Children's essay contest: Springtime in Fairfield County

An annual celebration and time worn tradition, National Children’s Book Week (May 4-10), is a salute to both books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Each year, events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, and bookstores — wherever young readers and books meet.

This year, the downtown Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, will host such a celebration. The Kick-Off event will take place Saturday, May 2, from 11:30 am. to 1 p.m., in the store’s second floor event space. Budding writers from grades 3-8 are encouraged to enter an essay contest judged by three of Westport’s accomplished children’s authors.

Christine Pakkala

Christine Pakkala

Christine Pakkala, author of the LAST-BUT-NOT-LEAST LOLA series and stand alone title, Jasmine and Maddie (Boyds Mills Press), Tommy Greenwald, author of the Charlie Joe Jackson series (Roaring Brook Press), and Michaela MacColl, a modern historical fiction writer and the author of the new Hidden Histories series (Boyds Mills Press), will discuss their writing styles, read from their books and answer questions from eager young readers and writers. The guest authors will announce the winners from original essays entered into the store’s contest and will read the winning selections.

The contest categories are as follows: boys and girls in grades 3-5, 250 words or less; boys and girls in grades 6-8, 500 words or less. The theme is “Springtime in Fairfield County.” Now that winter has come to a close, we’d like to know one thing you love most about springtime in Fairfield County. All entries must be emailed in PDF format to [email protected] by Sunday, April 19, at 6 p.m. One winner from each category will receive a gift card to the Fairfield University bookstore.

Tommy Greenwald

Tommy Greenwald

Christine Pakkala was born in Lewiston, Idaho, right across from the Snake River in Clarkston, Washington. She loves to write for hours, spend time with her family and teach creative writing at The Westport Writers’ Workshop and beyond. Fans can learn more at

Tommy Greenwald named his main character after his three boys, Charlie, Joe and Jack who were reluctant readers. Find out more about the author at

Michaela MacColl

Michaela MacColl

Michaela MacColl hails from New York and attended Vassar College and Yale University. She’s always been fascinated by stories of how famous people grew to get that way. Her author website is

The need for National Children’s Book Week is just as essential as it was in 1919. The task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s (the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly) fundamental declaration: “A great nation is a reading nation.” For a more detailed history of Children’s Book Week, visit

For more Fairfield University Bookstore events, visit

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