Spring has sprung and at the CNIB Library that can only mean one thing…
Braille Creative Writing Contest!
The Library has offered this contest annually since 1997 and some of our past winners are all grown up now, and putting their creative writing skills to good use. Ben McConnell is just one example.
Entries for the 2012 contest have already started to trickle in, so we wanted to get the word out well in advance of the contest deadline (May 31). Creative writers…start your stories and poems!
For this contest, kids might send in braille versions of presentations they've done in school, or their life stories in essay form. And, of course, we always receive lots of fantastic fiction and poetry. Some kids re-purpose school assignments and some dictate or record their stories to work out all the details, transcribing them into braille to enter the contest.
Not only do we accept uncontracted and contracted braille, we also accept everything in between. Braille can be produced on anything from a slate and stylus or Perkins Brailler to an e-braille device (as long braille contractions are not the result of translation software).
For the next several weeks we're counting on Vision Teachers, Rehab Workers, O&M Instructors and family, of course, to encourage eligible kids to participate in this contest. At the very least, participants receive a certificate in print and braille plus braille comments from one of our judges. In 2011 our judges were Frieda Wishinsky and Lena Coakley. Comments on your writing from a published author…how cool is that? And, of course, there's the small matter of the cash prizes that kids can win, up to $200!
Everyone knows how I feel about braille literacy but did you know that several studies have shown that people with vision loss who know braille are far more likely to be employed than those who rely on voice synthesizers? That puts a whole new spin on the phrase 'cash for braille' that I've been using to promote the contest.
In the end, we're all winners though, because we'll be posting the best stories and poems on the CNIB Library website this fall, so everyone can read and enjoy them.
Read more about the Braille Creative Writing Contest, and be sure to follow the link to the 2011 winning entries!