In partnership with the Truro Daily News, the club is sponsoring a monthly writing contest, and invites readers, young and old, to sharpen their pencils, boot up their computers, and put their imaginations to work.
It’s part of a 10-year commitment made in 2012 by Lions Clubs International to improve literacy and reading rates through the Reading Action Program projects undertaken by Lions clubs around the world.
From the beginning, Truro & District Lions were on board, donating a number of meaningful books to four local organizations the first year, and magazine subscriptions to eight local schools last year. This year, the club decided to stretch its boundaries and tackle something that could possibly reach the entire community.
The contest, which was announced in the Nov. 24 issue of the Truro Daily News, invites participation in two ways. Readers can enter a new contest with a new theme each month, submitting short stories of up to 500 words through the Truro & District Lions Club website at http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/trurons/, where contest rules and regulations can also be viewed. Entries for “New Beginnings,” focusing in some way on change or improvement, will be accepted until Dec. 18.
On Dec. 29, the fun begins for everyone, when readers can vote for their favourites among the short stories appearing in print and on-line at http://www.trurodaily.com. Once the votes for the first contest are tallied, the contributor who receives the most votes will be awarded a copy of Amazing Tales from Nova Scotia, a collection of stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, written by local author Hattie Dyck.
Although the first theme and prize are suitable for writers and readers of all ages, some of the contests will be seeking entries from particular age groups and offering age-specific prizes.
Like Hattie Dyck, writers from across the Maritimes have been quick to lend their support with book donations, writing tips, and thoughts on literacy to share with readers during the months their books are featured.
Writers have been quick to offer words of encouragement for the project. When asked to participate, Laura Best, a writer of Young Adult novels, responded with, “Your Reading Action Program sounds simply marvelous! I'm excited to know that the Lions Club and the Truro Daily News are working together to encourage reading and writing. Having a granddaughter who started reading at the age of three, I certainly see the importance of encouraging literacy at a young age, and any age.”
Writer and health educator Heather MacKenzie Carey shared this personal experience. “Not only is literacy near and dear to my heart, the Lions Club is as well. My father was a Lion and I fondly remember the Christmas father/daughter banquet every year. It sort of marked the beginning of the “Christmas season” for me. I clearly recall being “dressed up fancy” (not something my mother could convince me to do often!), Dad wearing his Lion hat, as I held his hand, walking into the very “grown-up style” meal. Wonderful memories!”
You are invited to share the excitement! Write, read, vote!
Joyce Gero is the 2014-15 public relations chairwoman for the Truro & District Lions Club.