Wednesday, August 29, 2012

International Children's Story Competition: New Gender Roles in the Multicultural Society (organized by Inclusive Works and the British Council)

Post date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Deadline: 31 December 2012

FEBE Support, Inclusive Works and the British Council invite you to enter our children's story competition. The theme is “New gender roles in the multicultural society”. Amateurs and professional writers are welcome to submit a story for children in the age group 1-3 or 4-6 years old.


In all societies traditional roles have emerged for men and women. Often men are portrayed as a person whose orientation is outside home: working outside the house, in a father role in his spare time. Women, on the contrary, are family-oriented, care-takers and responsible for the home duties. These roles are reproduced in children stories; by assigning boys characteristics such as strong, bold, adventurers and girls characteristics such as vulnerability, gentleness, caring, etc. Children stories represent these roles and characteristics sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly in characters for boys such as knights and warriors and for girls as princesses.

In addition to traditional roles, children stories often forgo new choices and life styles available in our present world: fathers who take care of the children, male-nurses, female mathematicians, astronauts or engineers. And that these new roles are open and available to everyone; regardless of their age, ability, background, education, language, nationality, etc. For this reason, the children stories should show these new roles in the multicultural society.

These new roles in the multicultural society are the themes of our children's stories competition and Clavis Books, FEBE Support, Inclusive Works and the British Council Netherlands invite you to participate by submitting an original children's story for either children 1-3 years old or children 4-6 years old that addresses the two themes of our competition.

Who may participate? Everyone! Amateurs and professional writers and every person who likes to write (stories); regardless of their age, ability, background, education, language, nationality, etc.

THE PRIZE: One winner will be chosen by the jury for each category: one story for children in the age group 1-3 and another for children in the age category 4-6. Both stories will be published by Clavis Books as illustrated children's book in Dutch and English. There is also the possibility that, if an additional story is found to be very original and meets the objectives of the competition, this one will be also published. The announcement of the winners and the award ceremony will take place in March 2013. The winning stories will be presented to the public and read by the authors. The books come out a few months later. Information on the date, location and time follows.


Your story submission should contain the following elements:

The story:
  • Has a title
  • Shows that all professions, functions and lifestyles are open to everyone in society, despite gender, origin, economic status, nationality or life choice
  • Breaks with traditional gender roles and stereotypes presents both man and woman in a competent manner in the other roles (eg father can competently take over the care of the children, women can race a Formula 1 car)
  • Takes into account the multicultural society (for instance in the characters, their names, the composition of the characters, the place where the story occurs, the activityies, etc.)
  • Is written for children in the age category 1 to 3 years old, or children 4 to 6 years old. The target group is stated in the front page of the manuscript
Stories may be realistic or have elements of fantasy.

Optional: provide a description of the context of the story (what happens, what do we see, how does that look?).

Maximum length of the story for children between 1-3 years: 600 words, excluding context description. Maximum length of the story for children between 4-6 years: 1000 words, excluding context description. The preferred languages for the manuscript are English and Dutch. The story may be written in any language, as long as an English translation of the story is enclosed.

Submissions are sent in Word format (.doc or .docx) both by email and by post (1 copy) to Inclusive Works, subject 'Story competition new men-women roles in the multicultural society'. Submissions should have been received by 31 December 2012 both by mail and e-mail. On a separate page state your name, address, email address and telephone number
Submission means automatic approval for publication of the story by Clavis Books.


For the age category 1-3 years:
  • Marilyn Haime, Director Constitutional and Legislative Affairs, ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations (Chairman of the jury)
  • Arend Odé, Associate Lector Inholland Rotterdam and Manager RegioPlan, Policy Research (jury)
  • Elisabeth van der Steenhoven, WO=MEN (jury)
  • Didier Boone, Centrum voor Gelijkheid van Kansen en Racisme Bestrijding - Belgie (jury)
For the age category 4-6 years:
  • Mary Tupan, Director Expertise centre Diversity, ECHO (Chairman of the jury)
  • Ed van den Heuvel, Trainer, coach and father of three children (jury)
  • Eduard Nazarski, Directeur Amnesty International (jury)
  • Kitty Bentvelsen, FEMCONSULT (jury)

For queries:

For submissions: submissions should be made by e-mail ( AND by post addressed to Inclusive Works, Leidseweg 69, 3531 BE Utrecht, Netherlands