Using the written word to tell your dyslexia story
This is the last in a series of blog posts about dyslexia stories by a member of Dyslexia Scotland. In the 3 posts immediately preceding this one, we looked at ways you can tell your own dyslexia story. In this final post we finish that discussion by turning our attention to writing your dyslexia story.
I have grouped the ways you can tell your story in writing into 2 sets below. The 1st set consists of forms of writing you would use to give factual accounts of your dyslexia story. In these you would simply tell your story from your perspective. The 2nd set consists of forms you would use to give creative accounts of your dyslexia story, such as a poem or play.
You can use any of the forms to write your story, whether you intend to share it or not. For example, you may find that writing your story in the form of a blog post, even if you have no intention of posting it on a blog, helps you to express yourself and focus your ideas.
If you find writing difficult, you can use voice recognition software to transcribe your story e.g. Siri, Dragon Dictation or Vlingo. Alternatively, you can make an audio recording and ask someone to transcribe it for you.
A. Blogs, stories on websites, books, letters, emails
- Dyslexia Scotland blog
Contact Helen on 01786 435126 or email email@example.com
2. RASP guest blog
RASP is a publishing house exclusively for dyslexic writers.
3. Dyslexia Action’s ‘It’s me’
Post your story to their website. You can include an image. You need to register first at http://www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/user/register
4. Dyslexia Together’s ‘Your Story’
Post your story to their website. You can do so anonymously. http://www.dyslexiatogether.org.uk/your-story.html
5. Write a book
If you want to give an extended account of your dyslexia journey you can write a book. Two examples of print books are:
- Rosemary Peel’s ‘My Dyslexic Journey’
- Sam Sagmillar’s ‘Dyslexia My Life: One Man’s Story of His Life With a Learning Disability’
6. Write a letter or email
- You can write a letter – which you don’t send – telling your story to anyone you choose. This allows you to say things that you would not say to someone, but which you feel. Writing letters like this can help to resolve painful memories and heal emotionally. You can write such letters to as many different people as you like. You can also write them to someone you have never met who has inspired you, or someone you knew who has died
- For models of emails which tell dyslexia stories, see http://susanbartondyslexiastories.com
B. Creative writing
You can tell your whole story or focus on one isolated incident or theme. 3 good models of this are:
- ‘D is for Dragons’, a poem by Anita Govan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmWgM_Hb8jI; and
- ‘Disobey me’, a poem by Sally Gardner
3. ‘To my favourite teacher’, a love letter to her library by Caitlin Spence
Once you have written your piece of creative writing, here are some ideas of where you can publish it:
- On google drive (you can self-publish here)
- Submit it to ‘RASP’, a publishing house exclusively for dyslexic writers http://r-a-s-p.co.uk/about
- Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Journeys’ Project
Submit your story in print for publication in the Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Journeys’ collection for Book Week Scotland 2015. You can use any form of storytelling you like e.g. poetry, comic strip, play. The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2015.
This series of blog posts on dyslexia stories has discussed the following points:
- what dyslexia stories are and how they can help people;
- other people’s dyslexia stories – some ways we can discover them; and
- your own dyslexia story:
a) how telling it can help you and others;
b) sharing or not sharing it; and
c) some ways you can tell it.
I hope it will help you to:
- discover other people’s dyslexia stories; and
- find a way to tell your own dyslexia story.
- Rosemary Peel: ‘My Dyslexic Journey’
Smashwords, 2013. ISBN: 9781301705429
2. Sam Sagmillar: ‘Dyslexia My Life: One Man’s Story of His Life With a Learning Disability’
- Text version: DML, 1995. ISBN 978-0964308718
- Audio version (cassette tape): DT Publishing, 1998. 978-0964308749
- The audio version is also available on CD.
- eBook: Barnes and Noble, 2011. BN ID: 2940012326744