Deadline for annual writing Okanagan Short Story Contest fast approaching
Promising writers are being encouraged to sharpen their pencils, get the creative juices flowing, and finalize their submissions for the annual Okanagan Short Story Contest.
The February 1 deadline is fast approaching for this annual fiction writing competition sponsored by UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), Kelowna Capital News, and the Central Okanagan Foundation.
The contest is open to all writers in the Southern Interior, and writers are encouraged to submit their original adult fiction stories that are 1,000 to 4,000 words in length (about 4 – 20 pages, typed, double-spaced). There is a $15 fee for each entry.
Top prize is $500 and a week’s residency at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in Kelowna. Second prize is $200 and $100 for third. Complete rules for the contest can be found at okstorycontest.org/rules.
Anne Fleming, FCCS associate professor who teaches creative writing, says the annual contest can often be a welcome acknowledgment that what they’re doing is worthwhile and worth continuing.
“Story contests give you a deadline and a reason to revise and make your story the best it can be,” she says. “There are a zillion secret — or not so secret — writers out there, and this is a chance to go public, to say, ‘Yes, my writing matters.'”
Shelley Wood won the contest in 2014 and says the recognition provided the confidence she needed to keep writing and continue submitting manuscripts. She has recently finished the first draft of a novel.
“Winning the Okanagan Short Story contest gave me the boost I needed to believe that I could, after all, write fiction that someone else might think is worth reading,” says Wood. “I’ve used that feeling to make more time in my life for writing, to take myself more seriously as a writer, and to dream bigger.”
Award-winning Canadian Fiction writer, Tamas Dobozy will help select the contest winner, as part of his duties as the Writer-In-Residence at UBC’s Okanagan campus this spring.
Dobozy, who has published three books and is an award winning professor, will spend two weeks on the Okanagan campus from March 7 to 18 meeting with students and writers to do critiques of their written work, visit classrooms, and meeting with local writers. He will announce the winners of the Short Story Contest at a special event March 16 at the Royal Anne Hotel.