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Winners of Steinbeck Young Authors Program to be Announced May 7 at Hartnell College

May 4th, 2005

Winners of the third annual Steinbeck Young Authors Program--a writing competition for Monterey County middle school children--will be announced at Hartnell College on Saturday, May 7.

The awards ceremony and brunch will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Steinbeck Hall of Hartnell's College Center.

The purpose of the competition, according to Kathleen Rose, Hartnell's dean of fine arts, language arts and social sciences, is to provide an opportunity for students to explore the excitement of writing, enhance their writing skills, and introduce them to the works of both John Steinbeck, Salinas' Nobel Prize-winning author, and the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.

More than 250 students, family members and members of the general public are expected to attend the ceremony. Fifteen schools and 48 students participated in the contest.

The writing project is overseen by the Steinbeck Young Authors Task Force, chaired by Sylvia Panetta of the Leon and Sylvia Institute for Public Policy.

Prior to the competition, students read and studied Steinbeck's The Red Pony, Steinbeck's 1933 heart-breaking novel about a boy growing up on a small Salinas Valley ranch. For the writing contest, students were asked to pen an essay about the book, with assistance from coaches in the community.

During the ceremony, the keynote address will be presented by John Steinbeck's son, Thomas.

Hartnell's Agriculture Ambassadors--a student group--will welcome guess and provide campus tours.

The competition is a collaborative effort by Hartnell, the National Steinbeck Center, the Monterey County Office of Education and California State University, Monterey Bay, with funding from the William McCaskey Chapman andAdaline Dinsmore Chapman Foundation, the Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Harden Foundation, the Monterey County Office of Education, Leon and Sylvia Panetta, and Pat Chapman.

For more information, call (831) 755-6905.