The Ennis Public Library has partnered with the Ringling Brothers Circus to sponsor the first teen press corps contest as part of the library’s first teen summer read program, in which more than 90 youth have enrolled.

“We have really had a great turn out for the first year. We really only expected a few but teens but are very happy to accommodate everyone that has shown interest in the program,” said Laurie Wilson, a Friends of the Library volunteer.

The contest will allow the children to write news stories based on a book they have read as part of their summer reading and will showcase their program reporting skills.

“We had Matt Cook from the Ennis Daily News in to give the group a few pointers on how to write their stories and some of the kids took very good notes so I’m excited to see what they turn in,” Wilson said.

The participants have been given instructions to be creative and have fun at the same time. Wilson says the project is educational but a lot of fun for the children as well because there are a lot of great prizes up for grabs.

The grand prize in the writing contest is an official pass to the August 2 Ringling Brothers teen press conference at American Airlines Center in Dallas where the winner joins teens from other participating libraries.

The grand prizewinner will get to meet Dallas/Fort Worth media celebrities, interview Ringling Brother performers and other personnel and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the circus. The grand prizewinner, who will also attend the evening’s show with three guests and are encouraged to write a review of the event to be used in print or for an online publication in connection with the circus.

The second prizewinner will receive two tickets to an Ennis Public Theatre production of his or her choice during the upcoming season and a gift bag of items from the circus.

The third prizewinner will get a gift bag of circus items.

Teens ages 13-18 are eligible for the teen press corps contest with the deadline of July 17. The story needs to be between 400-600 words and winners will be chosen by July 25. Judges for the contest will be members of the Ennis Daily News and the Ennis Journal.

For more information, contact circulation librarian Jessica Diaz at 972-875-5360.