Grand Ledge Independent – Contest Highlights Independent Bookstores
3:06 PM, Jul 20, 2012
Randy Pearson and Rosalie Sanara Petrouski / Courtesy photo
GRAND LEDGE — There is nothing more exciting than picking up a new book, smelling the fragrance of freshly printed paper, and then slowly opening its cover to reveal the words within.
Lately though, the printed tome is being replaced by Kindles and Nooks, IPads and other e-readers, where we can download a novel in this age of technology faster than lightning can strike. Big-box booksellers like Barnes and Noble and Borders are closing their doors. If these companies cannot survive in this digital age, then how can the small, family-owned bookstore thrive?
Many people, those bibliophiles who enjoy curling up on a Sunday afternoon with a brand new hardcover volume or the latest paperback, like nothing better than to spend their time roaming through the aisles of their quaint and friendly small town bookstore.
Here they can chat with the owner (who knows their name), and browse to their heart’s content. Randy D. Pearson, a local writer and member of the Grand Ledge writer’s group Writing at the Ledges, came up with a brilliant idea: a contest to bring the plight of the struggling, small business-owner who sells words, to the attention of the community.
He teamed up with Scott Harris, the proprietor of EVERYbody Reads. More than just an independent community bookstore, Harris’s vision is to be known as a neighborhood resource center, where individuals and families find a heart of social vitality, kinship, and belonging.
Pearson is hoping the competition will motivate community members to turn off their e-readers and once more find the pleasure of holding a book in their hands at their local bookstore.
The “Save the Independent Bookstore” writing contest is open to all mid-Michigan residents, ages 14 and up. All stories (fiction or non-fiction) must have a plot that will make people aware of the importance of the local, small town, family-owned bookstore. Some examples include:
• A story set in an independent bookstore
• The characters visit a small town bookstore
• The character works at a family-owned bookstore
• Characters discuss the plight of the indie bookstore
Word count should not exceed 1111 words (not including the title or author’s name). Entry fee per story is $10. Winner(s) will receive:
• Prize money (First prize is $50 minimum, but may increase due to number of entries received)
• Inclusion in Voices from the Ledges, the upcoming anthology by Writing at the Ledges (estimated release date December 2012)
• One free copy of Voices from the Ledges (valued at $12.99)
• An invitation to read the winning piece at the winner’s party at EVERYbody Reads
Celebrity judge for the competition will be John Schneider. Schneider wrote a daily, general interest column for the Lansing State Journal for 24 years, and authored the non-fiction book, Waiting for Home: the Richard Prangley Story. Visit his blog at http://johnschneiderblog.com/.
Deadline for all entries is July 31. One-half of the prize monies collected from entry fees will go toward the winner’s pot; the remainder will be donated to the Capital Area Literacy Coalition at http://thereadingpeople.org/.
For more information or to obtain a copy of the guidelines, please visit http://www.writingattheledges.com/writing-contest/.
Rosalie Sanara Petrouske is a Lansing area writer, teacher, and reader who founded Writing at the Ledges in 2005. Her goal for starting the group was to bring together a community of writers who come together to share their work, give and receive feedback, encourage each other and generally enjoy, over a cup of coffee, what they like to do best…write
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