Castro tops young author contest


The Lady Diann Torres Foundation named yesterday the winners of the first ever young author’s competition.

The winners were Coloma Castro, 8th grade, Hopwood Middle School, with a book titled I Lina’la’ Hu, which means “My Life” in English; Adora Jay San Nicolas, 5th grade, Sinapalo Elementary School, with her book Hafa Sinintete-mu? which means “How are you feeling?”; and Katrina Gaag, 7th grade, Chacha Oceanview Middle School, with her book Kkol Refaluwasch Me Rei. Gaag’s story was the only Carolinian entry.

The winners of the Language in Literacy Young Author’s Competition were chosen from a crop of 32 entries from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

First lady Diann Torres through the Lady Diann Torres Foundation launched the Language in Literacy Young Author’s Program and Young Author’s Competition earlier this year to jumpstart the language and literacy portion and mission of her foundation. The Young Author’s Program was designed to promote the learning and use of the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian languages.

The competition’s honorary awardees are Yonnie Babauta, 6th grade, Chacha Oceanview Middle School with book titled I Batchit Lina’la-hu Ni Chamorro. This entry was the only Braille entry designed specifically for readers who are visually impaired or blind; and Geremy Santos, 3rd grade, Tinian Elementary School, with book titled I Finenina Na Kinine’hu Guihan, which means “The first fish I have ever caught.”

There were three categories for the competition: grades 4-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12.

Entries were not to exceed 250 words for grades 4-8 and 500 for grades 9-12. They had to be submitted in Microsoft Word format or Google Docs with a 12 points Times New Roman font and single spaced between lines.

Winning story entries were granted an exclusive partnership with a professional illustrator and full publishing opportunity.

Trophies were presented to winners and honorary recipients. Cash prizes were extended to both winners.

“I was extremely happy to see our young authors take part in this competition,” said Torres. “For a long time, I have had this dream of developing a program that will bring excitement to storytelling and short story writing, specifically for children, using the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian languages.”

Torres gave thanks to IT&&E for its support of this program and to a group of volunteers “who helped make this dream a reality.”

Published books will be entered in CNMI local public and school libraries.

Judges for this competition were Joe Sanchez, Roman Tudela Jr., Joe Limes, and John Tagabuel.

For information about the Lady Diann Torres Foundation Language in Literacy Young Author’s Program, email or call 235-2383(LDTF).

Saipan Tribune
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