‘Ungoverned Children’ star in Bookworm’s annual children’s writing contest | VailDaily.com
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‘Ungoverned Children’ star in Bookworm’s annual children’s writing contest

Winning students of Children's Writing Contest read from their stories on Wednesday at the Bookworm in Edwards. Students submitted orinignal work to be judged and published in the anthology, "Ungoverned Children." Blu Fernandez, reading from his work "Kiefer" is making his fourth appearance.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com |

To buy ‘Ungoverned Children’

“Ungoverned Children” is $14.99 and available at The Bookworm of Edwards, located at 295 Main St. in the Riverwalk at Edwards, or online at http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.

the winners of The Bookworm of Edwards’ Children’s Writing Contest get to read a few lines of their published work in front of the packed, enthusiastic crowd.

Blu Hernandez is used to that crowd; it’s his fourth time published in the anthology “Ungoverned Children,” the most of any young local author.

“I didn’t think I was going to win,” Fernandez said.

Blu is homeschooled by his mom, Erin Fernandez, who managed to keep it a secret from her star pupil.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” Blu said. “We were walking into The Bookworm, and I asked my mom, ‘When is the contest announcement?’ She said, ‘Now!’”

Moments later, Blu was back in front of the crowd, reading from this year’s story, “Kiefer,” about a cat that wandered from Vail to Frisco. Good ideas are where you find them and Blu spotted the bare bones of Keifer’s story from a local newspaper article. The rest he created, as authors do.

It runs in the family. Blu’s cousin Charlie Fernandez was also one of this year’s winners.

Help young writers write

Nicole Magistro owns The Bookworm and the Children’s Writing Contest was her idea. Her background is journalism and education.

“We host children’s authors all the time, and during the Q-and-A, the most-asked question is, ‘Where do you get your ideas?’” Magistro said.

Ideas, Magistro said, are everywhere.

“We wanted to publish Eagle County kids,” Magistro said and that’s what they’re doing.

Stories ranged from science fiction and fantasy to mystery, adventure and even hints of memoir — even though these authors are young, every story has a beginning.

Entries were judged by local authors and teachers — Margaret Sutherland Brown, Genevieve Coffey, Rebecca P. Cohen, Lindsay Eland, Suzanne Foster, Franny Gustafson, Jessica Lawson, Claudia Mills and Heather Sappenfield — and the winning stories were published in an anthology titled “Ungoverned Children.”

Foster, a teacher to her very marrow who has been a judge for the Children’s Writing Contest since its inception, said she found something attention-catching in each of the winning stories she chose.

The Bookworm Children’s Annual Writing Contest is now in its fifth year.

This year, 77 budding young authors entered their work, making it almost 500 throughout those five years.

How they’re judged

Students in grades three through 12 are judged by a six-person panel of professionals.

Stories are judged on eight criteria: original voice, plot, characters, setting, dialogue, a creative title, descriptive language and interesting ideas.

Winners and honorable mentions from each grade level were announced at the award ceremony and book signing at The Bookworm on Wednesday evening. Their work is published in this year’s edition of “Ungoverned Children.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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