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Join in the First Annual Gulfport Youth Book Writing Contest

Gulfport Public Library and Trace Taylor Publishing Co-produce a District-wide Book Writing Contest for Grades 1-12. The winners will be published!

Many, many of you have heard me speak of the big "In Our Own Words" book writing competition for our district's youth, grades 1-12. The competition is open to public, private, learning centers, and home-schooled. Folks, this is HUGE! We are trying to raise enough funds to purchase 2 Emergent Reader Libraries, one for the Gulfport Public Library's shelves and one for our Gulfport Elementary School. Lots of you have seen my work. These libraries are compiled of books like that; books kids can read, from some amazing emergent reader authors. If you aren't familiar with these types of books, I'll leave a few at Stella's and Tangelo's. Stop in and take a look. Please.

We have until Opening Ceremonies, Saturday, October 6th to raise $5,000 dollars and order the books to present at the Awards Ceremony, November 17th, 3rd Saturday, 4 to 6 p.m. We will be putting donation jars all around town. We have also opened an event bank account at Regions Bank on the corner of 58th St. and 22 Avenue South. They are looking forward to taking any donations anyone wishes to deposit. We will also be putting on a Kids Fun Day and a Fashion show to raise money. No fund raising is complete without the ever-faithful raffle drawing.

I want to say, "Thank you!" to David Mather, the new Library Administrator. He's all in on making this happen. We've mapped out a series of round robin workshops conducted by the pros. These fun workshops will take place every Saturday at the Library starting October 6th when we open the contest, go over the guidelines, have lots of Q&A time. Our local restaurants will provide snacks and beverages for all the workshops. There will be a Submission Deadline Party, "Mingle with the Pros", at the Library, November 10th, 1-3pm Attendees will submit their books and meet local professional writers, editors, illustrators, Publishers and Printers.

This brings us to you. I am hailing all you pro editors, Book Illustrators, and Publishers, retired or working, any of you who would enjoy passing your expertise on to eager young minds, please email me at tracectaylor@yahoo.com and join in the first annual Gulfport Youth Book writing contest. We need you. If you aren't one of the above mentioned professions but feel you have something to add to the event, book keeping, accounting, organizing, rallying troops, friendships with school teachers, superintendents, RTI or media specialists, news reporters at television stations and newspapers, etc... come on down and bring that thang you do with you.

The winners will be published. Their titles will be catalogued and placed on the library shelves. Our own Small Adventures Bookshop will also stock their shelves with the winning titles. We would love it if other Gulfport businesses would be willing to purchase some copies to sell at their stores or shops with the kids benefitting from all sales. It takes a village. Kids don't belong to any one person but rather to the village. Put the word out! Tell everyone you meet! Encourage kids to give it a shot! Let's get these books for the kids and make it as fun an Ed-Op as we possibly can.

Stay tuned. I'll keep you posted and we'll be handing out flyers and posting them in the local businesses. All of you put November 17th, Awards Night, 4-6pm on your calendars if you can. Come see your amazing kids shine like the stars they are!

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Trace Taylor August 17, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Just heard back from the First Lady's scheduling office, via email. They will let me know as soon as a decision has been made as to whether the first Lady can attend our Awards Night or not. While I am not holding my breath, one just never knows!
Trace Taylor August 17, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Also, all of our local restaurants have generously offered to cater all of the event workshops. Stay tuned for our next update blog on the "In Our Own Words" event!
mark D. rains September 04, 2012 at 08:12 AM
Have the rules of this interesting contest ben decided? I am curious if writings must be censored, or have to be conformed to specific topics with rules. Or if the kids can have total free rain on what they write like free speech. I hope this isn't like school rules with confinements from the 1950's.
Trace Taylor September 04, 2012 at 03:37 PM
This is a village initiative to provide a great FUN-ED-OP for our youth while also supporting our wonderful educators' efforts, that otherwise are left unsupported by the powers that be. It is an opportunity for ALL of US to come together and share in the education of our youth. We have been working with the PCSB Writing specialist to tailor the contest to support what most of the kids will be learning in school at the time, personal narrative. The topic has been decided but for fairness cannot be disclosed until opening ceremonies. It was chosen because it allowed the most freedom in what the participant writes. Being a writer and an Indi Publisher, I would not sponsor or produce a contest involving censorship. That being said, our guidelines have been chosen to teach about the technical aspect of the publishing industry. There are no rules or guidelines for the writing and/or illustrating, with the exception of, "no pop-ups or moving parts," We wanted to encourage creative thinking, not stifle it. As long as a submission is on topic in personal narrative form, it will be a contender. Also, we will be selecting winners from each grade grouping. This means that a 1st grader will not be competing against a 12th grader. I hope I have answered your question satisfactorily. Please, feel free to call or email if you have any other questions.
mark D. rains September 06, 2012 at 07:12 AM
Thank you vary much for your answer. I am satisfied. I look forward to this contest, and am truly glad it is becoming. You may be unable to answer this, but do you know if the winners published books, will be printed on paper thats post consumer fiber or made with recycled content?
Trace Taylor September 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I LOVE printers that use green inks, paper stock, and energy. I have the most amazing green printer on speed dial, Bob Bunge at Arizona Lithographers in Tucson. Sadly, not local. We have been business friends for many years and his work is impeccable. I have yet to discover one closer to home. With that preface, I also cannot abide inventory of pre-manufactured, resource-consuming product, sitting around, gathering dust, space, time, and enegry. This ends up being the case in untold numbers of book printings and their publishers. The inventory ends up selling for a penny on amazon or ebay. Hundreds of thousands of printed books, resources that will or will not end up back in recycling and representing how many tons of resources that were consumed in advance of demand. When going to offset press, the expense is difficult to recoup at numbers less than 2000 a run. From a planet-conscious, business-perspective, I'm all for print-on-demand and ePub: Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, etc.... The trade off is, it is difficult to confirm POD printers using green inks, papers or energies. My guess is they do not. Green anything is higher priced to suck the slightest demand dry, as most things these days and to maintain the stability and comfort of the status quo. I hope I have managed to answer something of your question.
mark D. rains October 03, 2012 at 01:21 PM
What time does the opening ceremony on the 6th start at?

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