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Diverse Minds Hamilton - B'nai Brith Canada

 

B’nai Brith Canada is proud to launch an exciting educational initiative that promotes diversity and teaches valuable lessons of inclusion and tolerance to both elementary and high school students.

The Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition invites high school students to reflect on these values and write and illustrate a story for elementary school students (Kindergarten to Grade 5).

It is about peer-to-peer learning and recognizing that students will lead the way in creating school communities where everyone is valued. The goal of Diverse Minds is to empower our youth to become role models for each other and understand that their impact reaches beyond their classrooms.

The inaugural competition took place last fall in Manitoba, and because of the huge success it was, it is being launched in four regions across Canada for the 2019/20 school year.

We invite all grade 9-12 students in Hamilton and area high schools to participate in this year’s regional Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition.

 

PRIZES! What would a competition be without prizes?

The winning book will be published as a hardcover, full-colour book and distributed to all Elementary Schools and Public Libraries in the Edmonton region. Imagine being a published author and/or illustrator before you graduate high school!

And there’s more! Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:

1st Place:      Student* will be awarded $3000. The supervising teacher and the school will each be awarded $500.

2nd Place:       Student* will be awarded $1500.

3rd Place:       Student* will be awarded $500.

*Where the winning entry is submitted by 2 students, they will share the prize.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

The Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition is open to ALL high school students (Grade 9-12) in Hamilton and the surrounding area.

 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

Students can work individually or in groups of two to write and illustrate a fully original children’s book for elementary school-age children (Kindergarten – Grade 5) on diversity, tolerance and inclusion.

Students are expected to create children’s books that show a positive message on how these values can improve their own communities.

Your book must be a minimum of 16 pages and maximum of 20 pages in total with full-colour illustrations.

The required format is square, minimum 9 X 9 inches. All pages must be the same size, including the front and back covers.

 

PRO TIPS:

 

Keep your audience in mind.

  • The stories should be written and illustrated for young kids (Grade K- 5)
  • The age is of these students ranges from 5 – 10 years old
  • They should be able to easily relate and identify themselves with the story
  • Keep the text simple

Take some time to reflect before you begin writing.

  • Story ideas will depend on each student’s imagination.
  • There are a wide range of issues that could be explored, including bullying, equal rights, accepting those who are different from you, physical differences, gender, religious and cultural tolerance, etc.
  • Choose one issue that you want to focus on so that your message is clear

 Identify and get support from your supervising teacher. 

  • Discuss the topic and story idea with your teacher before you begin
  • Have your teacher proofread your work
  • Ask advice

Note your deadline to submit.

  • All entries on due on March 9, 2020.
  • All participants/students will be notified by email of the status of their entry by April/May

Know how to submit.

  • All entries must be high quality scans of each page in full colour between 300ppi and 400 ppi
  • Submit your entry online as a PDF
  • All participants will receive an email confirming their submissions
  • If you don’t receive a confirmation email within a week of submitting your story, please email us diverseminds@bnaibrith.ca

Note the submission requirements to accompany your book:

  1. Signed waiver by the student(s)
  2. Completed form
  3. You will be required to include a Bio (maximum 250 words) and it should note your interests, hobbies and what motivated you to participate.

Be aware that your entry will be disqualified if…

  • You don’t submit on time
  • You don’t include ALL of required pieces (hint: PDF of your book, cover letter and waiver)
  • You don’t follow the guidelines for length, size and shape: Required format is square, minimum 9'x9', all pages must be the same size in full color. Scan quality should be between 300 dpi and 400 dpi.
  • Your submission is not 100% original

Additional requirements for Top 10 Finalists:

If your book is selected as one of the Top 10 Finalists you will be required to:

  • mail your original signed waiver.
  • submit two (2) PDFs: One with only the text (typed) and another with the illustrations without the text.

The students whose submissions place in the Top 10, along with their parents, teachers and principals, will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony presentation in May/June where the Top 10 finalists will be honoured/celebrated and the winners will be announced.

 

IMPORTANT DETAILS:

Once submitted, all entries will be property of B'nai B'rith Canada. B'nai B'rith retains all rights to the content and distribution of the books.

The winning book will be professionally published and copies will be donated to public libraries and elementary schools within the local community. B’nai B’rith retains all rights to the published books.

 

JUDGING PANEL:

The initial selection of the Top 10 books will be done by the team at B’nai Brith Canada.

The Top 10 books will be delivered to our regional Judging Panel, made up of local community leaders who will choose the first, second and third-place winners

Judging will be based on the following criteria: originality, creativity, artistic and writing skills, clarity of the message, and the relatability of the story to the audience.

CONTACT US:

For any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at diverseminds@bnaibrith.ca.

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