Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Aug. 13

Monument Valley Hot Air Balloon Event seeks young creative writers
Writers of winning entries based on 'Soaring and Exploring Monument Valley' theme will receive iPads and cash prizes

Three young students on the Navajo Nation will have an early Christmas.

That's because three students between first grade and 12th grade will win a iPad Mini or iPad in an essay contest put on by Monument Valley High School in conjunction with the Third Annual Monument Valley Hot Air Balloon Event, which takes place January 11-13, 2013 in Monument Valley.

The three winning categories are: first-fourth grades; fifth-eighth grades and ninth-12th grades.

Second place winnersin each category will receive a cash award of $50 and third place winners will receive $25.

Patricia Seltzer, principal of Monument Valley High School and coordinator of the essay contest, said although the deadline for the essay entries is Dec, 14, she is confident she will receive a lot of entries.

"Creative writing is challenging yet rewarding," Seltzer said. "This essay contest is a great way to learn how to express your thoughts through words and it can also help to develop your vocabulary, which is essential in college and beyond."

Essays should focus on the theme "Soaring and Exploring Monument Valley," the theme for the Third Annual Monument Valley Hot Air Balloon event.

Martin L. Begaye, Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department director, said he was pleased to hear there will be another essay contest this year along with the Monument Valley Hot Air Balloon Event.

"This is a great way to get the youth excited about our wonderful Navajo parks and monuments," he said. "The annual hot air balloon event cannot be successful unless we have support from the Navajo people and this is one way to get our people involved and excited about this great annual event on the Navajo Nation."

Seltzer said stories can range between 200 to 1,000 words and poems should be 12 to 20 lines long. High school and middle school entries must be typed while elementary student entries may be neatly hand written or typed.

All contestants must register for the contest by entering their name, email, age, name of school, teacher and mailing address, and agree to the terms and conditions of the contest. The deadline for submission is December 14. Contest entry forms can be obtained on

Additional information is available from Seltzer at or (435) 678-1258.

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