Fifteen entries to be judged in Marianas’ 2nd annual Young Authors Writing Competition

CNMI First Lady Diann Torres (first from the left) with foundation’s volunteers Samantha Sikayun and Tiana Reyes promoting two published books from young authors. Photo © Lyn Lirio

THE Common Wealth of Northern Mariana Islands First Lady Diann Torres Foundation received 15 book entries written in Chamorro and five from Carolinian languages in its second annual Young Authors Writing Competition.

According to first lady Diann Torres, the deadline ended in November. They are now in the process of judging those entries and will soon announce the winners.

“One of the missions of our foundation is to promote the language and our culture. Our program is to create young authors. I published a book once upon a time in 2007, and so I wanted to produce young authors as well,” Mrs. Torres said in an interview during the well attended celebration of the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library’s 26th anniversary late last year.

The first contest was launched in February 2016.

The foundation published the winning books – “Hafa Sinentete-Mu?” by Adora Jay A. San Nicolas and “I Lina la Hu (My Life)” by Coloma Castro.

Mrs. Torres said they are still in the process of publishing the Carolinian version of the first competition.

By April, Mrs. Torres hopes that they will launch the winning books of the second competition.

“When we celebrate the Cultural Month in April, we will have those books ready and published.”

She said the competition was open to students – elementary, middle school and high schools in Saipan, Tinian and Rota. The book has to be written in local languages with English translation.

“Unfortunately, we did not get participants from the high school this year again. We reached out to all highs schools and told the principals that we did not get participants in the first time around.

We were that in the second competition we were able to get their participation, but they were not able to submit anything,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity for all the kids. If you are an author, you are an author forever. We would like to give that opportunity. It is just unfortunate that we are not getting feedback from schools. But we will try again the third time,” she added.

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