Birth Story Contest 2020

In 2019 we held our first Birth Story Contest. You can read the winners here.

This year, we continue the search for powerful, honest, and beautifully told birth stories.

If you want to be part of the Birth Story Contest Commitee check the positions here.

Are you a writer?
Have you always wanted to give writing a try?

The DSF Birth Story Contest 2020

Bring to life the beauty and intensity of birth!

The Doula Support Foundation (DSF) is all about celebrating the power of those who birth. Just as birth is a transformative experience, so too is the power of storytelling. The intention of the birth story contest is to get inspiring birth stories that help to cultivate a positive and supportive birth culture in our communities. It is also a writing contest because well written stories have the ability to make us feel and understand deep emotions like no other medium. 


The jury consist of:

Dr. Michael Klein: Dr. Klein is the author of Dissident Doctor: Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo. His early experiences working with midwives in Ethiopia were formative, leading him to question many standard but unjustified procedures in Western maternity health care. He has dedicated his life to family medicine.

Ying S. Lee: Mrs. Lee is a Kingstonian author of The Agency: A Spy in the House. This won the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award in 2011. This is a quartet series. Mrs. Lee keeps warm memories of her doula at her birth


Leanne Lieberman: Leanne Lieberman is the author of five books for young adults. Her most recent book is The Most Dangerous Thing (Orca Books 2017) about a teenage girl struggling with anxiety and depression. Leanne’s adult fiction has been published in many Canadian journals. She is currently working on a novel called Unsettled.

Sarah Chisholm: Sarah has been a registered midwife with Community Midwives of Kingston since 2016. She is on her second break from the profession to be a client of the practice and welcome her third baby this spring. Reading a variety of birth stories, both fiction and non-fiction, is what ignited Sarah's passion for midwifery and client-centred care models. 


What we are looking for:

We are welcoming many different voices and perspectives which are representative of the population of Canada. We want to be able to share all kinds of births, in different settings with different health care providers and support teams in different eras. 


A Birth Story (no more than 2000 words) that:

  • shows artistic merit;

  • highlights the beauty, the intensity, and the uniqueness of birth experiences;

  • challenges the unrealistic portrayals of birth we see on television, in film, and in forums across the internet that foment fear;

  • speaks to the birthing person’s power, capacity, and resilience and offers a powerful and realistic portrayal of what birth can be;

  • offers a different perspective, is stigma breaking, or promotes solidarity between birthers;

  • for those whose birth experience was not positive, is written in a way that captures one’s birth with emotion and honesty, and speaks to either one’s own healing process postpartum and/or how the person could have been better cared for in their experience.

How to submit your birth story

  • Submit your birth story at

  • Please specify “Birth Story Contest + your name” in the Subject line of the email.

  • Submit your story in a Word document. 

  • Please use Arial Font 12 points. 

  • Include the following information in a separate document: title of your story, name, address, phone number, e-mail address and a short biography. Your name should not appear in the story document.

  • All work must be original (not plagiarized or taken from anyone else) and have permission from the birthing person send to us by email (i.e., if you are a partner sharing your story, you must have permission from the birthing person in order to submit your story). 

**Once an entry has been submitted, no edits, replacements or exchanges will be accepted. No entry will be accepted after August 1st, 2020.

Who can participate? 

All those residing in Canada (irrespective of visa status), novice or experienced writers, who feel they have a birth story to tell.

Prizes and Publications

The first-place winner will receive:

  • $300 and a paper copy of the book

  •  will be published on the DSF website and in a book in digital and paper format.

The second-place winner will receive:

  • $100 and a paper copy of the book

  • will be published on the DSF website and in a book in digital and paper format.

The third-place winner will receive:

  • $50 and a paper copy of the book

  • will be published on the DSF website and in a book in digital and paper format.


The 15 honorable mention stories will be published on the DSF website and in a book in electronic and paper format.


All winners will be invited to participate in a Birth Sharing Circle in September.

Announcement of winners


Winners will be announced on September 1st, 2020 on the Doula Support Foundation website and Facebook page. 


Only the first three winners and the 15 honorable mention recipients will be notified personally by email.

Birth Sharing Circle

Winners will be invited to a Birth Sharing Circle to present their stories in September at TBC

Editing: Our editors will edit stories before the DSF publishes them with the agreement of the writers.

We, the Doula Support Foundation, will be publishing the three first place winners and the 15 honorable mention stories in an e-book and paper book and all proceeds will go to the Doula Support Foundation. Therefore, we hold the right to publish the 18 stories and will not pay any royalties to the authors. We thank them deeply for sharing their stories and supporting the DSF.

© 2020 Doula Support Foundation

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