Adults and teenagers are invited to enter this year’s Books by the Banks Writing Contest.
Cedric Rose, a Librarian at The Mercantile Library, is helping organize the contest. He is also involved in many of this year’s Writing & Getting Published events. Cedric explains more about the contest in this post and why Books by the Banks is proud to offer it for a second year.
For its second year, we’ve tightened the focus of the Books by the Banks Writing Contest. This year we are accepting fiction entries in both the teen (ages 13-17) and adult (18+) classes. We’ve provided a theme: “The River,” for those of you who like a little nudge to get the creative juices flowing. This theme is only a starting point, a prompt — stories aren’t required to include it. But this being Books by the Banks, why not give a nod to the river that connects us all? After all, it has a rich literary tradition that in the national literary consciousness has captured the imaginations of such greats as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. We’ve also just extended the contest deadline to October 1st to give teen writers, busy studying for tests, and adults with busy schedules another month to turn in their work.
Why, you might ask, have a Writing Contest at all? Because storytelling, no matter the medium, remains one of the most powerful means of communication at our disposal. Stories enrich our world. A world without stories would be no fun at all. And despite the fact that today stories can take many forms: images moving and still, sounds, drawings, video, film, they almost always begin as language, because that is how we most often communicate. And it is through language that we often express most purely our inner lives.
So the Writing Contest is an extension of what Books by the Banks is all about, a celebration and appreciation of writers, writing, reading, and storytelling. And when we say writers, it’s not just about the professional writers who publish books. It’s also about kids learning to write, adults writing for enjoyment, writers who are just starting out, anyone with the spark of an idea, a story they’d like to share. The McLane Foundation, which includes in its mission improving lives, building communities, and preparing young people for success, generously underwrites the contest because writing, at all skill levels, and writing education, furthers all of these goals.
Thanks to the McLane Foundation we’re thrilled to offer almost $3,000 in cash prizes, with no entry fee, to first, second, and third place winning fiction pieces in teen and adult categories. Because the Books by the Banks Writing Contest wants you to know that creative writing matters; it’s a skill worth developing, a skill with the potential to make the world a better place.
The mission of Books by the Banks is to entertain and enrich the lives of people in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. The organization works throughout the year to present and promote authors, while celebrating the joy of literacy and lifelong learning through reading and writing.
The premiere event is the Books by the Banks Cincinnati Regional Book Festival held annually in downtown Cincinnati. The day-long festival, which is free and open to the public, features national, regional, and local authors and illustrators; book signings; panel discussions; and activities for the entire family to enjoy.