Wellington Mother of Nine Wins National Writing Contest
Michelle L. Brown receives Highlights magazine coveted 2009 Fiction Award

July 8, 2009 (Columbus, OH) – Today Highlights for Children, America’s best-read children’s magazine, names Michelle Brown one of three winners of its annual Fiction Contest. As a winner, Brown’s work will be published in the magazine. She also receives $1,000 or tuition for a Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop.

“The fiction contest is one of the ways we open our doors to emerging talent,” says
Highlights Editor in Chief Christine Clark. “The process of discovering new stories and voices is very rewarding for us, and ultimately for our readers.”

Brown is married with nine children and lives in Wellington where she and her husband love to write plays for their family to perform. “I’ve been entering this contest for several years,” says Brown. “I’ve always loved
Highlights and it’s . . . been my dream to win this contest and be published in [the magazine].”

Brown, who enjoys writing in her free time, says she did not realize her potential for children’s writing it until later in life. “Definitely the inspiration came from having my own children and reading to them and thinking, ‘wow- I want to write stories that children would love,’” she says.

For the 2009 Fiction Contest, Highlights asked candidates to write stories about contemporary world cultures. Brown was inspired by a local newspaper article she read on quinceañeras, the traditional 15
th birthday parties thrown for girls in Latin America.

Brown’s story, “Quince Chaos,” stars Manny, whose family is preparing for his big sister’s quinceñera. Manny and his pet lizard are trying to stay out of the way when Manny’s friend Blake arrives with a crate of crickets, which creates problems. Children can learn from Brown’s story to not be discouraged when they are feeling excluded.

Entries for the 2010 Highlights fiction contest are due in January. The topic is true stories from your family. Details are available at

Devoted to “Fun with a Purpose,” Highlights for Children, Inc. has helped children become their best selves for generations. Its flagship publication,
Highlights magazine, the most recognizable and widely-read children’s magazine in the nation, printed its one-billionth copy in June 2006.