DA Siblings Win Writing Awards

DA students and brothers Oliver P. and Samuel P. recently learned that writing pieces they submitted separately to the Karina Eide Young Writers Contest won awards. The contest is sponsored by Dyslexic Advantage.

Oliver, a fifth-grade student, and Samuel, a sixth-grade student, are new to DA this school year.
“I am overwhelmingly grateful for the encouragement and community we have found at DA,” says the boys’ mom, Michelle. This has changed everything for the boys and our family. DA is helping them develop their confidence and potential!”
Mom Michelle is a big fan of the book The Dyslexic Advantage and its accompanying website and newsletter. She was aware of the creative writing contest they hold annually. When the announcement about the contest came up late last year, Michelle thought it would be a great chance for the boys to submit their work. “Even if they didn't win, I thought it was important for them to know that there are competitions like this out there and that creative writing is a valuable skill,” she says.  
Samuel and Oliver had both shown interest in creative writing projects this year, initially prompted by DA school assignments. Samuel has been using his weekly journal entries to work on a novel, and Oliver used a prompt given in class (asking him to incorporate a monster into his writing) as the basis for a story. 

The competition involved any creative writing piece by a student who is dyslexic, including excerpts from longer stories, up to 700 words. Submissions were due in February of this year.   Samuel chose to submit an excerpt from his school journal novel, Lost, which is about two friends who suddenly find themselves in a different time period, lost in a forest, needing to build shelter and devise ways of surviving in the wilderness. Oliver's story, entitled A Roll of the Dice, is about a boy who finds himself targeted by creatures from the center of the Earth because he possesses special powers (unbeknownst to him).

“Our family is so excited to be celebrating the boys' recent honors with Oliver being one of 48 winners in the nation of the Karina Eide Young Writers Award and Samuel receiving a ‘Unique Voice’ honorable mention!” says their mom Michelle.

Click here to see the March 2023 Dyslexic Advantage newsletter featuring all the winners of the competition. Find Oliver's story on pages 56-57 and Samuel's honorable mention on page 84.
This recent opportunity dovetailed with their interests in reading/listening to large numbers of audiobooks as well as a special opportunity to interact with an author. DA Librarian Jolene Gutiérrez noticed the boys' deep interest in reading and writing and arranged for them to be able to meet with well-known author Avi when he visited DA in January.  
Neither Oliver nor Samuel has been published before, but now both are eager to seek out more chances to submit works for publications and competitions. Way to go, new Mustangs!