The Bookworm’s writing contest for kids launches Thursday, March 10 |

The Bookworm’s writing contest for kids launches Thursday, March 10

Sarah Taylor
Special to the Daily
This year's children's writing contest will be open for submissions from Thursday, March 10, until Thursday, April 21, with an awards ceremony on Friday, May 20.
Jackie Cooper | Special to the Daily |

If you go …

What: Fourth-annual Children’s Writing Contest launch.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards.

Cost: $5, includes snacks.

More information: Call 970-926-7323, or visit

EDWARDS — Today, The Bookworm of Edwards launches its fourth-annual children’s writing contest, which is open to Eagle County kids in grades three through 12. Professional authors and educators judge the short-story submissions, and the winners and runners-up of each age group are published together in a book called “Ungoverned Children.”

Novelist Lindsay Eland, author of “Summer of Sundays,” “Scones and Sensibility” and the soon-to-be-released “5 Times Revenge,” will host this year’s launch, a creative writing event for kids with prompts to inspire their stories.

“It’s been so rewarding and it’s very inspiring to me, also, as a writer,” Eland said. “They have so much talent, passion and creativity for their ages. I love being around kids who want to learn and read. It’s pretty amazing. I always leave feeling so uplifted and full.”

The contest’s launch is the start of encouraging kids to put themselves out there, to dream of their stories and find the courage to put them down on paper.

“The highlight for me is watching them read their own examples at the launch,” Eland said. “Not only are they all raising their hands because they want to read their work, but they are raising their hands because they are proud and excited with what they’ve accomplished. They truly a have courage that encourages me as a writer.”

Nicole Magistro, owner of The Bookworm of Edwards, said watching the contest evolve into the wonderful experience that it has become for the children and the community is something she holds dear.

“By far, the children’s writing contest and the publication of students’ stories into a book is the thing I’m most proud of,” Magistro said. “Extending beyond the walls of the bookstore to become a place that fosters writers beginning at age 8 is something I wish someone could have done for me as a child.

“I feel a tremendous privilege to work with the students, teachers and parents to inspire kids and help them understand that being a writer is a real career choice and one that requires early intervention, coaxing and encouragement.”

Eland also advocates for the importance of this tremendous opportunity.

“The importance is endless,” she said. “I mean to have this vehicle to not only get kids excited about writing and reading and literature but excited about stories that inevitably connects all of us. Having this program that’s supportive of kids wanting to learn and write, wanting to take their craft to the next level, is huge.”

The Vail Public Library will host weekly creative writing workshops, held each Thursday at 3:45 p.m., to encourage and actively work with kids as their stories and dreams come to life.

“Every year, I cry at the awards ceremony,” Magistro said. “There are more than 100 community members that turn out to support the creative and intellectual endeavors of kids. That night’s party always moves me to tears.”

Eland welcomes kids who have never been a part of something like the writing contest to try it.

“I would encourage them just to go for it,” she said. “You have nothing to lose by putting your pencil to the paper and giving it a try; letting your mind wander into the what ifs of a story. Getting your vision and imagination out into the world is the most important. The mechanics can get discouraging, but that’s what the judges are there for.

“Your story is inside of you, waiting to be out in the world. You have nothing but support from the judges, The Bookworm and the community you are a part of.”

The contest will be open for submissions from today until Thursday, April 21, with an awards ceremony on Friday, May 20. For more information, visit

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