Grants to Help Patrons with Healthcare and Writing Contests for Kids | NewsBites

The Public Library Association (PLA) announces mini-grants and a new writing contest, and UNICEF and Stone Soup add writing competitions of their own in this edition of NewsBites.

The Public Library Association (PLA) announces mini-grants and a new writing contest, and UNICEF and Stone Soup add writing competitions of their own in this edition of NewsBites.


Help with Healthcare Enrollment

The Public Library Association (PLA) is offering grants and resources for libraries to help more Americans enroll in health insurance. Through a new initiative, Promoting Health Communities: Libraries Connecting You to Coverage , PLA is offering mini-grants to support up to 120 public libraries to help recipients disseminate information, educate, partner with health insurance enrollment and provider groups, and encourage community members to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace during the open enrollment period.

For consumers in states that use the federal marketplace platform,, open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15. Grant applications are due Oct. 21.

PLA also is providing all libraries with tips and tools to make educating communities easier.


Wanted: A superhero to end school violence

UNICEF and Comics Uniting Nations created a new supervillain—Silence, a supernatural character that uses its powers to stop children from speaking up and taking action against violence in and around schools.

Now the organizations are asking anyone 25 or younger to design a comic superhero to defeat Silence and keep kids safe in school.

Fighting, bullying, sexual harassment, corporal punishment, and the violence in and around school can have devastating, long-term consequences for children. The Silence superhero comic contest aims to encourage young people to be part of UNICEF’s global campaign to shed light on and spark action to #ENDviolence in schools through the creative medium of comic design.

Submissions are due Oct. 25. After a panel choses the top entries, the public will vote for their favorite superhero online from Nov. 16-25.

The winner will be announced in December and get to work with a professional team to turn their winning idea into a full-length comic book. Their comic will distributed to schools and children around the world and presented at the United Nations in July 2019.


Courage—in 8,000 characters or less

PLA has a new national writing contest, hosted in collaboration with Short Édition, the creator of Short Story Dispensers, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The organization invites writers of all backgrounds to submit short stories around the theme of “courage,” which the contest webpage calls “an essential element in storytelling,” that allows characters to confront fears and persist despite obstacles.

The contest is part of Fostering Creative Community Connections , an ongoing effort to promote reading and literary joy, community engagement, library programs and services, and creative expression from diverse writers.

Applicants can submit their fictional stories of up to 8,000 characters online at through Oct 30. Readers will have the opportunity to comment on submissions on the Short Édition website, where popular stories will be featured. Winners will receive up to $1,000 and have the opportunity to be published in Short Story Dispensers around the world.

A jury of editors, librarians, and authors will review and select winning entries. No purchase is necessary to participate. The contest is open to U.S. residents only. The guidelines can be found at .


Stone Soup Seeks Aspiring Authors and Illustrators

Stone Soup magazine and Mackenzie Press, in association with Nancy Gee books, announced The Secret Kids Contestopen to aspiring authors and illustrators age 5 to 18. Submissions of picture book, early reader, chapter book, or middle grade and YA fiction within the guidelines will be accepted. Prizes will be awarded in elementary, middle grade, and teen categories. Winners will receive $1,000, a book deal, and a subscription to Stone Soup. Submissions will be accepted until January 1, 2019.

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