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Writing contests 2015

January 20, 2015

To enter or not? It’s a new year and there’s a whole new batch of contests out there. Some are free, many are expensive and my overall failure rate makes me wonder if I shouldn’t just buy lottery tickets instead.

Why bother? Contests = deadlines= discipline. For the past few years, I’ve invested in the Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar edited by Deborah Ranchuk. This very useful workbook  lists Canadian writing contests, awards and prizes organized by month. Buy it and set some deadlines!contest calendar

Another reason to enter is that entry fees = subscriptions for most of the contests. Subscriptions provide support to struggling literary journals and generate readers for new and emerging writers. Here are a few useful links:

The National Capital Region of the Canadian Author’s Association offers a good list of links to Canadian and international writing contests.

Brian Henry’s Quick Brown Fox blog has lots of listings– contests, workshops, tips and more for aspiring writers from this accomplished writing instructor and editor.

This Australian blog by Aerogramme Writer’s studio has a list of 19 upcoming contests.

And here’s an unusual challenge from Choreographer Maxine Heppner. She invites writers to send very short stories to be included in a public installation during the run of “OLD STORIES” on Feb 6-8. Writers are invited  to submit 50-250 word short stories about one of these moments: Serenity, Inspiration, Compassion, Apology, Determination, Joy, Burden, Anger, Desire, Kiss, Love, Past, Present, Future. Submissions by e-mail to oldstories@acrossoceans.org. Free! Perhaps the perfect place for those Harlequin postcard stories?

Winning a contest, or even being short-listed, is very satisfying. But you have to write to win.

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