Press Release: Call for Submissions from Story Shares

Press Release: Call for Submissions from Story Shares

STORY SHARES LAUNCHES ANNUAL INNOVATIVE WRITING CONTEST THAT POSITIVELY
IMPACTS YOUTH LITERACY

_The annual “Relevant Reads” writing contest, organized by the
Boston-based nonprofit Story Shares, aims to develop fresh content for
its broad network of readers across 44 states and 26 countries all
working to improve literacy skills. _

BOSTON – Story Shares, a nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring
reading practice and improving literacy skills, has launched its annual
“Relevant Reads Story of the Year” writing contest_. _The
call-for-entries began Aug. 23, 2016 and has a submission deadline of
Dec. 31, 2016. The contest is seeking submissions of books for young
readers in a variety of genres including historical fiction,
horror/suspense, fantasy and overall diversity. The contest also has a
“For Teens by Teens” category and accepts submissions by youth
(under the age of 18) who wish to contribute their unique voices to the
organization’s growing library. Submissions can range in length from
1,000 to 10,000 words. Full details and submission guidelines area
available at StoryShares.org/contest [1].

Like most writing contests, the Story Shares “Relevant Reads”
contest offers cash prizes along with publication in both digital and
print form. Awards range from $500 to $3,000. But unlike most writing
contests, there is no submission fee and those who submit work to Story
Shares will have a real opportunity to make a difference. The
organization has established a broad network of readers across 44 states
and 26 countries who are waiting for fresh content to consume. These
readers use the stories in Story Shares library to improve literacy
skills, either by themselves or with their teachers.

Throughout the four-month submissions window, the nonprofit organization
seeks to generate hundreds of such stories for its collection of books
— ones that encourage reading by being easy to read and hard to put
down.

The goal of the Story Shares writing contest is to generate compelling
and approachable content for readers who are in middle school, high
school, and beyond while also using language that makes it more
accessible and approachable for those who struggle with reading. A
diverse range of stories are sought so that every reader is able to find
his or her reflection in the books available.

Writers will not only have a wide audience at their disposal, but even
more importantly, their stories will become a part of the
organization’s mission to change the literacy landscape for teens and
young adults around the country (and the world) who struggle to read.

“Our writers and the stories they submit have an enormous impact. Tens
of millions of teens and young adults lack the literacy skills needed to
read the books written for their age and interests,” says Louise
Baigelman, co-founder and executive director for Story Shares. “The
value of literacy is so often understated when really it is a critical
stone in the foundation of a quality life and a strong-functioning
society. Each book reaches thousands upon thousands of students,
improving their abilities to read and write while preparing them for
greater academic and professional success.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as many as 90
million teens and adults in America lack crucial literacy skills, and
they don’t have the tools they need to change that.  Just 13 percent
of African-American, 16 percent of Hispanic-American and 18 percent of
American Indian fourth graders score at the proficient level. Close to
70 percent of high school students need some form of reading
remediation, and two out of every three students who cannot read
proficiently by the end of fourth grade end up in prison or on welfare.

Given the daily importance of reading in all aspects of life, lacking
this crucial skill negatively impacts everything from academic
performance to everyday communication. It also creates a cycle that is
difficult to break. A lack of literacy skills makes it difficult for
adults to stay informed, to participate fully in society, to continue to
learn, and to raise their children as readers.

“The Story Shares annual writing contest enables us to build out our
library, which meets the needs of the millions of readers who don’t
currently have a shelf of their own in the library,” adds Baigelman.
“The books produced through our first two contests have inspired
students who previously hated reading to read and write. In addition,
they have provided teachers with the tools they need to engage their
discouraged students.”

Story Shares works to empower and inspire struggling readers of all
kinds, including English language learners, students with learning
disabilities such as dyslexia, and students from low-income communities
who have fallen behind in literacy skills and reading comprehension. The
organization’s mission is truly a matter of changing an entire
landscape.

More information about the “Relevant Reads Story of the Year”
writing contest including contest guidelines, submission instructions
and official contest rules are available at StoryShares.org/contest [1].


###

ABOUT STORY SHARES

Story Shares is devoted to inspiring reading practice and improving
literacy skills. The nonprofit organization’s collaborative digital
literacy hub provides relevant and readable content for students who
read below grade level beyond elementary school. By leveraging the
combined powers of interactive web design and best practices in literacy
instruction, their platform brings together writers, readers and
educators to engage and support readers who struggle. For more
information, visit StoryShares.org [2].

---------

MEDIA CONTACT: Louise Baigelman, 610-716-4616This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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