December 03, 2007

Short Story Writing Contests

I recently came across an article on short stories contests and thought it'd be nice to share. The article described the short story as "an unfortunate middle child." That really got my attention as I'm sure it's gotten yours as you're reading.

Unlike poetry, short stories are not romanticized, nor widely read like novels, but it somehow finds refuge in literary journals such as the New Yorker, the Toronto Star, Broken Pencil and Eye Weekly. These journals all have writing contests on short stories, so if you are a New Yorker or a Torontoist, and you have a passion for writing short stories, perhaps you could grab this opportunity I'm about to share.

First, stalwart Toronto Star has its annual short story contest. The top prize includes $5,000 and tuition to the Humber School for Writers for Creative Writing. Submissions can't be longer than 2,500 words and must be accompanied by a $5 fee. It is important that your story is postmarked by Thursday, January 17th, 2008.

Research at 3 am? Can't do that at the library!

Broken Pencil is also pitting submissions against each other in a "death match." Writers will start blogs to beg the masses to "pick me, choose me, love me" and talk smack about the other entries. Readers will then vote on their favourites. (A similar "Idol" style contest was also attempted earlier this year in the States.) The winner gets $250 and published in the magazine. Entries must be between 1,000 and 3,000 words, and there's a $20 fee. The contest deadline is Monday, December 31st, 2007.

Each contest has its perks: Toronto Star offers the most cash for their prize; Broken Pencil probably has the most street cred. Make sure to read the rules carefully (especially on simultaneous submissions) so you don't get disqualified.

All the best:-)


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