Multilingual Creative Writing Contest For Children Launched

curaFUN, a nonprofit promoting inner strengths and multilingualism in children of Asian communities, has launched a creative writing contest featuring inspirational stories for the youth.

curaFUN, a US and Taiwan based nonprofit dedicated to the emotional and mental development of children in Asian communities, has launched a multilingual inspirational writing contest for youths ages 6 to 18.

More information can be found at https://www.curafun.com

Dubbed “Shining Moments”, the writing contest aims to provide kids with a positive and inspiring environment amid the challenges they have been experiencing over the past year.

Participants are asked to share stories of moments, whether their own or someone else’s, when inner strength triumphed. curaFUN hopes the stories will inspire other kids to act with the inner strengths of cooperation, self-discipline, communication, resilience, empathy, and multilingualism.

The entries may be written in any language. However, an English translation, whether done manually or through a translation app, has to accompany any entry written in a different language.

Contestants get the chance to win a cash price of $100 USD, which can be redeemed via a Visa gift card, or a gift card from a popular merchant.

Entries may be posted at the Shining Moments page https://www.curafun.com/shining-moments and may be “liked” and commented on. The story with the most number of likes by 1:00 pm PST on April 15, 2021 will be the winner. A leaderboard will be posted on the Shining Moments website starting in March.

According to a spokesperson for curaFUN, “The past year has challenged most families more than anyone could have imagined. We’ve also witnessed that words are powerful, in both positive and negative ways, and we can decide how we use that power.”

Individuals over 18 years, as well as those who prefer not to join the contest, may also share their own stories on the Shining Moments page to contribute to curaFUN’s message of positivity and to encourage the development of inner strengths in everyone, particularly the youth.

curaFUN offers evidence-based programs aimed at building inner strengths and developing multilingualism, particularly English and Mandarin Chinese, in youths of Asian communities around the world. The nonprofit’s founders believe success in life can only be attained by a good balance of EQ (Emotional Quotient) and IQ. The programs are available on subscription basis in English and Mandarin.

Interested parties can learn more from the website given above.

Why you should be writing

Writing heals. Writing calms. It connects and brings self-awareness. To write, we have to slow down our busy minds and focus on our purpose. It requires us to reflect on our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and see them clearly–which is why journaling has been found to benefit one’s long-term mental health even more than assistance from therapists. This process of reflection engenders self-awareness. curaFUN’s Shining Moments are personal narratives of when people’s character strengths helped themselves or their communities. Both the reading and writing of Shining Moments focus our attention on what we’ve done right, character strength goals and when we were internally rewarded/fulfilled by these inner strengths. One of my favorite authors, Epictetus, writes “You become what you give your attention to.” Shining Moments begins a positive reinforcement cycle by exploring inwardly for those moments and consequently seeking to demonstrate character strengths so we can create more Shining Moments.  Growth only starts when we put our attention and first recognize where we are, our strengths and weaknesses so we can enhance those inner strengths that we wish to possess.

When I first ask students to write Shining Moments, many of them come up empty and tell me they haven’t done anything great. They picture only news-worthy efforts at a Nobel prize level like Malala or Gretchen to be worthy as Shining Moments. That reasoning is akin to fledging falcons in their nests thinking they can’t immediately dive and soar like full-grown falcons so they might as well not try.

Start by asking yourself when you
1. Felt confident
2. Understood another person’s perspective
3. Worked well with someone else (teamwork) to achieve a group’s goal
4. Bounced back from a setback/disappointment and didn’t give up.
5. Restrained yourself from doing something that you wanted to but knew was wrong

Really dig deep and try to identify at least one example each from your life. This is no easy task because you’re not used to explorations like this. Start writing them down, and after a week, share a moment when you were the happiest with our community.