Second grader wins first place in writing contest

Eight-year-old Rye Silva’s prose about friendship wins the One Book One Town writing contest.

Eight-year-old Rye Silva came in first place in the One Book One Town writing contest for his prose “Different kinds of Friends” — Moira Silva

Second grader Rye Silva of West Tisbury is following in his mother’s footsteps, nabbing first place in the One Book One Town writing contest. Rye’s submission, entitled “Different Kinds of Friends,” coincided with the theme of this year’s contest, which was “Friendship.”

Rye’s mom, Moira Silva, said he was “thrilled” upon finding out he had won. At only 8 years old, Rye doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind, his mother said. “He’s good at organizing his ideas and having something to say,” Silva said. She added that when kids “have a real audience, it means so much more,” giving them a “real purpose,” which can be more rewarding than completing an assignment from a teacher. “He loves working hard and seeing the fruits of his labors.”

In addition to his winning prose on friendship, Rye had also, on his own accord, written a lengthy opinion piece to the Olympic Committee, advocating for changes in the sports lineup. Moira Silva, who had previously been the first-place winner of the One Book One Town contest herself, has a notable writing background, having taught both middle school and high school English in addition to authoring numerous published features and essays.

Silva was excited when she found that the annual One Book One Town writing contest was allowing submissions from kids this year. Silva said Rye had also recently won a pumpkin carving contest at the West Tisbury library, in addition to receiving an environmental stewardship award from CARE (Creating a Responsible Environment) last year for his efforts in reducing trash in his community by proposing a plan to the Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Derby Committee to exchange collected trash for a chance to win a prize.

During much of the pandemic, and for the month of February, Rye and his older brother were homeschooled, which allowed the Silva family the freedom to experience numerous adventures, including trips to museums and traveling to Florida. Rye is now back attending the West Tisbury School and Moira currently teaches writing courses, from creative culinary writing to memoirs, offered via the West Tisbury and Vineyard Haven libraries.


Different Kinds of Friends
By Rye X. Silva

There are different kinds of friends. The friend who likes to go fishing with you. They’ll stay out for hours on the kayak and share their luckiest lures with you. They’ll tell you their favorite tips and fishing stories! There’s also the friend who helps you when you are hurt. They’ll go get you a Band-aid when you’re bleeding. They’ll help you up to your feet. They’ll get a parent or teacher. They’ll get the help you need. Another friend is the kind who wants to play and learn new games. They may not be the best, but they listen to you and play with you. They don’t interrupt. It doesn’t matter the game. You just have fun together. All I am saying is having different kinds of friends is important. Very important.