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    It's Contest Crunch-Time

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    There’s nothing worse than finding out about a writing contest you want to enter without enough time to put a submission together. I can’t promise that won’t happen here, as several deadlines from Canadian literary organizations loom on the horizon, but regardless of time constraints these are great opportunities to impose a real, external deadline on your work, which can really help to light a fire under your fingertips. Preparing work that is actually going to be submitted requires a different frame of mind that is healthy to get into.

    Plus, for the most part, your entry fee will pay for a magazine subscription, so you'll be supporting Canadian literature and even if you don’t rake in any prizes you're still a winner by supporting organizations that may one day may be the key towards building your curriculum vitae.

    Here is a list of 5 writing contests worth checking out, featuring categories in poetry, non-fiction, and short fiction, in chronological order of their deadlines.

    The Malahat Review’s “2012 Open Season Awards”

    Deadline: November 1, 2011

    Complete details.

    Writers’ Union of Canada “Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers”

    Deadline: November 3 , 2011

    Complete details.

    Prairie Fire

    Deadline: Novermber 30, 2011

    Complete details.

    FreeFall

    Deadline: December 31, 2011

    Complete details.

    PRISM international

    Deadline: January 27, 2012 (*Non-fiction category - November 30)

    Complete details.

    To keep things straight, I have created a little table for deadlines, word counts, entry fees, and prize money, to pin on my wall. Thought it might come in handy for anyone else considering multiple entries...

    CONTEST DEADLINE WORD MAX (for fiction) ENTRY FEE 1st PRIZE $$$$
    Malahat NOV 1 2,500 35 1,000
    Union NOV 3 2,500 29 2,500
    Prairie Fire NOV 30 10,000 32 1,250
    FreeFall DEC 31 4,000 20 300
    PRISM JAN 27 (2012) 25 pages 28 2,000

    Remember it is always a good idea to know who are submitting to.

    Read what these magazines publish, or past winners, before deciding what to submit to whom.

    The library has current and archived copies of FreeFall, Prairie Fire, and The Malahat Review.

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