Girl earns creative writing honour

Maggie Wehrle, 8, earns accolades in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s annual braille creative writing contest

Maggie Wehrle

Maggie Wehrle

Kendra Wong

Black Press

The dirt shimmers silver, dragons soar and one girl is tasked with stopping underworld beasts from stealing people’s shadows to nourish the hungry land.

This may sound like the beginning of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, but it’s a world that has come directly from eight-year-old Maggie Wehrle’s imagination.

Maggie’s story, The Underground Festival, won first place in her age category as part of the recent Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s annual braille creative writing contest. “I was really happy. I was really glad,” said Maggie, a Fairfield resident who is blind, about winning the contest.

Maggie placed second the previous two years for stories about her father and his pet pug, and one about three bears and a shark. But this year she took home the top prize for the four-page story that took her two weeks to write.

CNIB’s Alexandra Korinowsky said Maggie’s imaginative story told with astounding maturity impressed the judges.

A self-professed book worm, Maggie’s love for reading and writing began early. Her parents, Trevor and Melissa, used to read her Dr. Seuss books and The Chronicles of Narnia before she could understand. Now, Maggie has flown through a number of books including The Lemony Snicket series, Alice in Wonderland, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Hobbit and is currently reading The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

After finishing the Harry Potter series, Maggie was inspired to pick up her Perkins brailler to create her own fantasy worlds on paper.

“I like just being able to put my ideas onto a piece of paper. It’s fun,” she said.

Her mother Melissa, who is also a fan of fantasy books, said she can hear the sound of Maggie’s brailler early in the morning.

“Just the way that she uses braille is quite amazing. The fact that she finds a passion in writing, I’m super proud of her,” Melissa said.

“I’m happy she’s found braille really useful in that way that it’s not just something she’s using with curricular activities. I wake up in the morning and she’s writing. It’s a creative outlet for her.”

Since winning the contest, Maggie’s love of writing hasn’t slowed down. She is currently working on a story about a college girl and her overweight cat.

 

Just Posted

An eastern cottontail rabbit on the UVic campus. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Wild rabbits persist at the University of Victoria

Feral rabbits are still absent, but another non-native species has arrived on campus

Staff will be reviewing public feedback from second-stage designs for cycling infrastructure in James Bay, part of the City of Victoria’s 32-kilometre network. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria sends James Bay bike lanes choice to next phase

Design modifications based on community input to be delivered to council this summer

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

Emergency health services treated a person after they were blocking traffic at the intersection of Fort and Douglas Streets on June 17. (Evert Lindquist/ News Staff)
Victoria intersection traffic returns to normal after protester blocked roadway

A person in a motorized wheelchair was blocking the intersection at Fort and Douglas Streets

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read