July 28, 2013

Mrs. P Shares Her Be- a- Famous Writer Contest

Mrs. P during the interview
Interview with Mrs. P - Celebrating 5 Years of her “Be-a-Famous Writer” Contest for Kids Grades K-4

What are you doing to celebrate the 5th anniversary of your writing contest? Well, I decided to check back in with past winners and finalists of the contest and created a “Where are they Now” series on my Reading is Cool blog. It will run for 8 weeks, and it will feature excerpts from the past winners new works & Q&A’s with the various young authors. It was so inspiring to read what these talented young writers have been up too, that I really wanted to share what they had to say to other kids and parents. There are some very wise insights.  Several have gone on to win some major writing awards, like the Scholastic Arts and Writing Contest, the Betty Award and the PBS Kids Go Young Writers and Illustrators Contest.  

I understand that you have made some changes this year for the contest can you tell me what they are?  Yes, we decided to work directly with teachers this year. We realized that it was a bit of a barrier for the parents to have to sign the permission form online, so now the teachers will be submitting the entry on behalf of their class.  Teachers will have a choice to do a group writing project for their story, or have individual stories done and then have their class vote on the one to submit.  Each class will be submitting just one story. We also changed the age groupings to have just one category from grades kindergarten to fourth grade.  Additionally, we have extended the contest to run from September 1st to November 15th, so there is more time for the teachers and students.  I am also very excited that we will be promoting a “live” event using Google Hangout and YouTube to stream my reading the winning story live!  Teacher Link    Here is a video just for teachers too!   Link to video

So what will the winning schools get as prizes?  Our sponsors, BuyerTopia, Tales2Go, Powell’s Books, Polka Dots Publishing, Penelope the Purple Pirate and myOn Reader are all great companies that promote the importance of reading for children.  They are making possible the purchase of books that the schools get to select themselves, and also an audio listening license from Tales2Go. 
Link to Prize Page

  • Buyer Topia Gift Certificate for $100 to purchase books.
  • One-year Subscription to Tales2Go for your Class Up to 10 users ($180 value)
  • $150 in Powell’s Book Gift cards
  • Penelope the Purple Pirate & Polka Dots Publishing will be making possible 2 copies of the story made into an actual book with color illustrations created by Robin Robinson for the classroom & school library
  • The whole classroom will receive their very own Official Mrs. P Magic Universal Bookmarks (guaranteed to work in any book in the world!)
Who are the judges this year (wink, wink)? Well, we are thankful to have you as a judge with us this year!  You probably didn’t realize you were signing up to help my other elves did you?  And we also have Melissa Peterman  who is an actress and comedienne, best known for her role as Barbra Jean in the television comedy series Reba. Currently, she stars as Bonnie Wheeler in the ABC Family series Baby Daddy, and as host of ABC Family's Dancing Fools, ABCs Bet On Your Baby, and CMT's The Singing Bee.  She's also a mom to a 8 year old, so knows how to spot a good story.  And one more will be announced before the contest opens.  I have to keep a few surprises coming you know! Link to Judge Bio's

Why do you feel this type of contest is important for kids? It helps build confidence and self esteem.  And many of the students have gone on to be role models in their school or state of being a good a writer.  This is so important for others kids to see. Just like in sports and music programs where kids can win a competition, it’s important for kids to be able to be recognized for their writing.

Thank you for sharing. Can I check back later and ask the elves some insider information concerning the magic library? Of course, if they are not bowling or riding on their magic carpet to worlds beyond.

The contest opens September 1st for entries.  http://www.contest.mrsp.com/

July 23, 2013

Blast From the Past- Where Are They Now?

Being a middle school teacher, I often wonder where my students of the past are and what they are doing. Their hopes and dreams often change from 6th grade and I have often been pleasantly surprised how some choose to use their talents. 
Facebook and other social media has allowed more and more of my students to get back in touch with me and share their amazing stories. I even have the pleasure of teaching with a former student this year! Welcome to OMS, Mr. Morgan.

Mrs. P is sharing Blasts from the Past on her blog. Her interviews share just how much writing can impact students even in the early years. I loved reading these posts. It is easy to see how reading and writing works it's magic through a contest like many OMS students have entered.

Click on the following links to read for yourself:
...more to come...

Please share this contest with as many elementary teachers that you can so they can teach the next Blast from the Past! 

July 1, 2013

Spot To Write

Mrs. P
If you have spent any time in my classroom, 
you know that writing and contests happen. 

OMS Students have entered many contests and even won quite a few.
One of the more fun contests has been 
Mrs. P's Magic Library Be-A-Famous Writer

Mrs. P has shared her Magic Library, love of reading and writing and her elves with us over Skype, Twitter and the web for many years. 

2013 Skype with Mrs. P
Can you imagine my excitement when Mrs. P asked if I could be a judge this year?
YES! Was my answer.

The contest is new and improved. 
The downside for OMS is that we are now to old to enter. 
"Entrants must be kindergarten, first, second, third or fourth 
grade teachers on behalf of their classroom"

The upside is that I will be able to read all the stories! 

This means I will be sharing all kinds of information and fun tidbits about the contest and Mrs. P. here and in the classroom.  Maybe I will get a chance to interview her...anything you want to know about Mrs. P ?
...I really want to know more about the bowling alley inside the Magic Library...