Young Writers Win Mrs. P’s “Be a Famous Writer” Contest, Chosen by Celebrity Judges

By Marijo Tinlin January 15, 2011 No Comments   

Two young writers from Colorado and Oregon have won the Grand Prize of the 2nd Annual National Writing Contest from Mrs. P, the free, interactive reading site.

Eight-year-old Briana Beebe from Centennial, Colorado won the 4-8 year old category and 12-year-old Bill Wang from West Linn, Oregon, was chosen the winner of the 9-13 age group.

Beebe’s story, “Mountain Dog” told the story of a family pet that vanishes during the family’s move to a new home. Wang’s story is a fable about a panda that learns an important life-lesson, called “Lucky the Bamboo Chopper.”

The stories will now be illustrated by Oregon-based Robin E. Kaplan and produced into a video format to be posted on Mrs.P.com in March. They will be read by Mrs. P herself, played by television actress Kathy Kinney, best known for playing Mimi Bobeck on The Drew Carey Show. She is also a co-creator of the Mrs. P site.

“I was thrilled with the entries this year, which came in from 26 states – more than half the country,” said Kinney. “I was also very happy about the number of teachers who used the writing contest as a class project.  Encouraging one child to write an original story is wonderful.  Encouraging 30 is absolutely amazing.”

Winners were chosen by a celebrity panel of judges that included best-selling writer Meg Cabot, author of “The Princess Diaries,” Garfield creator Jim Davis and Danny Kallis, the creator of the mega-hit Disney Channel shows “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody” and “The Suite Life on Deck.”

Two additional stories were also chosen to be produced as videos. One was written by a 5-year-old and is called “The Peanut Butter and Jelly Hotdog,” a story about grade-school bullies. The other is called “Ramona and the Fire,” a story similar to the “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” fable. All the stories will be available as a free download bundle on iTunes on March 2th in coordination with “Read Across America Day.”

The contest was sponsored by the largest independent bookseller Powell’s Books (www.Powells.com). Besides the two Grand Prize winners, eight other finalists were awarded a gift certificate to Powell’s store.

The Mrs. P website was launched in 2008 as a way to encourage a love of reading in children. It recently won the American Library Association’s “Great Website for Kids” distinction. Check out all the wonderful stories and features at www.mrsp.com.

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