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    Canada Writes

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    For all of you who are either sitting on a wonderful, previously unpublished 1,200 to 1,500 word short story or who write best with a quickly approaching deadline, the CBC Canada Writes Short Story Prize is open and accepting submissions until November 1.

    If Creative Nonfiction is more of your bag then you can relax a bit. Look for that contest to open December 1, 2011 and close on February 1, 2011. The Creative Nonfiction Prize awards to the best original, unpublished works of creative nonfiction that are between 1,200 and 1,500 words in length.

    And if you’re completely unprepared for either of those deadlines, or if writing 140 characters is more appealing and attainable than writing 1,200 to 1,500 words, watch out for the first Canada Writes Twitter Challenge on Tuesday, October 25th.

    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.


    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...

    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.

    Send Them Your Best

    by Philip Rivard - 0 Comment(s)

    It’s always frustrating to hear about a good contest a week before the deadline, leading to a crammed submission or missed opportunity, so we’re gonna pass this one along nice and early. It’s Freefall magazine’s 2011 annual prose and poetry contest. The deadline is December 31, 2011. This leaves five months to prepare and polish 4000 words of prose or 5 poems.

    Click here for full details and the contest entry form.

    Not familiar with FreeFall? Here’s what the Calgary magazine of "exquisite writing" is all about:

    Freefall was founded in 1990 and published by the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society until 2008.

    FreeFall is a literary magazine that is published twice a year in print. We publish poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, visual arts (artwork and photography in high contrast black and white format), literary reviews, author interviews, author focus.

    Mission Statement Is to encourage the voices of new, emerging, and experienced Canadian writers and provide a platform for their quality work. Although we accept work from all over the world we maintain a commitment to 85% Canadian content.

    The current issue showcases the 2010 contest winners, so make sure you check it out, to get a feel for the content, before deciding what you want to submit. The library holds issues of Freefall from all the way back to its first volume, 21 years ago, in the Local History room on the 4th floor of the Central library.

    The 2011 guest editor/contest judge is Stephanie Bolster. Stephanie won the Governor General’s Award and the Gerald Lampert Award in 1998 as well as the Archibald Lampman Award in 2000. She has taught creative writing at Concordia University since 2000. Check out some of her work in the library catalogue:

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