Braille machine
Each year, Onkyo and the Braille Mainichi, two Japanese technology companies, sponsor an international contest to inspire people with stories about braille.

The contest is broken down into international regions and countries. The European section is co-ordinated by the European Blind Union (EBU). Its members in 45 European countries are responsible for the collection, selection and translation of the essays into English. In the UK, RNIB acts as the EBU representative and co-ordinates all UK entries.

This year’s competition

RNIB’s looking for entrants for this year’s competition. If you teach, learn, use, or know somebody who uses braille, this competition could be your chance to show off your creative writing talents and win some extra pocket money at the same time.

British entrants can compete for the European Prize by sending their entries to RNIB, we’ll then select the best five essays to represent the UK.

We’re looking for people to inspire others to find out more about braille and hopefully learn it. Here are some suggested themes, this is just for guidance, you can make up your own: 

  • How braille furthers visually impaired people's participation in political, economic, cultural, social and family life
  • Braille in the age of technology, using braille at all ages, braille and voting
  • Life with braille, those who use braille in any way or who would like to use it
  • Potential innovation, products and ideas for promoting braille throughout Europe
  • Amusing stories about braille
  • The future of braille
  • The advantages and disadvantages of braille over speech synthesizers and recorded books and documents
  • Braille and art, music or access to tourism.

The themes are very broad, and we welcome both factual and creative writing. Most importantly, the essay should be original, imaginative and inspiring. The competition is open to all users of braille (including sighted braille readers), and all ages.

The essay doesn't have to be long and can be any style, perhaps a poem, interview, or letter.