I have been honored to help out at Kpace Afterschool Learning Program a couple times. I first visited this group during my book the author event for approximately 60 eager students grades 2-6. As usual I loved it but there was something different with this group, they were hungry to create something. Noticing the inspiration, Darcy Moss, the amazing director of this program came up with the idea of a creating a writing contest for the children. Rules were established and deadlines were set, I came back a second time to introduce the contest. I even suggested my favorite way of creating a cover for a book. Take an empty cereal box (and yes I did stress the word empty) and cut a seam open. Fold the box back gently and on the inside you have a blank cardboard surface on which to create a cover, spine and back. The children's eyes were on fire with ideas and thoughts, I left that day wondering just how many cereal boxes were about to be destroyed for the greater literary good and prayed they remembered to ask their parents before doing so.
Last week, Darcy and I got together to "judge" the books, we laughed out loud at a few and yes I got a bit teary with others knowing the context from which the story was being told. Children innately come up with the best and most unique way to tell a story and these books were proof! They were a gift to read. On Wednesday April 10th- the winners were announced; sadly I was otherwise engaged as I would have loved to be in the room for that moment.
I would love to introduce you to the overall winner, Malani Oliver and the winner for best artwork Kendal Pierre. They both received a gift bag of prizes (one of which was an autographed copy of I Can't Sleep- of course) Darcy was able to make sure all who entered received a prize for their efforts; I told you she was fabulous! Stay tuned to Turtle Back Publishing I would guess that in the next 10 years or so you might find one of these young authors/illustrators at work on a book with us!
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Turtle Back Publishing is owned and operated by the MacPhail family, Turtle Back Publishing is a total family operation. From the initial conception of a book all way to the marketing and distribution, Turtle Back Publishing is proud of every book they publish.