J.J. Cardinal's Wild Bird & Nature Store
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self portrait - circa 1996


short story competition: youth

Sponsored by J.J. Cardinal’s Wild Bird & Nature Store and
the Grand Blanc Birding & Nature Association

Dear Friends:

There is a tree with an unblemished straight trunk and attractive branching crown at The Grand Blanc Commons Nature Preserve; its base looks quite like the foot of an elephant (see photo). The tree and preserve are located behind the McFarlen Public Library at 515 Perry Road. We thought it would be fun if someone found the tree and wrote a fictitious story contest about it and how it came to be there: we have bears at sleeping dunes, why not elephants in Grand Blanc?

"What's My Story?" the tree asks...The tree is growing along a trail’s edge and approximately forty feet inside the entrance to the wooded area; discovery of the tree would be part of the fun as well as identifying the type of tree and coming up with its history. We have maps of the preserve to help you find it available at J.J. Cardinal’s Wild Bird & Nature Store.

The contest would be limited to youth entrants grades 5th through 8th (or of the equivalent age). First prize: $100. U.S. Savings Bond, second prize: $75. U.S. Savings Bond, and third prize: U.S. Savings Bond $50. (Why bonds? Buying bonds is good for the country, they are safe investments and a great way to save for higher education!) The winning story and bio of the author will be published at our web site.

Please do not put your name on your story. Instead, enclose a 3 x 5-inch card with your full name, age, grade, address, and how we can contact you (i.e., phone, fax, e-mail). To maintain impartiality, we will place an I.D. number on each story before passing them along to our judge, a local teacher who’s decisions will be final. Each participant is allowed one entry up to 3,000 words typed and double-spaced. No manuscripts will be returned, no substitutions or revisions of work after submission. Please enclose a SASE if you wish to receive contest results. Deadline for submitted stories is April 15, 2003*.

What is the GBBNA? The GBBNA (Grand Blanc Birding & Nature Association) is a loosely formed group of people in and throughout the area (you know who you are), out of state and beyond who regularly show an interest in birding and nature as a hobby. They are also folks of all ages who enjoy watching wildlife and participating in J.J. Cardinal’s events and activities. There is no membership fee; in fact, there is not even a list of members!

If you are interested in knowing more about the GBBNA stop by our store, pick up a copy of our newsletter: J.J. Cardinal’s Notebook and a Notebook UpDate (a handy supplement which keeps everyone up-to-date of what’s new) -- if anything is of interest and join in the fun.
Louise Dawson

[Note: the original 3/1/03 deadline posted on this website and fliers was incorrectly reported in the Flint Journal as April 15th. Perhaps the author was also thinking of her income taxes. Regardless, several school groups have been busy writing under the impression that 4/15/03 was the correct due date, so we've extended the deadline for all entries.]

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J.J. Cardinal's Wild Bird & Nature Store
12830 S. Saginaw Street, Grand Blanc, Michigan   810-695-8733
Revised 03/16/03 illustrations, text & fun  J.J. Cardinal's 1992-2003
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