Vidahlia Press, Pubsoft Partner Up for Prison Writing Contest

vidahlia press pic postDigital publishing software maker Pubsoft has teamed up with independent publisher Vidahlia Press to show that inmates can use their creativity for more than just making license plates.

Pubsoft, which is touting the partnership as its entry into the nonprofit sector, recently announced that its software will help promote a unique prison writing contest, dubbed INK, sponsored by Vidahlia Press. The contest, which will feature categories including Poetry, Fiction and Graphic Novel is open to anyone who has served time within the last year.

First-place winners in the contest will receive a year’s tuition for an online or correspondence fine arts or creative writing program while prizes for second-place are $250 and third-place is $100.

A spokesperson for the contest said that more than 2,000 federal and state correctional facilities across the nation are participating. Winning submissions will be placed in an anthology, which will then be made available on Pubsoft’s digital publishing platform.

For Vidahlia Press, the contest is part business and part social agenda.

A spokesperson for Vidahlia said:

“The company has chosen to continue the struggle to end mass incarceration and recidivism through its participation in INK: The Vidahlia Press & Publishing House Prison Writing Contest. The contest also serves as a talent identification program for Vidahlia and is intended to provide opportunities for the incarcerated.
…The writing contest is a combination of the company’s desire to pay it forward and its belief that the mass incarceration of almost 3 million citizens in the Unites States includes many exceptional literary artists.”

“We are always excited to help our customers with world changing concepts. The Prison Writing Contest is one example,” said Pubsoft’s COO, Dougal Cameron.

“The Pubsoft system is the way for the Prison Writing Contest winners to sell and market content. The system will continue to deliver new content from future contests to the most engaged readers,” Cameron added.

“And, as a result, automatically stimulate the word of mouth activities which are crucial to marketing books.”

In a release, Roy J. Rodney Jr., president, founder and principal investor at Vidahlia Press said he wants the company to be “the voice of prison literary talent worldwide,” adding that collaborating with Pubsoft was a great way to reach readership and share incredible stories.

Rodney Jr. also noted that the company plans to continue reader engagement through various events and contests, including electronic products from music and video game treatments to magazines and collectibles.

Should more inmates be encouraged to write or use their creativity while incarcerated? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @10000words.