Write on, Quebec

Opportunity for literary fame and fortune

by Anna Frey

For the 11th year running, CBC is hosting the Quebec Writing Competition (QWC) this month, a short story contest aimed to promote and encourage the work and talent of amateur writers in the province.

The contest boasts a grand prize of $1000, publication of your piece in Maisonneuve magazine and in an anthology by Véhicule Press as well as a reading of it broadcasted on CBC Radio One’s Cinq à Six program.

In order to qualify for the contest the piece submitted must be shorter than 1200 words and conform to certain style rules. A payment of $10 is also required in order to cover various competition costs.

“Now that I know about [this event], I very much plan to enter it,” second semester Literature student Matthew Mancini said, “I definitely wish there were more [competitions like this], it’s great to have opportunities for amateur writers to showcase their work.”

While this event is not targeted directly at students, it is open to every Quebec resident over the age of 13. “Winners can range from their early 20s to 40s, but going by last year, all three winners were in their early 20s or early 30s I believe,” a spokesperson for the competition said.

Participants can submit as many different texts as they wish, though they must pay the entrance fee for each new one entered. Winners are chosen by a blind panel of three judges and are based on the criteria of originality, style, quality of language, relevance and overall artistic merit. Texts must fall under one of six categories listed on the website.

The deadline for submitting pieces is May 1, and winners will be announced at the Quebec Writer’s Foundation Literary Awards Gala this November.

In addition to the top three stories, ten runner’s up will also be honoured at the gala, though they receive no monetary award. “I would prefer being published in the magazine [over the cash prize],” Mancini said, “but really I just like the winning.”

For more information on contest guidelines and how to submit a piece of your own, visit http://www.cbc.ca/qwc.

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