2015 contest winner, Maggie Wehrle, sits at her perkins brailler with a radiant smile

About the Contest

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What is the Braille Creative Writing Contest?

Since 1997, the CNIB Foundation has organized a Canada-wide Braille Creative Writing Contest for children and youth. This important competition celebrates braille literacy and encourages young people to flex their creative muscles while practicing their braille skills.
Put the power of literacy at your fingertips! Write a short story, essay, or poem on any topic or re-purpose something you've written for school this year.

Who can participate?

The contest is open to primary and secondary students (grades K-12) who are blind or partially sighted and live in Canada.

What can I win?

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, first, second and third place contest winners in their respective categories will receive a cash prize! Winning submissions may also be published on cnib.ca. Plus, a few lucky winners will be invited to read their submission at the Connecting the Dots Conference! The awarding of any and all prizes is at the discretion of the judges, and all decisions are final. Contest winners will be notified via email in fall 2021.

What can I submit? 

Write a short story, essay, or poem on any topic (in English or French). 

We accept original poems and stories written in: 

  • Contracted or uncontracted braille (and everything in between)
  • Perkins or computer (6-key entry)
  • Computer braille is accepted, but all braille contractions must represent the work of the student, not braille translation software
  • If an entry is in partially contracted braille, the student must also send a teacher's letter explaining which contractions have been taught to date; the teacher's letter may also explain any special circumstances

Entries must also be accompanied by a signed entry form.

What are the contest categories?

Story/Essay

  • Group One (Grade K-2)
  • Group Two (Grades 3-5)
  • Group Three (Grades 6-8)
  • Group Four (Grades 9-12)

Poetry

  • Group One (Grade K-2)
  • Group Two (Grades 3-5)
  • Group Three (Grades 6-8)
  • Group Four (Grades 9-12) 

Who are the judges?

In 2020, we were fortunate to have staff from CELA (the Centre for Equitable Library Access) judge the creativity of the contest entries. 

We are looking for a volunteer judge for the 2021 contest! Publishers, library staff and children's authors are welcome to apply! Entries will be in both English and French. If the selected judge is not a braille reader, we will provide print versions of the entries. The guest judge typically has July and August to review approx. 50 entries and provide feedback. If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, contact Karen Brophey, Central Lead, Literacy at Karen.Brophey@cnib.ca for details!

How to Enter

Contest submissions for the 2021 Braille Creative Writing contest will open March 2021. Please check back then. 

Questions?

For more information about the Braille Creative Writing Contest, please contact Karen Brophey, Central Lead, Literacy at Karen.Brophey@cnib.ca.