAFF, please fill out this online submission form, and then email your story as a document to yaff@americanlibraryinparis.org.

We hope that you enjoy reading this 2016 YAFF 1st Place story by Sami Merad, and that they inspire you to write your own!


It’s an Amazon Life… by Sienna Frederic
(3rd Place for 5th Grade/CM2)

As I was falling through the sky, I didn’t know what to feel. Should I be scared my short life was about to end or should I be amazed by the green and blue carpet of trees and river below me? I felt like I was in a hot bubble falling down into a zoo of chirping birds and croaking frogs. Before I fall to my death, I should probably tell you why I’m here at this very moment. 

My parents were on their dream holiday, a holiday they saved up for over three years. Me, I was just along for the ride. Exploring the Amazon was not my idea of a dream come true. I would much rather surf the California waves and hang out in the sun with my friends. My parents tried to convince me how incredible the Amazon rainforest was with all its birds, insects, and even poisonous creatures. They did not do a good job of convincing me…

Anyway, can I remind you I’m still crashing to my death. I really don’t know what happened, I was playing Candy Crush on my iPod when the plane started puttering and somersaulting. There was a big crack and I flew out of my seat, and here I am still falling.

Suddenly, the branches break my fall and I start tumbling through the leaves, the vines and some moving things that seem to resemble snakes (which I don’t want to think about). I land with a THUD, plunging into the brown, soft dirt filling my nose with a vanilla smell. I lay there for a few minutes in darkness, the trees covering my view. The first thing that comes into my mind are my parents and what’s happened to them; the second thing I think about are those poisonous snakes they described to me. I got up fast and started running crying like a baby. 

Out of breath, I slowed down to look around me. I heard a tapping and looked up at the most amazing creature I have ever seen, a Toucan. His beak was the color of a sunset, orange, red and spots of black. A yellow and black striped frog, reminding me of a bumble bee, hopped in between my feet. I started to pick it up until I remembered that this could be one of THOSE poisonous frogs. I started running again until I was so tired that I fell asleep. 

This lasted for a few days until one morning, I woke up with the sounds of giggling and four pairs of eyes staring at me. I screamed in surprise and three pairs of eyes ran away. One stayed and looked at me as if I were a ghost. It was a small boy, with brown skin, eyes as green as the rainforest and a small stick poking through his nose. He spoke to me in a language I did not understand and waved me over. Since I was lost and alone, I though I should go with him. He took me through the forest, passing strange looking plants and trees. We arrived in his village and the whole Indian tribe was surprised to see me. They stared at me but were smiling. I smiled back at them nervously. That evening they washed me, fed me insects and plants, and then put me to bed in a hammock. 

I woke up and the kids were playing with my iPod. They seemed completely mesmerized. I don’t think they had ever one before. In fact, I didn’t see any screens or electricity here. Could they be one of these Indian tribes that have never seen the real world? How would I communicate, how could I find my parents, would I ever see my friends again, and most importantly, would I ever beat my Candy Crush score?? I’m in a nightmare where I’ll never wake up! In the distance, I hear my name, “Ashley, Ashley, Ashley,” getting louder and louder until I wake up next to my mother and the plane is landing. “Aren’t you excited?” my mom asked. “We made it, we are finally in the amazing Amazon.” I looked out the window and asked myself, “Am I ready to do this again?!?”