Inspirational Beings

A competition for children aged 6-17 to write about a person of African descent who inspires them, created by The Abtar kids

Inspirational Beings is a collaborative project between the Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) and the Abtar family to gather in an anthology original stories written by children from Africa and her Diaspora about inspirational people, either from their own lives who they know personally or leading figures from history.

We are seeking to engage the creativity, imagination, and literacy skills of young people to showcase their​ unpublished original work. By taking part in this project, participants will learn and write about important figures in their lives, or icons from African and African Diaspora history.

This could be in the form of short stories of fiction, biographies or autobiographies, and poetry about, for example:

  • One of the greats in history like Marcus Garvey, Maya Angelou, Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Ture, Yaa Asantewaa or Nelson Mandela
  • A favourite uncle who has a mechanic shop inspiring you to pursue engineering
  • A cousin’s bravery in pursuing a professional boxing career inspiring you to choose the path less travelled to be in professional hockey
  • A local assemblyman/woman who makes community cleaning fun

This is a great opportunity for young people to:

  • Exhibit their writing skills
  • Cultivate their love of literature
  • Immortalise their stories in this unique anthology of African children’s stories
  • Develop their self-esteem, cultural pride and awareness
  • Foster an appreciation of the works of African and African Diasporan heroes for the cause of Black people.

Here are the submission guidelines:

Who can apply?

  • Any young person of African descent wherever they live in the world
  • Between the ages of 6 and 17
  • Viable submissions made by children under 6 may be considered

Research your inspirational being

  • Decide on who your inspirational being is based on what they’ve done and how this inspires you
  • Make use of your access to the internet, your local library and parents, teachers, and elders to help you learn and gather information about historical figures
  • Read, watch and listen to any publicly available information about them (e.g. newspaper and magazine articles, books, interviews, music etc.) and take notes
  • To write about a personal inspirational being, ask him/her for permission Gather as much information you can by asking the person questions
  • You can record their narration to allow for reference and help you when you’re writing

Write your draft

  • Use simple and plain language when writing
  • Divide the story into sizeable paragraphs
  • Define all jargon to allow everyone to easily understand
  • Your writing should not exceed more than 500 words

Review your story

  • Show your work to an adult for feedback and guidance
  • This could be a parent, a teacher, or an elder sibling to help you correct grammar or spelling mistakes

Submit your story

  • Complete the application form here: http://bit.ly/LOATADib
  • Upload all the required documents and files
  • Upload your story in English or any language of choice
  • Native language submissions must be accompanied by an English translation
  • Upload an audio recording of your piece read aloud by yourself

Submit your self-portrait

This fun addition to your submission allows you to express your artistic skills. It’s all up to you, so have fun and explore your creativity!

  • Draw a picture of yourself on plain white paper
  • Take a picture of your drawing
  • Upload the picture when filling the form

Rewards

  • All participants will be rewarded with a Certificate of Participation

Exceptional submissions will:

  • Split a cash prize of up to £400
  • Receive an additional Certificate of Excellence
  • Be published in an anthology sponsored by IG Smart
  • Receive book tokens (where possible) to buy books in your country

Deadline and publication timeline

Submissions deadline: Monday, 9 August 2021
Anthology launch date: Wednesday, 8 September, 2021

APPLY NOW

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