First prize is $5,000 and tuition for writing course
By Sidney Cohen
Source: Toronto Star, A2, Saturday, January 3, 2015
“The contest is a wonderful way to discover new voices and share them with Toronto readers.”
– VICKERY BOWLES CITY LIBRARIAN
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
Such was the advice of Ernest Hemingway, famed author (and former Star reporter), on how to begin a story. “I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”
In this noble spirit, the Star, in collaboration with the Toronto Public Library, invites Ontario writers to submit their own short stories to its 37th annual Short Story Contest.
“The Star holds this contest every year to help encourage aspiring authors in Ontario to see their work published for all to read,” said Bob Hepburn, director of community relations and communications for the contest.
The first-place writer will be awarded a $5,000 prize — the largest of its kind for short-story contests in Canada — and tuition for a 30-week creative-writing correspondence program at Humber College’s School for Writers. Second place comes with a $2,000 award and the third-place author gets $1,000.
The winning authors will get to see their stories in ink on the pages of this, Canada’s largest, newspaper.
Stories on any topic and in any style will be accepted, but must be original, unpublished and no longer than 2,500 words.
“The contest is a wonderful way to discover new voices and share them with Toronto readers,” said city librarian Vickery Bowles in a statement about the contest.
According to Hepburn, it is getting more difficult for judges to choose the three winners “because of the overall quality of all the entries.”
Around 2,000 stories a year are submitted. The School for Writers panel will read all entries and shortlist 25 to 30 stories.
Bowles, along with critically acclaimed Toronto author Heather Birrell, Star book editor Deborah Dundas and Star theatre critic and author Richard Ouzounian will choose the winning stories.
The contest is open to all those living in Ontario and over the age of 16.
Stories must be received by 5 p.m. on Feb. 27. Winners will be announced in April. With files from Katherine DeClerq