A love of fairies and books prompted Lenna Cross to write her own story about the minuscule magical creatures.
That untitled story, written last school year, recently won the 8-year-old from Martinez the first-grade state championship in the Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition.
"It's about a fairy coming to see me and I turn into a fairy and I live in Fairytale Land," said Lenna, who is now a second-grader at South Columbia Elementary School.
The two-page story was submitted earlier this year in the writing competition conducted by the state Department of Education. The contest is meant to encourage pupils to develop their writing skills and it seems to have worked for Lenna.
"When I grow up, I want to be a chapter book novelist and an illustrator," she said. "I love to write and I love to read. That's all I want to do."
Lenna's passion for reading was sparked at the age of 2 when her mother, Janet, started taking her to story times at the Columbia County Library. Now, Lenna regularly reads more than 10 books each week.
"Her favorite birthday present was when she was 4 and she got a library card with her name on it," Cross said. "We go to the library every week and she'll check out a dozen books at a time.
"She hardly ever watches movies. All she wants to do is read."
Though she can't recall the title, Lenna knows it was a book that first engrossed her in the lives of fairies. She has since written stories about fairies and categorized them into types, based on the seasons. Each of her fairies has a special power determined by the season they represent. She even has created villains -- the Black Fairies.
"I love fairies," she said. "I have books about fairies and I even have a fairy tree."
The tree is a hardwood that splits into a "V." Lenna has hollowed out part of the trunk as a fairy rest stop.
"I wanted to make them a home to see if they were real."
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