Tag Archives: writing contest

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!


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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


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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!



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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!


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