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Valley Reading Council announces winner of NDRA Young Writers' Project

West Fargo's own Claire Gramlow was chosen recently as a state finalist by the Valley Reading Council in a youth writing competition. The genre of her age bracket was to write a "heartland" short story.

Gramlow, a seventh grader at Cheney Middle School, wrote a historical fiction story titled The Rainbow. This heartfelt story set in a rural town along the Red River involves the family of a young girl named Lily.

When Lily's parents leave in the spring to help their grandmother, she and her older sister Ellie are stuck home watching their brother. Lily resents Ellie at times for being too much of a girly-girl, and she eventually provokes Ellie to leave home for a few days. Lily has no problem with this at first, but when she sees the Red River dangerously rising and also notices her sister has not come home on time, Lily goes searching for her. In the end, Lily ends up realizing the importance of family and the two sisters decide to forgive each other.

Only one writer was chosen from each age group to advance to the state level for further judging, and Gramlow was lucky enough to be chosen in her age group, grades 6-9. Entries for this competition were judged on organization, ideas, voice, and word choice, all of which Gramlow sufficiently displayed in her story.

The North Dakota Reading Association will notify state winners on St. Patrick's Day, and announcements will be made in the Prairie Reader this summer. Winners will be invited to the NDRA Spring Conference in Fargo on April 16, where they will receive recognition.