What a small world! I went to KidLitCon in 2012 and I met exactly one teacher there. There were tons of librarians and authors, but just one mom blogger (me) and one teacher (I think).
She was really nice and showed me how to set up a Wiki right on her computer during lunch one day. She taught 4 subjects in the equivalent of a 1 room school house in rural Iowa. I was so impressed with how she connected her kids with author visits via Skype, all for free! Her name? Karla Duff … and then I find out through Mrs. P’s Be-a-Famous Writer Contest that she is a judge of Mr.s P’s Writing Contest for Elementary Students!
Small world, right?!
MrsP.com Be-a-Famous Writer Contest Puts “Magic” in Classrooms for Kids
Mrs P invites classrooms to write a story on the topic of “Magic”, no less than 250 words and not to exceed 1,000 words. It may be fiction or non-fiction. Any classroom from Kindergarten through 4th grade may enter. Just one story per classroom!
It can be a collaborative story, or a class vote on which child’s story to enter.
Entry is easy and free.
3 Quick Questions with Mrs. P
1) Tell me about the judges you have this year?
Since I just love teachers, we have 6th grade teacher Karla Duff, from Oelwein Middle School in Oelwein, Iowa . She’s been there for the last 20 years. Karla celebrates inside and outside her classroom using Skype and Twitter to share all the spots writers and readers hang out. I met her Skyping with her classroom. I am very excited to have her on the team this year.
We also have Melissa Peterman who is an actress and comedienne, best known for her role as Barbra Jean in the television comedy series Reba. Currently, she stars as Bonnie Wheeler in the ABC Family series Baby Daddy, and as host of ABC Family’s Dancing Fools, ABCs Bet On Your Baby, and CMT’s The Singing Bee. She’s also a mom to a 8 year old, so knows how to spot a good story.
And one more will be announced before the contest opens. I have to keep a few surprises up my sleeve!
2) In the past the contest was not limited to just schools? Why did you change the contest?
Yes, we decided to work directly with teachers this year. We realized that it was bit of a barrier for the parents to have to sign the permission form online, so now we will just be dealing with teachers will be submitting the entry on behalf of their class.
We also changed the age groupings to have just one category from grades kindergarten to fourth grade.
Additionally, we have extended the contest to run from September 1 to November 15th, so there is more time for the teachers and students. We have been Skyping with a lot of classrooms over the past several years, and really learned from the teachers that this was the best way to handle the entries.
3) What is the value of this type of contest for kids?
I think encouraging kids to use their imaginations and creativity is very important. I don’t want to see it become a lost art. With all the immersive entertainment out there for kids, it sometimes feels like all the kid has to do, really, is sit there and be entertained. I thought it would be nice to offer an option. Also the process of the contest, starting with an idea and seeing it through to completion is a great skill to build.
A contest helps a child experience deadlines and having parameters, like word counts and topics to write about. And of course, prizes often motivate children too. But most of all writing can be fun and it is wonderful to see a young writer get recognized for their work, just like an athlete or musician does.
ENTRY DATES: SEPTEMBER 1, 2013.
Contest Closes: November 15, 2013
Winners Announced January 15, 2014
The sponsors of the contest are all companies that love books and promoting reading for kids. BuyerTopia, Tales2Go, Polka Dots Publishing & Penelope the Purple Pirate, Powell’s Books and myOn Reader. They are proving much needed books to the winning schools. All the details can be found on Mrs. P’s Prize Page.