The Northern Marianas Humanities Council is calling on the LGBTQ+ community to write about their experience in the CNMI for a writing contest whose deadline to join is June 26, 2020. This comes as the world marks the entire month of June as Pride Month.
The writing contest is being done as part of Pride Talks, an annual program the NMHC hosts each year in June. NMHC program officer Farah Younis said the purpose for this writing competition is to “give the LGBTQ+ community in the CNMI another way to celebrate and move their fight for equality forward by sharing their stories and making the general public aware of their struggle and thoughts.”
The categories for submissions are: poems, essay or a short story. The essay and short story must be a minimum of 500 words. The poem can be any style, free verse, sonnet, narrative, etc. All works must be original and anyone plagiarizing will be disqualified. The competition is open to all ages.
A winner will be named separately for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The prizes are $500 for first place, $300 for second, and $100 for third place. The submission deadline will be on June 26, 2020. Include your submission with your name, village, and contact information. Submit all entries via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone from the CNMI may join the competition including Tinian and Rota. However, each island has its own competition and winners.
Last year, NMHC’s Pride Talks involved the screening of the film Boy Erased at the Regal Cinemas, with guest speakers from the LGBTQ+ community—a doctor and a pastor—who shared experiences, statistics, and perspectives. With his year’s contest, Younis said the council wants to “capture the voices of the LGBTQ+ in the CNMI by having them share their unique stories, creativity, and experiences.” (Chevy Alipio)