Kids’ writing contest ‘Ungoverned Children’ returns for 8th year at the Bookworm |

Kids’ writing contest ‘Ungoverned Children’ returns for 8th year at the Bookworm

Daily staff report
The winners and runners up of each age group will be published together in the 8th edition of “Ungoverned Children.”
Jackie Cooper | Special to the Daily

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What: 8th annual Children’s Writing Contest Launch

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards

When: Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.

Cost: Tickets $5, includes snacks

More information: Visit or call 970-926-7323.

Children and young adults have a unique ability to find beauty and magic in the ordinary, which means they’re often good at inventing tales of wonder and exploration. Such stories will soon fill the pages of another edition of “Ungoverned Children.”

The Bookworm of Edwards will launch its eighth annual “Ungoverned Children” Writing Contest on Friday. Novelist Melanie Crowder, author of “The Lighthouse Between The Worlds” and other titles, will host this year’s launch — a creative writing event for kids with prompts and brainstorming to inspire their stories.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this year’s kickoff event,” Crowder said. “Writers often work in isolation, so it’s incredibly rewarding to connect with readers, especially for those of us who write with young readers in mind.”

The launch gives kids time for creative writing and brainstorming, which sparks their imaginations. Most kids do not have a story idea when they sign up for the contest, but the launch often leads to a flurry of ideas for their eventual submission and gives them tools to write more stories in the future.

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“I find that the inspiration at these events goes both ways,” Crowder said. “Attendees are excited to meet someone who does this thing they love for a living, and authors are awed by the unbounded imaginations of young creatives.”

Professional authors and educators judge the short story submissions. Among the judges for this year’s contest are Melissa Savage, author of “Lemons” and “Nessie Quest,” and Lindsay Lackey, author of “All The Impossible Things.”

Nicole Magistro, owner of The Bookworm, has been involved in the contest from its inception. She has seen its growth and the transformation it has on kids who enter and become published authors.

“The children’s writing contest and the publication of students’ stories into a book is the thing I’m most proud of,” she said. “We’re expecting more than 100 entries, and the excitement is already contagious.”

The winners and runners up of each age group will be published together in the eighth edition of “Ungoverned Children.”

The contest is open to Eagle County students in grades 3-12. The contest will be open for submissions from Jan. 31 until 5 p.m. March 19. An awards ceremony and book launch will be held on May 1.

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