“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
The Restless Writers were recently clued in to some contests being offered by The New Quarterly (TNQ), a magazine of Canadian fiction, poetry, and conversation. Their mandate is to nurture emerging writers by publishing and promoting their work alongside that of well-established writers, and to provide an editorial context in which both can be read. They’re published some outstanding Canadian voices—take a peek inside a back issue at their website. (I’m definitely ordering the special double issue 119, “The QuArc Issue,” published in collaboration with Arc Poetry Magazine.)
Here are the contest details:
The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest. Sponsored by TNQ editor Kim Jernigan and family in celebration of the man who sparked their love of poetry, this contest is for poems written in response to an occasion, personal or public—poems of gratitude or grief, poems that celebrate or berate, poems that make of something an occasion or simply mark one.
- Winning Poem: $1,000 for one glorious poem. Another $1,000 in prize money will be distributed as the judges fancy.
- Deadline: Postmarked February 28, 2012
- Entry fee: $40 for up to 2 unpublished poems, $5 each for additional poems
The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest. They are interested in unpublished essays of any length, on any topic, in which the writer’s personal engagement with the topic provides the frame or through-line.
- Winning Essay: $1,000
- Deadline: Postmarked March 28, 2012
- Entry fee: $40 per submission
The Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award, sponsored by the St. Jerome’s University English Dept. For a work of short fiction by a Canadian writer in the early stages. TNQ defines a writer in the early stages as someone who has not yet published a first story collection or novel. There is no word limit; all submissions are judged blind. Though there is only one prize, all submissions will be considered for publication.
- Winning Story: $1,000
- Deadline: May 28, 2012
- Entry Fee: $40 per submission
Please note: Entrants for all three contests must be Canadian or currently residing in Canada. Entry fee for each includes a one-year subscription to The New Quarterly. For full details, see www.tnq.ca/contests.
If you want to be kept apprised of other contest opportunities from TNQ, catch up with them on Twitter.