Monday, April 12, 2010

Dust Off That Children’s Book
You’ve Always Wanted to Publish

Every principal has a million stories to tell. But if you’ve ever thought “That story would make a great book,” now is the time to write the book!

Last week, the National Association of Elementary School Principals launched a contest for aspiring authors like you. The annual contest is a partnership between the organization’s NAESP Foundation and Mackinac Island Press (an imprint of Charlesbridge Publishing). Together, they might publish that “masterpiece” that’s been gathering dust atop your bookshelf -- or in your mind.

I talked this morning with NAESP Foundation’s Ann Henley and she explained that the idea for this contest has been on the burner at the organization for some time. A state affiliate piloted the concept last year, and now it’s full steam ahead.

“The contest is open to principals and other school leaders, teachers, parents, bus drivers… anyone who loves children,” Henley told me. So spread the word!

Anyone who has ever dreamed of writing a book for children knows what a difficult task that can be. Some of you might have tried, only to be overwhelmed by the barriers thrown in your way. But the doors are open now. Here is a perfect opportunity to put your manuscript into the hands of a nationally known publisher. Prospective authors may choose to publish a picture book or a chapter book written for children from 3-16 years of age. Five picture-book finalists and five chapter-book finalists will be chosen, and one winner’s book will be published in each category. Manuscripts will be selected for creativity, storyline, and originality.

“We are excited to present this opportunity to individuals who have thought about, worked on, or written a children’s manuscript that they feel is worthy of being published,” said NAESP Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Ernest J. Mannino.

The deadline for submitting manuscripts isn’t until February 2011, so you have plenty of time to gather your notes so you can start writing this summer and polish your manuscript in the fall. Click here to learn more about this contest or to print an entry form.

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