Cambridge woman is finalist in global writing competition

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Cheryl Martin has been writing stories since she was little.

She said she always wanted to be a published author.

Now his dream can come true.

“It’s just that nudge to say, ‘hey, I can be a serious author,'” Martin said.

She is one of three finalists in an international writing competition.

Ethicool Books, an Australia-based publishing house, has launched a competition asking aspiring authors to write a children’s book inspired by a single image. The winner will see their book published.

The image shows a crying dragon in a library with a raccoon reading a story to the dragon.

“This year’s artwork was done by an artist named Stella Mongodi, and then we were given a theme about education, equality and the importance of reading,” Martin explained.

Based on this drawing, Martin wrote a story called Better Than Fire. It’s about a dragon that can’t breathe fire and goes on a quest to find answers. Along the way, the dragon discovers a library, old tales and a new friend. In the end, the dragon discovers something potentially better than fire.

“Having a strong sense of adventure, having a strong plot, and having a surprise at the end is what really keeps kids engaged,” Martin said. “So you can have this moral, this lesson about education and literacy, but it’s subtle and it’s in a way that kids want to keep reading the story.”

The publishing house said more than 5,000 people from around the world entered the competition. Martin was chosen as one of the three finalists.

“When I received this email a few weeks ago, I had to ask my husband to read it twice. How real is it? Did I actually reach the final list? “Martin told CTV News.

The publishing house said the shortlisting process was very vigorous and said a key element is when the writer can balance the writing style “using interesting, well-executed writing techniques, while establishing a clear outline of character and plot”.

Teigan Margetts, the co-founder of Ethicool Books, said Martin did just that.

“It was exactly what we were looking for,” Margetts said. “Something different and something that stood out, and something that we knew would resonate with the kids.”

The winner will now be decided by online vote. Margetts said it was important for consumers to decide which story gets published.

“We thought who better to vote on the story they see come to life than the people who will end up buying that story and loving it,” she said.

Voting closes June 30 and the winner will be announced July 4.

Martin said she hoped she could get enough votes to win, but if that wasn’t the case, she said the support she received inspired her even more.

“I hope Better Than Fire can be published next May and be in libraries, but I will continue to write no matter what.”

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