Bilingual Contest Encourages Students to Write Beyond Language Barriers
A creative writing competition for English- and Spanish-speaking children is accepting submissions through Thursday.
It's the second year the Austin-based non-profit Voces Latinas has sponsored the event. The group says last year's competition was an experiment of sorts, but its success made the group want to do it annually.
"¿Puedesoír el vientosusurrando los secretosquevienen del airehasta la tierra?" dice Ana Allemann.
Allemann, 9, was one of last year's winners of the competition "El Niño y el cuento," or "Children and their stories."
Her poem asks, "Can you hear the wind as it whispers its secrets from the air to the ground?" Last year, Allemann received a gift card for her poem.
This year, Luis Ramirez says he'll publish a book with all the winning works. Ramirez leads Voces Latinas. He says he created the competition to include as many child writers as possible.
"Que las generaciones que ya están establecidas y las que vengan tenemos que integrarnos como comunidad a este país – aprender la lengua y conservar nuestras tradiciones y cultura," dice Ramirez.
“For those Latinos who are already established here, and for those who are arriving, we need to become one community,” he says. “One that speaks a new language without neglecting our culture and traditions.”
Allemann is not a Latina, but when she realized she wanted to be a writer, she felt one language wasn't enough to describe her feelings. She says Spanish helps her do that. And that's why she entered the competition with a poem written in Spanish.
This year's "El Niño y el cuento" submission period closes Thursday. Winners will be announced in October.