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Children’s bookstore launches multilingual short story contest

Rainbow Caterpillar Bookstore, a Toronto-based bookseller of children’s literature in a variety of languages including Italian, Spanish, Gujarati, Farsi, Arabic, and Chinese, has announced its first-ever writing contest. The Rainbow Caterpillar Award for Writing for Children recognizes short fiction (up to 500 words) written for kids 5“10  in a language other than English or French.

In a press release, Rainbow Caterpillar co-owner Happie Testa says the multilingual contest aims to encourage vibrant literary production for children in foreign languages, but with a uniquely Canadian perspective.” Testa’s colleague Hanoosh Abbasi adds: We hope ultimately this award also helps parents pass their mother language on to their children born or raised in Canada … We feel that it is important for parents to have access to good books from their countries of origin, but also to put their ancestral culture in the context of our shared Canadian culture where many people speak more than one language on a daily basis.

The winning author will receive $750 plus publication in a collection, which will also feature 10 pieces that receive honourable mention. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 6. The award will be presented at the Canadian Ethnic Media Association’s annual awards gala in November.