In Our Own Voice is an anthology series that publishes fiction written by Aboriginal writers from BC. The 2015 edition of the book featured writers from grades eight through 12, and Rebel Mountain Press and the Vancouver Island Regional Library have now announced a writing contest for 2016.
The contest is open to Aboriginal writers—as well as non-Aboriginal writers, for a different edition of the book—this includes status, non-status, Inuit, and Métis, who are 15 years old and over. The submitted stories must contain Indigenous content with “themes of cultural connections [or] contemporary issues”. This is a phenomenal opportunity for young writers to share their words, and to further conversations around Aboriginal issues.
There are two age groups writers may submit to: ages 15 to 20 or age 21 and older, and there is no entry fee. On top of all of that, there are cash prizes, and the 25 finalists will be published in the 2016 edition of In Our Own Voice, set to be released in October of this year. The book will be available at the Library, at VIU, and at various bookstores in BC. Some of the published authors will also be invited to read their stories at public events.
There is no denying the significance of this opportunity, as a space for Aboriginal writers to share their voice, and to express themselves in this way—a fantastic thing to be sure. For those of you who aren’t writers, submissions of original artwork are being accepted as well, and chosen illustrations will be published in the book.
The deadline for submission is May 15, 2016, and you can find more information about the contest at inourownvoice.com.