B’nai Brith Canada presents an exciting educational initiative that promotes diversity and teaches valuable lessons of inclusion to elementary and high school students. The Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition invites high school students to reflect on the values of diversity and inclusion by writing and illustrating a story for elementary school students (Kindergarten to Grade 5). Through peer-to-peer learning, students lead the way in creating 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.
PRIZES! What would a competition be without prizes?
The winning book will be published as a hardcover, full-colour book. Imagine being a published author and illustrator before you graduate from high school!
attention high school students!
Calling all high school students in Canada!
Write and illustrate a children’s book that tells the story of diversity and inclusion for elementary school kids.
The winning book will be published and will receive a prize of $5,000!
2nd prize: $2,500. 3rd prize: $1,000
Deadline for entries is April 16, 2023.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN DIVERSE MINDS, WRITING COMPETITION?
All high school students in Canada can participate in the Diverse Minds competition.
CAN I WORK WITH A PARTNER?
Yes, you can submit your entry individually or with one partner. Groups of three or more are not allowed, and remember that you will split the prize money if you and your partner win.
CAN I SUBMIT MY BOOK PHYSICALLY INSTEAD OF DIGITALLY?
No, you must submit your entry online by scanning it in full colour, with and image quality of 300-400 dpi. Feel free to submit a physical copy as well, though is not necessary.
NOTE: the top 10 finalists will need to submit their work with the text and illustrations separately.
ONLY TOP STUDENTS HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING?
No, while the judges review several factors in the judging process, the most important criteria are the original story’s ability to convey diversity and inclusion to young children (K to Grade 5).
DOES MY BOOK NEED TO INCLUDE A TITLE AND A COVER?
Yes, your book must have a front and a back cover, with a title on the front cover.
DOES THE PAGE LIMIT INCLUDE THE FRONT AND BACK COVERS?
Yes, the front and back covers will be included in the 16 to 24 page limit.
CAN I USE DRAWINGS THAT I FIND ONLINE?
No. All illustrations must be original, as stated in the Guidelines. You must agree to this when signing the mandatory waiver.
CAN THE ILLUSTRATIONS OF MY BOOK BE DRAWN BY HAND?
Your illustrations can be drawn digitally or by hand. The only requirement is that they are original and can deliver the message of your authentic story. Be creative!
SHOULD EVERY PAGE HAVE AN ILLUSTRATION?
Entries should include a complete story with full colour illustrations, and include text and art on each page, but it is the student’s choice as to how they integrate them.
HOW MANY PAGES SHOULD MY BOOK HAVE?
Entries should be no longer than 24 pages, with a minimum of 16 pages, including the front and back cover.
IS THERE A WORD LIMIT?
There is no word limit, but keep in mind your audience is young children, from ages 5 to 10 years. You must type all the words on each page unless incorporated within an illustration.
IN WHAT FORMAT SHOULD THE PAGES BE IN?
The format required is PDF in a square format (9 x9 inches), and you must submit them online.
CAN I SUBMIT TWO VERSIONS OF MY BOOK?
No, only one entry per student/pair.
WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE IN THE BIO?
Your bio should be at least 150 word (max. 250 words) and should include your likes, hobbies, passions and anything else that we can use to write about you, if selected as a finalist.
CAN I USE MY BOOK FOR ANOTHER CONTEST?
No, once submitted, all entries are the property of B’nai Brith Canada. B’nai Brith Canada retains all rights of the content of the books.
- Deadline: April 16, 2023
- Read the Diverse Minds Rules
- Sign the Diverse Minds Contract and Consent Agreement
- Front cover with a title and back cover
- Minimum 16 pages and maximum 24 pages
- All entries must be high-quality scans of each page in full colour, between 300 – 400 ppi
- Submit your entry online as a PDF
- Student’s bio (150 – 250 words) submitted as a PDF
- Complete submission form
- Check for an e-mail confirmation of receipt of your entry
B’nai Brith Canada presents an exciting educational initiative that promotes diversity and valuable lessons of inclusion to elementary and high school students.
The Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition invites high school students to reflect on these values by writing and illustrating a story for elementary school students (Kindergarten to Grade 5).
Through peer-to-peer learning, students lead the way in creating 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.
We invite all high schools in Canada to participate in this year’s 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. Imagine being a published author/illustrator before you graduate from high school!
And there’s more! Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:*
1st Place: $5,000
2nd Place: $2,500
3rd Place: $1,000
The teachers of all the finalists will also each receive a prize of $250
*Where two students submit the winning entry, they will share the prize.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE:
The Diverse Minds Creative Writing Competition is open to ALL high school students in Canada.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Students can work individually or in pairs to write and illustrate an original children’s book for elementary school-age children (Kindergarten-Grade 5) on diversity and inclusion.
Students are expected to create children’s books that positively convey how these values can improve their communities, with a minimum of 16 pages and a maximum of 24 pages in total, with full-colour illustrations, including the front and back book cover. Each page must be square in shape and measure 9×9 inches in size. All pages must be the same size, including the front and back covers.
Once submitted, all entries will be the property of B’nai Brith Canada. B’nai Brith retains all rights to the content and distribution of the books. B’nai Brith will publish the winning books professionally. B’nai Brith retains all rights to the published books.
Students participating give full consent to use their images, photos and/or videos to B’nai Brith for promotional purposes.
The students whose submissions are chosen as finalists, along with two parents, will be invited to attend the awards ceremony to be held in September 2023.
The team at B’nai Brith Canada will make the initial selection of the top books per region. There will be a regional judging panel for Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto & Montreal. This panel will identify the finalists for their respective region. The other finalists will be filled with the top books nationally, regardless of city.
The finalists will be judged by a national judging panel who will choose first, second and third place national winners.
The bilingual judging process reviews the following criteria: originality, creativity, artistic and writing skills, clarity of the message, and the relatability of the story to the audience.
For any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
TIPS & TRICKS!
Masterclass Video with Author, Erin Silver
How to Write a Picture Book
KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND:
• Stories should be written and illustrated for 5–10-year-old children (Kindergarten-Grade 5)
• They should be able to easily relate to and identify 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 differences, physical/non-physical differences, gender, religious and cultural coexistence
• Choose one issue that you want to focus on so that your message is clear
IDENTIFY AND GET SUPPORT FROM YOUR TEACHER:
• Discuss the topic and story idea with your teacher before you begin
• Have your teacher proofread your work
• Ask for advice now
HOW TO SUBMIT
• All entries must be high-quality scans of each page in full colour between 300-400ppi
• 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 at [email protected]
KNOW WHAT TO SUBMIT
In addition to their story, participating students MUST submit:
• One Diverse Minds Online Submission Form (per story)
• One signed copy of the Diverse Minds Agreement as well as Consent Agreement (per student)
• One 150-250 word biography describing themselves and their interest in Diverse Minds
REMINDER: Students working in pairs must EACH submit their own copy of the Diverse Minds Agreement and Consent Form in addition to each writing their own bios.
Masterclass Video with Illustrator, Ellie Arscott
How to Illustrate a Picture Book
BE AWARE THAT YOUR ENTRY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED IF:
• You don’t submit on time by Sunday, April 16, 2023
• You don’t include ALL the required pieces (PDF of your book, bio and signed Diverse Minds Agreement and Consent Agreements
• You don’t follow the guidelines for page size and shape
• Your submission is not 100% original
IF YOUR BOOK IS SELECTED AS A FINALIST YOU WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO:
• Submit two PDFs: (1) text only (typed) (2) illustrations only
• Submit a video responding to a few questions provided about your book and interest in this contest
• Commit to participate in and attend the awards ceremony to be held in September 2023
• Mail original signed Diverse Minds Agreement as well as Consent Agreement of the participant(s)
Our winning books are produced in high quality paper with a hardcover.
All books are printed Canada in English or French.
Meet our winners from our Creative Writing Competition all across Canada.