Can we just talk about the Young Author situation? Does your school hold these competitions? Students in elementary grades are invited to write an original piece and submit it for review and possible first place status in the grade level of each student. My daughter loves to create stories, so we sat down together and typed out a true piece of art. The title was, “No Fancy Clothes.” It was a biography of sorts from a child that loathes anything in the princess category. I loved it because it was witty, illustrated with first grader triangle people, and dictated completely by her.
This morning was the culmination of the competition. We gathered at the disrespectful hour of 7:45am to find out how our little cherubs compared with the creative prowess of their peers. All students received a participation certificate, because…self esteem. But then I found myself getting weirdly competitive. I sat at the small lunch table snarfing down my donut while refreshing my memory with the story my daughter created. It was good! “It might win,” I thought.
It did not win.
We were beat out by a story with no doubt, more emotional content than we could produce. My son, apparently also feeling salty, remarked that the first grade class must be a depressed bunch of tykes. The winning stories were about lonely animals, tigers without tails, and other sad prose.
Now that I’ve had a better look at this competition, I have realized that quite possibly, the key to winning this whole thing will require a professional illustrator on the payroll and a kitschy sad title like, “The Iguana’s enigma amidst homelessness in the forest.” I think we can reach the judges on every level with that one!
The table is open tonight! Let me know about your own competitive experiences. All in good fun. I’m pretty darn happy so many kids love to write. But, they had better be looking for us next year. We are bringing our A game!
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