If you have a budding writer at home, encourage them to enter the Biography of an Object Writing Contest. Contest sponsors include Garth's Auctioneers & Appraisers, located in Delaware.

Entries will be accepted until Aug. 15, and there are three different age groups (12 and under, 13-19, and 20 and older). Here's how it works: Visit garths.com/contest.asp to find a list of objects, including an ancient mummified bird and a 19th century doll. Choose one, and create a biography of the object. Be creative! The various age groups have different length requirements, and authors must include an image depiction of the object as well.

There are some pretty cool prizes for the winners, like Nook e-readers and Barnes & Noble gift cars. Read the rules and sign up online to get started. Good luck!

-Heather Weekley