Category Archives: Writing Contests

Hyperlocal: An interactive story map and competition from Canada Writes

Row housesCanada Writes, CBC’s online home for original writing, recently announced a national writing competition called Hyperlocal.

The competition focuses on what’s new and changing in your neighbourhood, and what those changes mean to you. They are looking for Canadians to submit their true, personal stories as text, photo essays, audio or raw video. The submission deadline is Friday, May 3, 2013. There is no cost to enter.

There are different ways to submit:

  • Text entry between 400-500 words (photo optional)
  • Photo essay and caption (3 photos + 50-100 word caption)
  • Video or audio (maximum length: 2 minutes) with a 50-100 word accompanying text

According to the Hyperlocal website, “Stories may touch on some of the big issues we face in a fragile economy, or may reflect small changes in a neighbourhood as it becomes gentrified, as the last post office closes, as a new restaurant opens with a fusion of cultures and cuisines, or as memorable characters move in or out.”

All stories will be posted online, and at the end of the month one winner will be selected by a jury panel. The grand prize is an interactive adaptation of the winning story by the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio and a laptop computer.

Throughout the project, you will hear from bloggers across Canada and featured writers—David Bezmozgis, Joseph Boyden, Esi Edugyan, Will Ferguson, Lisa Moore, Heather O’Neill and Miriam Toews—who will be sharing their own reflections on changes in their neighbourhoods.

In addition, the National Film Board will adapt five personal stories from the featured writers into interactive web-based story experiences. The full interactive experience can be viewed at www.nfb.ca, with each individual interactive story also displayed on the Hyperlocal interactive story map.

To explore the interactive story map, learn more about the competition, or submit your story, go to http://hyperlocal.cbc.ca/.

Bonne chance, all!

Maria

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Keeping it short: A contest and some resources for on-the-go inspiration

Isolated pencil with bite marks on“Short fiction seems more targeted—hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them.”

Paolo Bacigalupi, American science fiction and fantasy writer

Here’s a contest for those who like to write in short form—the Little Bird Writing Contest. Created by award-winning Canadian author Sarah Selecky, Little Bird showcases the work of emerging short fiction writers. Submissions will be accepted until March 31, 2013.

The first step is to sign up for Sarah’s daily writing prompts—your story must feature one of the prompts.

Next, take advantage of the free resources on Sarah’s website. Her Deep Revision e-mail series, designed to help you refine your story, is already underway. Her e-book, “The Incomparable Short Story,” has some essential tips for writers. You can also listen to a recording of the March 1 Little Bird Salon, a teleconference where she and contest judge Alix Ohlin answered questions from callers-in around the world. If you’re looking for a targeted online writing course, read more about Story Is a State of Mind.

And finally, submit your best work! Check out the Little Bird web page for submission guidelines and resources.

Looking for short inspiration on the go?

  • Every Day Fiction: Every Day Fiction is a magazine that specializes in presenting fine fiction in bite-sized doses. Every day, they publish a new short story of 1,000 words or fewer. You can sign up to receive a flash fiction story in your inbox every day. http://www.everydayfiction.com/
  • The NUB: The Nub is the first independent arts and culture smart phone/tablet application in Canada. The Nub provides users a new piece of writing each day from five of Canada’s top independent arts and culture magazines: Broken Pencil, Geist Magazine, Subterrain Magazine, Matrix Magazine, and Taddle Creek Magazine. Get the app for iPhone/iPad or Android devices today: http://www.brokenpencil.com/thenub

Maria

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Call for submissions: Love on the Road 2013

“It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking, never to go or stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion of love and longing; to be missed without being gone, to be loved without satiety.”

John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

BusinessTripHere’s a new project that seems tailor-made for restless writers–Love on the Road 2013. According to the project’s website, Love on the Road 2013 “will be an anthology of stories about making connections, from heartfelt ones ending in weddings, to less high-minded ones ending in beds (or wherever). Half the stories will be about travelers meeting people far from home, and the other half about people meeting travelers passing through.”

If you have a tale of ships passing in the night, suffer from incessant wanderlust, or are simply a restless romantic, consider submitting your short story (up to 5,000 words) by March 31, 2013. There is a $10 reading fee, payable via PayPal on the website. The top 12 stories will be published in Love on the Road 2013, a paperback book distributed through Amazon.com’s publish-on-demand service and an e-book distributed through Amazon.com’s Kindle service.

For more information about the project and how to submit, visit the project’s website: http://loveontheroad2013.com.

Maria

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A Little Patience

“‛I don’t suppose you could speed things up,’ Inigo said.” The Princess Bride, William Goldman

Skeleton waiting at a computerAs some of you might have read, one of the Restless Writers challenged me to actually finish one of my short stories and submit it to a literary journal or contest. Well, Beckie will be pleased to hear I have done just that. I just sent off a short story to the Fiddlehead’s 21st Annual Literary Contest.

Now comes the hard part—waiting.

The Fiddlehead will be announcing the results before the end of February, so I’ve got some time to kill.

That means three months before I find out if I placed in the contest at all, and three months before I learn if I can submit the same story elsewhere with better luck (no simultaneous submissions).

To keep myself occupied, here are a few of the things I can do until I hear back about the results (if I hear back—fingers crossed!):

  • Read some short-story collections, like Zsuzsi Gartner’s Better Living Through Plastic Explosives or D.W. Wilson’s Once You Break A Knuckle, to better torture myself on how I could have improved my submission.
  • Cram in my Christmas shopping. Watch out, Mapleview Mall, I have a VISA and I’m not afraid to use it!
  • Organize all my Stampin’ Up stamps, inks and papers into a beautiful craft box, complete with mini-scissors, snail glue and sprinkles…and give them away to someone who digs crafts. I am so not that girl.
  • Prepare a business plan and pitch for the Dragon’s Den. One of these puppies has to be a winner.
  • Brush up on my Spanish, so the next time someone calls me “Rojita Hermosita” I’ll respond with a blush and a thank-you instead of a blank stare.
  • Edit my sock drawer. It’s getting embarrassing.
  • Work on—and finish—another story. The Restless Writers are getting sick of my half-imagined, partially completed bits and pieces and want to see me churn something out. Don’t worry, girls, it’s coming!

I know the best thing I can do is keep writing. This is just one contest out of the many opportunities we short-story writers have to get our work out into the world. The secret is to keep writing and keep submitting, so the days spent waiting are productive and your chances of successfully getting published are multiplied.

Who else is playing the waiting game right now?

Maria

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House of the rising prose

A story lives here

What differs slightly from the short story, a folk song, flash fiction, and say, microfiction? Short prose.

I am doing this post to remind restless Maria to enter her work(s), because she happens to be a prosalicious genius. The kind of genius that pulls you into another world, teases your every sense, then punches you in the stomach (in a good way, of course). This contest is for Maria, and writers like Maria. So, listen up!

The Writers’ Union of Canada is accepting submissions until November 3, 2011 for the 19th Annual Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers. The winning entry will be the best Canadian work of up to 2,500 words in the English language, fiction or non-fiction, written by an unpublished author.

The prize is $2,500 for the winning entry, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines.

Writers Kevin Chong, Anne Emery, and Sylvia Fraser will serve as the jury. This competition is open to all Canadians who have not had a book published in any genre and who do not currently have a contract with a book publisher. Original and unpublished (English language) fiction or non-fiction is eligible.

HOW TO SUBMIT.

Time to let go of that manuscript. Good luck, Maria (you in?) and to all!

BJ

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New online community for Canadian writers: Canada Writes

Portrait of a woman using her laptopThe Restless Writers have been tipped off to a brand-spanking-new online community for writers. Canada Writes, which was launched by the CBC at the end of August, promises to be a useful kick in the pants for those of us who could use a little motivation.

Some features of Canada Writes include:

Literary Prizes: Formerly the CBC Literary Awards, the CBC Literary Prizes, in partnership with Canada Council for the Arts and enRoute magazine, are now made up of three separate competitions that take place throughout the year. The CBC Literary Prizes are now three separate competitions with three different deadlines:

  • Now open! Short Story (open September 1 – November 1)
  • Poetry (open December 1 – February 1)
  • Creative Nonfiction (open March 1 – May 1)

The First Prize winner in each category will win $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and publication in AirCanada’s enRoute magazine, as well as on the Canada Writes website. Four runner-ups will also be chosen and receive $1,000 each.

Challenges: I just missed the Autobiography Challenge (thereby missing the chance to win an iPad 2—boo). This challenge asked writers to come up with the title and back blurb of their autobiography. I loved the entry by Alexander McKinnon, DAMNED BAD BASTARD.

Features: Some of Canada’s top literary names will pen tips, essays and insights for Canada Writes’ readers. I loved Andrew Pyper’s article on why there is no such thing as writer’s block—great advice!

I’m looking forward to exploring more features to come, which I understand will include more challenges with prizes, online writing workshops, and interviews with writers from all genres. I hope you’ll check it out too.

Maria

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