Local girl wins Dahl award

Lucy Franks meets Imaginormous Challenge


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  • The New York Times bestselling, award winning author Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm, The Inquisitors Tale, The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi?), is working with Lucy Franks to transform her idea into her very own short story book!



Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge, which recently concluded its first year, received over 20,000 imaginative story ideas from kids aged 5-12 across the U.S -- a record breaking entry level!

There were five winners. One, Lucy Franks, 11, is from Sparta.

Chosen by Penguin Young Readers, along with some of Mr. Wonka’s most trusted advisors, each of the winning children will have their idea magically transformed. This month, three winners have already started to work with incredible partners to turn their 100 word story ideas into something that would make Willy Wonka proud.

From the youngest winner, Giselle Decker, at just 6 years of age, who imagined a unicorn kitty named Bubblegum and had her story idea transformed into a 3D printed, edible candy, to Anusha Senapati, an 11-year-old whose idea about a paralyzed girl who longs to dance was transformed by the cast and crew of "Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on Broadway into a choreographed dance number, each winner had the opportunity to work with industry leaders to help them realize their full creative potential.

Eleven-year-old Imaginormous winner Lucy Franks said of getting the chance to work with New York Times bestselling author Adam Gidwitz: "It was a once in a lifetime experience to be able to work with Adam Gidwitz, an author whose books I've read and enjoyed. He helped me develop my story and I left the session with some wonderful ideas. I can't wait to complete and share my story."

Lucy entered Roald Dahl's Imaginormous writing contest in her STEP class at Helen Morgan School last spring. The challenge was to write a 100 word story idea in the spirit of Dahl's books, the more imaginative the better. This summer she was awarded one of five Golden Tickets, and earned an opportunity to meet with NY Times bestselling author Adam Gidwitz to transorm her idea into a book.

The final two winners' experiences are currently in the works: eight-year-old Sage Marie Spaeth will fly out to Hollywood to visit Warner Bros. Animation for her winning experience at the end of August, and eleven-year-old Cole Ritchie's winning idea is currently being transformed into a playable Minecraft experience, which will be available in a few weeks.

The Golden Ticket winners also got the chance to see the new Broadway musical “Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in New York City and will travelled on an incredible family trip to the UK sponsored by Norwegian Air. Once in London, the families were given tickets to London’s top attractions, including The London Eye, Madame Tussauds, and The London Dungeon courtesy of Merlin Entertainment, as well as a shopping experience at Westfield London and a sightseeing trip on City Cruises!

Additionally, key stationery sponsor Post-it® Brand is proud to reward the teachers of the five winning children with special Post-it® Brand educational materials, and the winning teachers will also be gifted with a Roald Dahl library of books valued at $500.00 from Penguin Young Readers.

If you didn’t win in 2017, do not despair! It has been confirmed that the Challenge will be coming back bigger and better than ever in 2018. Make sure you sign up to receive more information about the 2018 challenge. Remember - All it takes is 100 words to enter – and the prizes are set to be just as spectacular in 2018.

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