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Students K-5 can submit original short stories in Hancock County contest

The Tell-a-Tale Contest offers Hancock County students the chance to see their stories in print.

FINDLAY, Ohio — Libraries are useful resources for children learning to read. But, the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library is becoming a resource for children who want to write, too.

The Tell-a-Tale writing contest offers kids in Kindergarten through fifth grade a chance to submit their own short story of up to 350 words.

A panel of community judges will pick the top three stories from each grade level and print their stories in a book available for checkout at the library.

The short stories can be about anything, FHCPL Youth Services Librarian Sarah Cramer said. "It can be fiction, non-fiction, it can be illustrated or not. It's really up to the kids to come up with whatever story they'd like to tell."

The contest was started by the Hancock Literacy nonprofit six years ago.

The nonprofit has since dissolved, so the youth services department at the library is running the contest for the first time this year.

Helping children learn how to write stories is an important aspect of children's literacy, Youth Services Manager Brittany Lutes said.

"Writing is just as important and those skills go hand in hand together," Lutes said. "When you're a strong writer you're a strong reader. And when you're a strong reader, you might not have that passion for writing. But working on writing helps build those other skills."

Credit: Jon Monk
Tell-a-Tale submissions can be dropped off at the FHCPL throughout February

The University of Findlay's Mazza Museum is also hosting a cover illustration in partnership with FHCPL for students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. There will be a first, second and third place cover picked for each grade, Cramer said.

Any child living or attending school in Hancock County can submit their short stories or illustrations at both library locations in Hancock County or the bookmobile through the entire month of February.

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