Houston author, Melissa Williams and her Texas based nonprofit literacy foundation, READ3Zero, revealed the 4th Annual Short Story Anthology honoring 55 young published authors.
Founded in 2009 by Williams, READ3zero has embarked on a mission to help share various aspects of the literacy and publishing world. One of the primary creative projects at READ3Zero is the annual short-story contest, which aims to emphasize the idea that reading and writing should always coexist.
These authors, who attend school in grades third through twelfth, were recognized by Williams and READ3Zero for their literary and illustration accomplishments. The Literacy and Book Signing Event was held at the Houston Public Library where the students received an award, conduct book reading and hosted their very own book signing. These students were chosen to have their own written stories published by Williams' publishing company, LongTale Publishing.
"Each year in December, we hold a book signing ceremony for all of our newly published authors and illustrators in the third through twelfth grade. Through READ3Zero donation money, we are able to give each child a complimentary copy of their anthology, along with awards, prizes and a red carpet ceremony," explained Williams.
Through Read3Zero, Williams not only works to encourage children to read, but she aims to inspire children to use their creativity and write their own story.
“We are so excited to share the works of 55 students this year at our 4th annual celebration. There were so many amazing stories, and we can’t wait for everyone to see these talented young authors and illustrators,” said Williams. “Seeing their work published after all the hard work is such a treat for them, and for me! This is something that they will forever be able to cherish and remember, and I’m so happy to be a part of their journey.”
Students and parents are thankful to be part of the READ3Zero anthology writing effort.
Student, Sarah Young, said, "I write because we live in this crazy world and it's really just my way to cope and deal with and express my feelings and thoughts towards everything in a way that is productive."
Lorre Kauffman, mother to participant, Kurt Kauffman, said she likes that the contest awards children for being creative. “It's my son's second year to be part of the program and be a published author and it's encouraged his creativity in school and it's been a good tool for him to explore new avenues. He loves to read and he loves to write fiction,” she stated.