Friday Blurb: Congratulations to Famous Writers

storytelling contest for kidsAs many of you know, we are H-U-G-E fans of Mrs. P. The website is just one of several portals she has created to engage kids with books and stories.

Each fall, Mrs. P. launches her “Be a Famous Writer” contest, where children in two age groups (4 to 8, 9 to 13) submit original stories they’ve written. The Grand Prize winners will have their stories turned into videos and read by Mrs. P. herself (aka Kathy Kinney) on the website. Original artwork by award-winning Portland, Oregon-based illustrator Robin E. Kaplan will help bring the stories to life. Mark your calendars for March 2011 … that’s when the stories will be up on the website.

The stories will also be available as a free download bundle from iTunes on March 2nd in celebration of Read Across America Day. Powell’ s Books (, the country’ s largest independent bookseller and the sponsor of the contest, will provide the Grand Prize winners and eight other finalists with giftcertificates to its store.

In just its second year, the contest grew to include young writers from 26 states. In the press release, Kathy Kinney also noted that a number of teachers used the contest as part of a class project. Very impressive! This morning, announced the winners. So without further ado, the winners are …

  • Briana Beebe, 8, of Centennial, Colorado, won top honors in the 4- to 8-year-old category for “Mountain Dog,” the story of a beloved pet that disappears during a family’ s move to a new home.
  • Bill Wang, 12, from West Linn, Oregon, won in the 9-13 age group for “Lucky the Bamboo Chopper,” the fable of a young panda bear who learns an important life lesson.
  • “The Peanut Butter and Jelly Hotdog” by Ivy Exum (5) was chosen because of its clever and compassionate look at grade-school bullies; and
  • “Ramona and the Fire” by Kinsey Smith (9) is being honored for its amusing twist on “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” fable.

Thanks Mrs. P. for creating this wonderful opportunity to push literacy beyond “just books” … and to the teachers who are on the front line encouraging creativity every day.

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