Category Archives: Awards and contests

BPL short story contest winners announced!

The winners of the Burlington Public Library All-nighter Short Story Contest were announced at a special reception on January 27. Congratulations to Karen Kachra, Jennifer Mook Sang and—me! I’m very proud to have placed third with my short story “Poison Pen.” In addition to a cash prize, I received some wonderful feedback from writer Lynda Simmons, who was one of the judges.

I’m trying to decide if I should post the story here, or if I should try to refine it for possible publication. Your thoughts?

Maria

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I (mostly) survived the all-nighter

Okay, I’ll admit it. My husband was right.

I didn’t make it through the entire Burlington Public Library All-Nighter Short Story Contest. I made it to about 2:30 in the morning, at which point I did one last spell-check of my story and handed in my USB key. I’m not sure if the other participants in the contest were eyeing me with pity or envy as I crept my way back to my car and the comfort of my bed.

But I did finish my story, and that’s what it was all about anyway. I wrote nearly 3,000 words in six hours—whew! The hard part wasn’t the writing (we were permitted to bring in a hard-copy outline to work from); it was the editing. When I’m working on a project, I usually have to let it rest for a good long time before re-visiting and polishing it. Oh well, I’ll find out the results at a reception in the new year, after the judges have made their decision.

Thanks for all the support from my fellow Restless Writers!

Maria

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Getting ready to pull an all-nighter—pajamas optional!

Burlington Public Library is hosting an All-Nighter Short Story Writing Contest. Participants have from 6:01 p.m. on Friday, October 30 until 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 31 to plan, write, edit and submit a short story. There will be some great prizes and a recognition event in January—along with bragging rights for having survived the contest. Get Up

It’s been a while since I pulled an all-nighter, but I’m sure I can handle it. So what if I’m usually asleep before the credits run on House? Bring on the coffee and the 5-Hour Energy drinks—I’m in!

Maria

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Living on the edge

Imagine a place that is close to everything yet away from it all. A place bordered by the Niagara Escarpment, the Royal Botanical Gardens and acres of lush farmland. This is where we live. We are situated just close enough to blow kisses to city folk from our front porch—yet far enough away to wish upon a star.

We are a neighbourhood of thirty-or-so homes with our very own distinctive sense of place in the urban collective memory. We shop at the farm across the street, even if Tim Hortons is only a hiccup away. We roam the Bruce Trail and enjoy the picturesque waterfalls that spill from the Escarpment edge into the valley town below. Our children enjoy wagon rides, tire swings, and mini golf. The sun rises on our radicchio and sets on our solar lights. We share this setting sun with wild turkeys and coyotes; birds of prey and bunnies.

Our homes are simple, yet they hold the imprint of more than one generation. Our neighbourhood is blessed with character and characters—and we know the footpath to each other’s castles. We are a modest and conserving group of neighbours, complete with weeds and well water.

As neighbours, we ‘catch up’ over the fence while sharing a cornucopia of tomatoes, pears, apples and pumpkins. We recount drought stories, war stories…and love stories. We are writers, rock stars, farmers, teachers, veterinarians, and skygazers; we are all kinds, all cultures and all ages. Garage sales, corn roasts and outdoor movie nights keep us connected and preserve a sense of belonging. The place we live contributes to our wellbeing as individuals as well as to the vitality of our little community.

We live in the simple and in the sublime. We’re a little bit country, and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. In the words of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith: we’re livin’ on the edge; you can’t help yourself from fallin’—in love with this place we call home.

B Jas 

Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge

Note: This post is a recent submission to the Royal LePage “My Great Neighbourhood” Contest. Please vote for my submission here! P.S. Great places make for great writing. Do you have a place you are fond of?

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Near-mint cat and the CBC Literary Awards

I had the pleasure of dropping by a different drummer books in downtown Burlington last week; ostensibly to purchase the new Giles Blunt but really to play with Abigail, the bookstore’s new kitten. (RIP Manda, the sweetest little cat ever to drool on my knee.)

I mentioned to Richard Bachmann, bookseller extraordinaire and my previous boss, that I had recently joined a writing group. He shared with me some hints about the fall guest line-up and passed on a brochure about the CBC Literary Awards. The awards, sponsored by CBC Radio-Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and EnRoute Air Canada, are for English and French-language unpublished works in three categories: short story, creative nonfiction and poetry.

The deadline? November 1, 2009. The prizes? $6,000 for first prize, and $4,000 for second prize (in each category). The competition? Surely, impossibly stiff. But who are we if not the next generation of Canadian literary superstars?

Check out more details here: www.cbc.ca/literaryawards

Maria

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