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‘Receive to Help Others’: La Jolla 13-year-old’s short story gets him published for the first time

Luke Cripe, a seventh-grader at Muirlands Middle School in La Jolla, has been published for the first time.
Luke Cripe, a seventh-grader at Muirlands Middle School in La Jolla, has been published for the first time, by Teen Ink, a national website and magazine devoted to teenage writing and art.
(Courtesy)

La Jollan Luke Cripe is celebrating the first publishing of his writing. He’s 13 years old. In fact, you could say it’s like he won the lottery.

Luke, a seventh-grader at Muirlands Middle School, wrote a short story titled “Receive to Help Others,” about a man who wins a lottery with the help of a cashier.

“Driving home one day,” Luke said, the man “gets out of his car and prays.” He later learns he won the lottery.

“He feels very thankful and happy, goes back to the cashier and ends up giving him some money because he helped to pay for that ticket.”

Luke submitted the story to Teen Ink, a national website and magazine devoted to teenage writing and art. “Multiple kids or teenagers get posted, and it shows their great writing work,” Luke said.

He said his father inspired him to submit the story. “He supports my writing. He was saying that I should post it and it was great work. I agreed with him and we both did it together,” Luke said.

“When I was younger, he used to read books to me and we’d sometimes write about the books or write about anything for cards to family,” he added.

Luke said he writes often, though he had never before submitted any of his work for publication. He said being chosen for Teen Ink “felt pretty cool. I was happy that I was published, and I think it’s pretty cool that other people get to see my writing.”

“School motivates me a lot,” he said. When teachers assign or encourage him to write more, “it really gets me going and I just don’t want to stop.”

Writing suits Luke, he said, as “you can almost make it however you want. It’s not like you’re being controlled ... you can write and then edit it to make it better.”

“It’s just something that’s very fun and I’m happy doing,” he said.

Luke writes across all genres, but he said he most prefers realistic fiction, the genre in which he submitted “Receive to Help Others.”

The idea for the story “just came to me,” Luke said. “I was just thinking about lottery tickets and how much it could affect someone’s life if they actually won, because chances are pretty low.”

When he’s not writing, Luke is involved in his other interests, which include biking, playing baseball, being with friends or hitting the beach.

He’s never far from his writing habit, however. “Sometimes I’ll be sitting at home and I’ll go on my phone and just start kind of brainstorming, or if I get an idea during baseball, I’ll remember it,” he said.

Luke’s goals for his writing are to “get better” and “just to be able to get published more or have other people see my work.”

His plan for getting better? “Keep writing. Just don’t stop,” he said.

To read “Receive to Help Others,” go to bit.ly/LukeCripe.