By Chris Traber
Eighteenth century author and poet Henry David Thoreau once said, “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
He was reinforcing the fact that the soul of well-written prose is brevity.
Now, if you’re a local resident, aged 22 or younger, with a penchant for writing, you are invited to enter the fifth annual Canadian Federation of University Women short story writing contest.
And, while literary innovator Henry Miller remarked, “Writing is its own reward,” this competition could net you a $400, $300 or $200 prize, some fame and the opportunity to read your work at the awards reception.
Organized by the federation’s Aurora-Newmarket chapter, in partnership with York Region Media Group, the competition’s goal is promoting literacy and encouraging young writers, federation contest committee co-chairperson Susan Lennard said.
The contest is open to youth who reside in York Region, Bradford and West Gwillimbury. The popular event launches today and the deadline for entries is Feb. 16, 2015.
This year’s topic is a short story beginning with the sentence,
“What was that sound?”
The maximum length for stories is 750 words and each entry needs to be accompanied by a $5 fee in the form a cheque. Winners will be announced next April. The first, second and third place stories will be published on the federation and newspaper websites.
The winning authors and finalist writers will be honoured at a reception in the Magna Room of the Aurora Public Library April 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m. The budding scribes will have the chance to read their creations to invited guests, including local dignitaries, family, friends and media, Lennard said.
“It’s a real and affirming feeling when young writers are recognized,” she said. “It’s very heart warming.”
Contest details have been sent to the heads of all York Region public and Catholic school English departments.
“We hope the educators will encourage their students to enter this contest for the opportunity of having their writing read and recognized beyond the classroom,” Lennard said.
For more information, writing contest rules, criteria and entry forms can be found at cfuwauroranewmarket.com.
Canadian Federation of University Women Aurora-Newmarket is part of a national organization. One of its mandates is education. The club directs most of the money it raises toward scholarships and bursaries. It presents awards of $6,000 annually to students in York Region.