Author Julia Donaldson and actress Rachel Shenton are teaming up for a new book competition that hopes to bring more disability inclusion to the children’s book industry for World Book Day.
The National Deaf Children’s Society will open submissions for any story featuring a deaf character. The story needs to be written by a child ages 7-11 and between 200-800 words. The winner will get a chance to work with author Sarah Driver to turn this story into a published work. Donaldson will be the head judge.
Shenton, who won an Oscar for her documentary The Silent Child about a deaf girl struggling to communicate, stressed how much this contest meant to her.
“For World Book Day, which is such an exciting time for kids across the country to think about the stories they love, we need to remind everyone involved in the industry of how important disability inclusion is. From children’s authors to book publishers, featuring disabled characters and the experiences they go through couldn’t be more important.”
Donaldson has written two books about children with disabilities: Freddy and the Fairy about a fairy who learns how to read lips, and What the Jackdaw Saw about a bird who learns sign language. She expressed how excited she was to read these new stories.
“I loved working on that story, and now I’m delighted to be involved in this writing competition. I can’t wait to see the stories that deaf children across the country come up with.”
The submission deadline is April 30th. You can find more information here.
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