Kraft-Heinz is thrilled to announce the winners of our Young Adult Fiction Writing contest. In addition to the prizes below, winners will be considered for publication by bluebox, our new literary imprint dedicated to formulaic dystopias and blatant product placement.
1st Place ($1000 and Share a Bag of Corn Nuts with Christopher Paolini) — “57 Varieties of Courage”
Velveeta pulled her long red hair, the robust shade of Heinz ketchup, under a hood before leaving for the morning hunt. Her father and brothers insisted she disguise herself so that the men in the hunting party wouldn’t know a girl was in their midst. But she didn’t mind. She felt more at home in her baggy hunting garb, the deep sleeves of her cloak filled with delicious and healthy Lunchables Entrees for a quick snack on the go, than she ever did in a dress.
“Velveeta,” her mother called as the huntress was mounting her steed. “I have a bad feeling about the hunt. Stay home with me and your sisters. We’re making a Philadelphia Cream Cheese cheesecake, which only takes 40 minutes and is perfect for a wow-factor dessert without the fuss.”
“This is who I am, Mother,” Velveeta said, reaching into her sleeve for a piece of the real ham included in her Lunchable.
“Why can’t you be like the other girls in the village?”
“Save me a slice of cheesecake.”
It was the last time she saw Mother alive.
2nd Place ($500 & 15-Minute High-Speed Ride in Weinermobile) — “Forbidden Roast”
Arabica knew he was dangerous from the moment he stepped into her palace. Something called to her in the boy’s eyes. They were the dark, rich brown of Maxwell House Instant Coffee. Arabica briefly wondered if he would be good to the last drop, then blushed at her own impure thoughts. She was betrothed to Lord Poupon’s son, and romantic thoughts toward anyone but her intended husband, Gray, were wrong. And yet.
3rd Place ($250 & Custom Jell-O Mold in Shape of Family Pet) — “The Crinkle Cut Warrior”
“My dear,” Grandma had said, handing me a refreshing Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters fruit-flavored beverage. “You must protect yourself. Never show your powers. You don’t know what they will do to you.”
But that day, I couldn’t hold back. They were torturing that girl. Feeding her an inferior potato product. The look on her face as she took bite after miserable bite meant I couldn’t be afraid anymore.
Gripping Grandmother’s emerald tater tot amulet, I took a deep breath, and bellowed the magic words: “ORE-IDAAAAA!” Golden French fries erupted from the earth and I knew my life would never be the same again.
4th Place ($100 & Commemorative Kraft Single) — “Powder of Love”
He leans against the pile of bricks from the wall he had just run through. The rain pours and collects inside him. “How could you ever love me?” he asks.
“How could I not, Kool Aid Man? You work in sweet and savory recipes, and can even be used for crafts! And me? I’m just a sixteen-year-old girl who hasn’t even had her first kiss.”
“We can fix that.”
Shivers shoot up my spine like I just took a sip of delicious Sharkleberry Fin-flavored drink mix.
“Was that all right?” I ask, shyly.
Honorable Mention ($50 & Shot Glass full of Kraft Ranch Dressing) — “Nitrates and Night Shadows”
The man who killed my brother was grotesque and pale, like store brand mayonnaise instead of the creaminess of Kraft Real Mayo.
“You killed my brother! And now I’m here to kill you,” I shouted.
The ugly man snarled. “I’m sure he deserved it, but I doubt I’d remember him.”
My hand curved around the hilt of my sword. “My brother. He had a first name. It was O-S-C-A-R.”
Suddenly, a chill passed through me, and my brother's ghost rose from the steel of my blade like a Jet-Puff marshmallow expanding in the microwave.
Our voices joined together as we harmonized. My brother’s murderer cowered in fear. “WE HAVE A SECOND NAME. IT’S M-A-Y-E-R!”
The man keeled over and died of heart disease.