Young writers can enter a contest

Good day, kind readers!

You may notice that today’s column has a slightly different look to it. I have been concerned that the length, or rather the look of so many words, makes what I want to share less appealing. Thus, in the spirit of STONE Soup Literacy, I will be prioritizing the contents into the following categories: Boulders (most important items I want to share) and Stones and Pebbles (literacy tidbits).





When most of us were in school, we resisted any assignment that involved writing. But in our early days, there was one writing activity that we looked forward to, year after year… our letter to Santa! We wrote our letters because we knew, or at least hoped, that Santa would reward us with brightly wrapped gifts on Christmas morning.

Rewards can be motivating when it comes to completing less-than-pleasant tasks which brings us to the topic of contests, specifically writing contests. A quick Google search reveals that there are writing contests available to everyone. Many even award prizes.

If you are looking for ways to motivate a young writer, a contest may be the solution.

If you live in Centre County, there is one available to you right now. The Centre County Library is sponsoring the 33rd Annual Young Author and Illustrator Contest. Elementary school-age children may submit stories of their own creation, no later than May 2. More details can be found at

Stones worth


r It has been two weeks since I shared with you the names of the three sponsors of H.R. 4909 — STOP School Violence Act of 2018. As of March 3, there are now 22 additional sponsors. While there has been no further action, I am encouraged by the growing support. The representatives are from 11 states (most from Florida), however there are no co-sponsors from Pennsylvania.

r Tuesday’s Express ( had a long list of activities that are taking place in March and April at Ross Library. In case you missed it, you can find out what’s happening at the website

A pebble or two:

r On Sunday, the 90th Academy Awards ceremony will be televised on ABC. Several of the nominated movies are based on books. Here are just a few:

“Call Me by Your Name” by Andre Aciman.

” Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” By Philip K. Dick. Characters from this book were used to write the screenplay for “Blade Runner 2049.”

” Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty” by John Pearson, the basis for “All the Money in the World.”

” The Breadwinner” by Deborah Ellis .

” Mudbound” by Hillary Jordan.

“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.

r What I’m reading and listening to: the audio book “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” by Mark Sullivan, “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. Both are historical fiction.

Until next time, keep reading and writing! Love to hear from you at


Kathy Gephart is a retired public school educator and the founder of Stone Soup Literacy ( whose mission is to build readers, one community at a time. Email Kathy at