Write Your Holiday Stress Away


Image from Fangoria advertising campaign

Writers are well acquainted with stress. We write it, live it, love it, haaaate it. Great ideas fade to black when our fingers aren’t quick enough, deadlines loom, rejections fill our inbox, the occasional computer system overload and crash. It ain’t fun and yet it is. We are a complicated group. We would wither to dried husks if we didn’t put pen to paper, or stare at the blinking cursor (such a good word for that @#$&ing little thing), every day of our lives.

Enter the Holiday season…if you are like the rest of us, this season suddenly appeared. Sure, it begins by lurking in your peripheral vision and leaking from covert store speakers. Then, you turn the corner and get a blast of red, green, gold jingle bells, disgruntled shoppers, and traumatized retail employees. Never is there a better time to disappear into your writing world and pump out your best stuff. There are even a few contests to enter your masterpiece:

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

POETRY Eligible to Canadian citizens and permanent residents under the age of 35, this contest is open to those who have been published in an independently edited literary magazine or an anthology. If you were published in our Bolo Tie Collective Anthology, that counts! There is no entry fee and the prize is $10,000. Finalists also receive the monetary prize of $2,500.

Submissions open in January 2019.

CBC Non-Fiction Prize

CREATIVE NON-FICTION Canadian citizens and permanent residents of all ages (parental consent required) are welcome to enter this contest. You may submit one entry out of a variety of non-fiction genres from memoirs to personal essays to travel writing. The entry fee is $25, but the winner receives a host of prizes including $6,000 and a 10-day writing residency in Banff, Alberta.

Submissions open January 2019.

Geist Work Shanty

POETRY This contest is international, but I couldn’t help including it. I mean, who hasn’t had a shanty rolling around in their head? We’re cutting it close, though, as the deadline is just around the corner. Entry fee is $20. First prize is $500 and a one-year subscription to the Canadian literary magazine, Geist. Bonus: you can enter more than once for only $5 each additional shanty.

Submission CLOSES December 15, 2018

Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction

SHORT STORY Balancing things out is the international Jacob Zilber Prize. Canadian residents only pay an entry fee of $35 (USA residents pay $40; international entries $45). First prize is $1,500 and the prestige of winning this particular contest. Entries must be previously unpublished and a maximum of 6,000 words. This contest is open to all writers.

Submission CLOSES January 15, 2019

Good luck, everyone.

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