Earlier this year, I wrote an article about gender equality in picture books titled, Him, Her, Hen? Gender Equality in Picture Books. It really got me thinking, but also feeling mostly helpless to effect a change, short of writing the books myself. Because of this, I was THRILLED when I was contacted by a representative of Inclusive Works, an international organization actively invested in the creation of more inclusive societies. Inclusive Works achieves this by advising organizations on how to include and embed diversity in their every day work through the development and execution of projects that help build sustainable connections between individuals and groups in society. They also carry out research that helps us better understand the rationale and process behind decisions and actions that help and hinder inclusiveness. Right now, Inclusive Works is hosting a story competition - Children's Stories with a Twist and we all have the opportunity to change the face of picture books!
The rules for the competition are as follows:
- Has a title
- Shows that all professions, functions and lifestyles are open to everyone in society, despite gender, origin, economic status, nationality or life choice
- Breaks with traditional gender roles and stereotypes presents both man and woman in a competent manner in the other roles (eg father can competently take over the care of the children, women can race a Formula 1 car)
- Takes into account the multicultural society (for instance in the characters, their names, the composition of the characters, the place where the story occurs, the activityies, etc.)
- Is written for children in the age category 1 to 3 years old, or children 4 to 6 years old. The target group is stated in the front page of the manuscript
- Stories may be realistic or have elements of fantasy
- Optional: provide a description of the context of the story (what happens, what do we see, how does that look?)
- Maximum length of the story for children between 1-3 years: 600 words, excluding context description
- Maximum length of the story for children between 4-6 years: 1000 words, excluding context description
- The preferred languages for the manuscript are English and Dutch
- The story may be written in any language, as long as an English translation of the story is enclosed
- Submissions are sent in Word format (.doc or .docx) both by email and by post(1 copy) to Inclusive Works, subject 'Story competition new men-women roles in the multicultural society'
- Submissions should have been received by 31 December 2012 both by mail firstname.lastname@example.org and by post: Inclusive Works, Leidseweg 69, 3531 BE Utrecht, Netherlands
- On a separate page state your name, address, email address and telephone number
- Submission means automatic approval for publication of the story by Clavis Books.
You can email your submissions BEFORE 12/31/12 to: