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To: My Fans!
From: Ann
The BSC New York City Getaway Sweepstakes

February 2000

Hi, readers! Have you ever entered a contest? Did you ever wonder what happened to your entry, or perhaps who the lucky winner was? Well, for those BSC readers who sent in an entry to last summer's BSC New York City Getaway Sweepstakes (and to those of you who never quite got your entry into the mailbox!), I have the inside scoop for you.

The original idea for this contest came from our marketing department at Scholastic. They wanted to do something special to celebrate the publication of our first BSC Friends Forever book last June. After brainstorming with our editors, the decision was made to have a contest that was completely and totally about the important friendships in our readers' lives. Each contestant was asked to submit a journal entry that described the special relationship between herself and her best friend. The prize was lunch with me and a three-day trip to New York City for the winner, her best friend, and a parent or guardian.

Susanne (right) and her friend Sondra (left) with Ann at Scholastic in New York City.

We received hundreds of entries from our readers. It's amazing to read about how much the BSC readers admire, respect and appreciate their best friends! And while it was difficult to choose from so many wonderful entries, it was finally decided that the grand prize would be awarded to Susanne F., a BSC fan from the mid-west. Scholastic called Susanne and her family with the good news in September, and we made plans to have Susanne, her mother, and Susanne's best friend, Sondra, come to New York this January for their New York City Getaway.

The date finally arrived, and we had a great time! Our lunch took place at a restaurant near Scholastic. Betsy and Tara, two of my friends from the marketing department, came along with us. They are always so enthusiastic about the exciting contests they arrange, so it was a lot of fun for them to get to meet the two girls responsible for the winning entry. Later, we headed over to Scholastic and visited with the series editors, David and Bethany. David had new books for Susanne and Sondra, and he showed them every step in the making of a BSC book. Then it was off to the art department to see how our new computer-designed book covers are created. When we parted that afternoon, Susanne and Sondra told me about all the exciting things they planned to do while in New York City, including seeing The Lion King on Broadway!

I was very happy that Scholastic let me be a part of the "prize" for the contest because I love having an opportunity to meet my readers in person. It gives me a chance to find out what they like about the books and what they hope to see in future storylines. I think it's safe to say that I looked forward to my date with Susanne and Sondra as much as they did! And to all the BSC readers who shared your stories of friendship with us, please say a special "hello" to your best friend from me.

Happy reading!

Love, Ann

Here's part of Susanne's winning entry:

I think my friend Sondra is great. I am not writing for the prize. I want everyone to know how great she is! I can tell her anything and know she won't tell anyone. Even though we get into fights she still forgives me. I can talk about personal things with her. If I look for a million years, I'll never find a better friend than her...

As I said before, I don't care if I win or lose this contest. I just want to let you know how great she is.