Young writers invited to Jazz up new children’s book

Published 3:50 pm Thursday, September 22, 2022

Smithfield author Sonja McGiboney is writing a new children’s book and inviting area kids to be part of it.

“There is a high correlation between learning to read and learning to write,” she said. “I want to encourage children to write, which will help them become better readers.”

To celebrate writing and storytelling with her dog Jazzy as the central character, McGiboney decided to launch a Jazzy’s Journal project. 

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“A while back, Flat Stanley was the rage. The idea was simple but so wonderful,” she said.

Area children are invited to:

  • Cut out Jazzy’s picture. (Or email McGiboney and she’ll send one that can be printed at home.) 
  • Put the cutout of Jazzy in a picture, either one you draw or take a picture of her with your phone or your caregiver’s phone. Please do not use copyrighted images, only use your own.
  • Write a short story, as long as you want it to be, using 8.5 x 11 paper in portrait mode. (Story and picture can be on two separate pieces of paper.) In kindergarten and younger: one or two sentences on a half page. First grade: Write at least two to four sentences on a full page. Second grade: fill two pages and write at least two paragraphs. Third grade: fill three pages and write at least four paragraphs. Higher grades can do it too. Entries should be at grade level.
  • Email with the completed story and picture.

“When I collect 26 pages of stories, I will publish the collection on Amazon,” McGiboney said.

Participating children will be listed as contributors and their names will be in the table of contents and on their story’s title page.

For more information on the project, visit McGiboney’s blog at