When I was in grade school, I wrote a story that went like this:
One day Carol asked her mommy if she could go and sit on a rock. Her mommy said she could. After a while she saw a thing come out from behind a rock. She said, “Hey Mr. Turtle, where did you get all those legs and claws?” A big boy came and said, “Come little girl before that crab bites you.”
I had probably never seen a crab myself when I wrote that story, but I was doing what writers do. I was imagining what it would be like to be in a situation unlike my own. (Hint: It helps to do this well (better than I did) if you learn something about the place or culture that’s different from your own.)
Each year World Literacy Canada runs a writing contest, inviting kids to “Write for a Better World” by imagining themselves winding up, somehow, somewhere unfamiliar, somewhere different from where they’re living right now. The contest aims “to inspire a sense of global citizenship in Canada’s youth”.
This year I got to make up the “somehow” that would help kids get their stories started and I get to be the final judge of the entries. Kids in grades 5-8 can enter for a chance to win $$, other prizes, and a 1-on-1 Skype visit with yours truly.
Submission deadline is April 3, so get writing. Or tell all the kids you know who qualify about this great opportunity. I look forward to reading some great stories in April!