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Short stories and poetry on life’s comedy of errors wanted in local writing contest

The entry deadline for the 8th annual Short Story and Poetry Writing Contest is April 30
The winners of this year’s 8th annual Short Story and Poetry Writing Contest will be unveiled at Quesnel’s first independent author book fair on Saturday, June 11. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Time is running out for inspiring authors and poets in Quesnel and area to enter the annual Short Story and Poetry Writing Contest.

Story submissions up to 500 words and poetry submissions up to 80 lines about “life’s comedy of errors” will be accepted until Saturday, April 30.

Bernice Heinzelman, a director with Friends of the Quesnel Library, hopes to see many entries before then.

She started the contest, which expanded this year to include poetry, two youth categories and honourable mentions, eight years ago.

“We have lots of people that can write and there was no venue for them, so I felt it would be really worthwhile to have people write their stories and then have the judges because the judges write comments for every single story that’s written,” Heinzelman said.

”I thought this would be a way to help people improve their writing skills.”

On the judging panel for short story is independent author Linda (L.G.A.) McIntyre who will be helping to select winners that meet specific criteria.

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McIntyre notes it can be challenging to write a 500-word short story that captivates readers from the beginning to the end.

“We take a look at it and see if we’ve seen a development in a character, the story progress from a to a z, dialogue that makes sense and moves the story along, and if we have experienced any sort of emotional context with what our protagonist or our what our antagonist is going through,” she said.

“That’s sort of what we look at and offer any insight that we see that we could suggest improvements to what they’ve created.”

Winners will be presented with their monetary prize at the first independent author bookfair scheduled to take place Saturday, June 11, at the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre.

Independent authors, according to McIntyre, do not receive the same level of recognition or support as non-independent authors.

“Like an art gallery showcasing local artists, it’s the same thing, and we really want to see the public come out and just take a look at what people are creating,” she said.

“It’s not vanity, and these are people who are serious about what they’re doing…and I think they should be celebrated.”

For more information on the 8th annual Short Story and Poetry Writing Contest or to download an entry form visit or

Entry forms can also be picked up from an arts bulletin board located at the Quesnel Library, the Quesnel Literacy Society, and the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre.

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