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Young authors to get advice from an expert

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By Kirsten Laskey

Award-winning author Neecy Twinem will come to Mesa Public Library Saturday to offer advice about illustrating and writing to the next generation of writers.Twinem’s visit is part of the 14th annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators workshop. The workshop, which will be held from 10:30 a.m.-noon, is for children in kindergarten through third grade.Twinem will share her experiences as a writer and illustrator as well as provide literary advice, said Library Specialist I Melissa Mackey.In addition to receiving tips from an expert, the young authors will be encouraged to submit a story of their own to the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators contest.Children can register at www.knmetv.org. Entry forms are also available at the libraries in Los Alamos. KNME is presenting the contest along with the workshop. The deadline to submit is March 31.According to a KNME press release, the contest is open to children in kindergarten through third grade. Entries can either be a factual or fictional story, prose or poetry. Contestants can also submit work with math or science themes.Twelve prizes will be awarded on a local level to the top three entries in each grade level, the press release reports.Prizes include a set of five DVDs for the winner’s home or school library, a digital camera, an art kit and fun literary games. Winners will also be invited to attend an award luncheon in May.First-place winners will receive the opportunity to be videotaped on KNME, reading their entry. The recording will be broadcasted on KNME during the summer months. Furthermore, the first-place winners can advance to the national contest.Every contestant will earn a certificate of achievement, signed by LeVar Burton, the host of Reading Rainbow.This is the second time Los Alamos youth have had the opportunity to utilize their literary skills through the Reading Rainbow contest and workshop.The program first came to Los Alamos last year.Hollie Lovely, Reading Rainbow contest coordinator, said, Leslie Wallstrom of Los Alamos initiated bring the program to Los Alamos after seeing it advertised.Mackey said the first workshop was a big success. She credited its success to the “unusually” bright children in Los Alamos and their excitement to work with a professional author.She added, “We’re extremely lucky in such a small town for an author of a number of books to come here.”Lovely said, “Neecy is a pretty notable children’s book author.”Twinem, Lovely said, is an award-winning author who has 20 years of experience. One of her books, “E is for Enchantment in the New Mexico Alphabet,” is a well-known book.Lovely describes Twinem’s illustrations as “colorful” and “engaging.” She added Twinem encourages young people to explore their environment and nature.In addition to penning books, Twinem also does a “very dynamic education program,” Lovely said.She encourages young people to attend the workshop and compete in the contest because “writing will take them far it life ee it will take them to a whole new level in accomplishments.”Having children become writers, “I think is important for our future,” Lovely added.Contest sponsors are Wendy’s Restaurant, Wells Fargo and Sylvan Learning Centers.