By Danny McAuley, special contributor

The Brome Bright Lights Short Story Contest has, since 2006, been encouraging young people to write and tell stories. It is open to elementary level children in the Brome-Missisquoi area (grades 1 – 6). Despite the pandemic the contest went ahead in 2020 with welcomed creativity and enthusiasm. Unusually, Holly Chapman of CIDI radio interviewed the top prize winner, Edward Grand, a grade two student from Waterloo Elementary. Edward’s story, ‘Sissi leaves the city’, was about a caleche horse named Sissi. In the interview we learned that there is a real Sissi who was the inspiration for the story. What an excellent way to develop a story. Write about what you know and what you are passionate about.

Stories for this year’s contest must be received by Friday April 16. They should be under 800 words, written in English, and be works of the children’s imagination. They will be judged on originality, vocabulary and grammar. The Lions Club graciously donated the prize money for this year’s contest. For an entry form or to submit an entry, contact Brome Lake Books, 45 Lakeside road in Knowlton, or

Submissions will be judged by a volunteer committee and winners will be announced before the end of the 2021 school year. Prizes: There is a second prize of $25 and first prize of $50 for each grade level and a grand prize of $200 for the overall winner.