Seventh Grader Jen Neville Launches National Essay Writing Contest That Inspires Fellow Students

Seventh grader Jen Neville is hosting a national essay contest that gets kids writing about crucial topics in their lives.

New York, NY, November 14, 2009 --( Jen Neville, a seventh grade student at Elk Horn-Kimballton School in Iowa has just announced the opening of a national essay writing contest for kids. After winning an award for a 2009 essay contest hosted by Dr. Paul Mullen, Jen decided to host the 2010 essay contest because she wants to give students across the United States an opportunity to show their writing talents.

Eligible writers are students in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools within the United States. Students can choose from one of two essay questions: 1) In Dr. Mullen's Principal Park book, Fuji's father says to his son right before the big game, "Chance is sometimes all we're given in life." What do you believe Fuji's father is implying by this statement? In the body of your essay, describe what you hope will be your chance of a lifetime and what are you going to do to prepare yourself for this special moment? 2) In Cynthia Gustavson's 'Ballad of the Rag Man,' the Rag Man is different than everyone else around the town. The little girl suspects the worst, and at the end of the book, is surprised by the Rag Man's kindness. In the body of your essay, describe a person or a group of people that might be "different" in your community, and how you have come to know them.

There are several criteria for the writing contest. Essays must: 1) be no more than two typed pages; 2) be original, emotionally-charged, and thought-provoking; 3) be formatted for style, edited for clarity and flow, and include documented support if another writer's work is cited; 4) include student's age, name, contact information, school and signature(s) of parent(s)' or guardian(s)' permission to enter the contest in the essay header; 5) be postmarked no later than April 15, 2010. Essays should be mailed to: Jen Neville Writing Contest, 2712 Elm Lane, Elk Horn, IA 51531.

Language teachers at Elk Horn-Kimballton school will review the essays and determine the top ten finalists. Additionally, Dr. Paul Mullen and Cynthia Gustavson will review the ten finalists' essays and rank them accordingly.

The Jen Neville writing contest is sponsored by Dr. Paul Mullen ( and the Rag Man Project ( The first place prize is a 100 dollar gift card, and an interview on the national radio show, Sound Authors. Prizes will also be awarded for the second through tenth places.

Jamie Gough, Publicity
Blooming Twig Books LLC
PO Box 4668 #66675
New York, NY 10163-4668

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Jamie Gough