Fostering storytelling, creativity in kids

September 22, 2009 3:13:20 PM PDT
Children have vivid imaginations, so who better to write a book for other kids? There's a contest now underway for young authors to enter. The 4th grader from Howell, New Jersey said that when she won last year, she expected the Paparazzi to show up at her door. Instead, she got on the news. But it's a sign of just how imaginative she is.

Autumn Varca likes to spend time nestled among her stuffed animals with pencil and paper.

"Sometimes it helps me express myself," she said.

She writes comic strips and sometimes stories.

"I would say my imagination is like Indiana Jones and Star Wars morphed together," she said.

How's that for descriptive? So perhaps it's no surprise that when Autumn entered a writing contest last year, she won. Her prize was $500, plus she got published.

Jane Lovascio made Autumn's book possible. She wrote two children's books about her dogs, Casey and Bella. And during classroom visits, she realized kids had so many ideas about those little dogs.

She started a contest to manifest that talent, and Autumn's story about Casey and Bella going green shone through. It beat out $600 other entries, and now, some of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to help other children, those with juvenile arthritis. It's believed that more than 300,000 kids suffer from the chronic disease, and many go untreated and undiagnosed.

This year's writing contest just kicked off, and third, fourth and fifth graders may enter. The deadline isn't until April, so there is plenty of time to craft that story.

For more information on the books, visit CaseyAndBella.com. For more on the contest, visit CuddlyBooks.com.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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