Reading for fun
Last year I was honored to receive The Royal Palm Literary Award for 2012 Best Published Children’s Book, from The Florida Writer’s Association. As a past winner, I was invited to judge the writing for this year’s competition, and I gladly accepted the challenge.
I do love to read. Always have. When I was a kid, the library was just down the street and you could often find me curled up in a corner with a good book, especially on a rainy Saturday morning.
Being a judge for this writing competition, I am dazzled and amazed at the imagination and writing skill of so many different authors. Many of the stories I am reading are coming from young writers; a category of its own, and it is obvious, there are kids out there who are learning to write well.
The subject matter is as varied as one could ever imagine. I won’t go in to detail, as this is all blind. I don’t know who wrote the story I read, and they don’t know I am one of the guys assessing the skill level of the writer.
The truth is, it humbles me to think I won against the kind of talent it takes to create the stories sent to me to get my opinion. Anyone who says our schools are only teaching kids to pass tests should read some of this material. Students are obviously learning, and the proof is in these well prepared, well edited, creative, imaginative manuscripts.
I’m not proud to say I was not a good student. I was a class clown and the 60’s presented other challenges that kept me from my proper course of action. But I did have teachers who encouraged me to write and explore my imagination. It took many years for me to settle in to my comfort zone, but between my books, songs and poetry, and editing here at Bolognabrain, MusicFanCam and other little jobs I pick up here and there, I believe I am still improving with my grammar, punctuation and ability to deliver the message. In a nutshell, I love reading and am a firm believer that good readers become good writers. I tell the kids in schools, where I visit as an author, that same line. Because it’s true.
So read. Read for information. Read for relaxation. Read for the simple pleasure of reading. But do read. The rewards may surprise you.