Announcing the National Federation of the Blind 2015 Annual Writing Contest

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cover of The Heart of Applebutter Hill

As a sister/fellow writer, I was delighted to receive the following update from author Donna W. Hill about the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) 2015 Annual Writing Contest.

Donna is a writer, disability advocate, blogger, speaker, songwriter, and author of the young adult adventure-mystery novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill (pictured at left).

You can read more about Applebutter Hill, which depicts the adventures, setbacks, challenges, and successes of 14-year-old legally blind heroine Abigail and her guide dog Curly Connor, at the Donna W. Hill website.

About the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Annual Writing Contest

Whether people have been writing throughout their lives or are new to the craft, writing brings a wonderful sense of accomplishment, enabling the writer to share something unique with others. It can also be a therapeutic exercise capable of enlightening, transforming, and empowering the writer. It is especially valuable for students struggling with the many issues surrounding vision loss. Everyone has a story to tell.

The 2015 contest, which has categories for fiction and poetry as well as additional adult categories for nonfiction and stories written for kids, is open to all writers with visual impairments, be they novices or professionals.

NFB Writers' Division logo

Any topic or theme is fair game, though we are requesting this year that the number 75 be included in some way in honor of the 75th anniversary of the NFB. There is a $6.00 entry fee for each adult entry and no charge for student entries.

Prizes for adult first through third place in each category are $100, $50, and $25. Youth prizes for first through third place in each category, given for elementary, middle, and upper school levels, are $30, $20 and $10. All winners will be announced at the NFB national convention in July and will be eligible for inclusion in Slate and Style, the literary journal of the NFB Writers' Division.

There is no fee to enter the Youth Braille Writing Contest, which is designed to promote braille literacy. It is for students who are either studying or know contracted braille. Entries must be hand-embossed by the student, using either a slate and stylus or a braille writer (no computerized braille). Entries will be judged on both creativity and the quality of the braille.

Additional Contest Guidelines

The Adult Writing Contest

Excerpted from the 2015 Adult Writing Contest Guidelines:

The annual adult writing contest, sponsored by the NFB Writers' Division, opens January 1st and closes April 1st, 2015.

In 2015, which is the Federation's 75th birthday, the contest will, for the first time, have a required theme. All submissions will need to somehow incorporate the theme of 75. It does not have to be necessarily about the anniversary of NFB. It could just be the number 75, or perhaps the diamond anniversary, or 75 steps to your destination, or even 75 balloons ... let your imagination take over. Write the piece you want. Just remember to incorporate the theme of 75.

The categories are poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and stories for youth. The contest is open to all entrants eighteen and older.

All contest winners will be announced during the first week of July, at the Writers' Division business meeting, as part of the NFB national convention, to be held in Orlando, Florida. The winners will also appear on the website in the Slate and Style online literary magazine.

For a complete listing of contest rules, see the 2015 Adult Writing Contest Guidelines:

The Youth Braille Writing Contest

Excerpted from the 2015 Youth Writing Contest Guidelines:

The annual youth writing contest to promote braille literacy, sponsored by the NFB Writers' Division, opens January 1st and closes April 1st, 2015.

In 2015, which is the Federation's 75th birthday, the contest will, for the first time, have a required theme. All submissions will need to somehow incorporate the theme of 75. It does not have to be necessarily about the anniversary of NFB. It could just be the number 75, or perhaps the diamond anniversary, or 75 steps to your destination, or even 75 balloons ... let your imagination take over. Write the piece you want. Just remember to incorporate the theme of 75.

There are six categories: Elementary Fiction and Poetry; Middle School Fiction and Poetry; and High School Fiction and Poetry.

All contest winners will be announced during the first week of July, at the Writers' Division business meeting, as part of the NFB national convention, to be held in Orlando, Florida.

A prize-winning entry may be published in the Writers' Division Slate and Style online literary magazine. Each winning piece will be included in our yearly anthology of winners, with all entrants receiving an electronic copy.

For a complete listing of contest rules, see the 2015 Youth Writing Contest Guidelines.

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