17th Annual SiWC Writing Contest

Deadline for entering is 4 pm. Friday, September 4, 2009.

Please read the following instructions carefully to ensure your entry gets due consideration!

SiWC Writing Contest Guidelines

2009 Contest Categories

SIWC Storytellers Award (Sponsored by Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon)

  • Winner: $1000
  • Honourable Mention(s): $150 each
  • Word Count: 3500-5000 words
  • Judges: Jack Whyte & Diana Gabaldon

SIWC Non-fiction Award (Sponsored in part by LPwordsolutions and The Writing and Publishing Program, Simon Fraser University)

  • Winner: $1000
  • Honourable Mention(s): $150 each
  • Word Count: Maximum length 1500 words
  • Judges: Elizabeth Lyon & Lois Peterson

SIWC Poetry Award (Sponsored in part by Quills Poetry Journal)

  • Winner $1000
  • Honourable Mention(s): $150 each
  • Word Count: One poem per submission; 36 lines max.
  • Judges: Bernice Lever

SIWC Writing For Young People Award (Sponsored in part by Lions Mountain Literary)

Writing for Young People is aimed at adult writers who produce work designed to be read by young eyes. Submissions can include chapter books, stories for middle grade children and young adults that meet our word limit of 1500 words. We do not accept picture book text or illustrations. Writers under 18 years of age are encouraged to submit to the Surrey Public Library's Young Writers' Contest.

  • Winner $1000
  • Honourable Mention(s): $150 each
  • Word Count: Maximum length 1,500 words
  • Judges: TBA

2009 Submission Rules and Guidelines

  1. The Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing Contest is open to all writers 18 years and older. Young writers should check out Surrey Public Library's Young Writers' Contest
  2. Submissions from employees of the Surrey Continuing Education Department, instructors in the Surrey Creative Writing Diploma Program, and members of the Conference Board of Directors cannot be considered.
  3. All submissions must contain original material, and may not have been previously published, accepted for publication, or have been a winner in another contest prior to the September 5th deadline.
  4. Four Categories:
    SIWC Storyteller’s Award: short stories 3,500 – 5,000 words
    SIWC Non-fiction Award: maximum length 1,500 words
    SIWC Poetry Award: one poem per submission; 36 lines max.
    SIWC Writing For Young People Award: short stories, maximum length 1,500   words.
  5. Standard manuscript format - double-spaced, typed, one side only of white 8-1/2 x 11" paper (letter-sized), each page to include title and page number only. No staples, please. Poetry may be single-spaced.
  6. Blind submissions - the author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript except cover page.
  7. Include a cover page listing the writer's name, address, email address, phone number, entry title, word length, and award competition category. Attach to manuscript with paper clip. All information is held in strict confidence, and will be destroyed after the contest winners are announced.
  8. In addition to hard copy, all entrants must be able to submit their work by email if requested. (This enables us to forward short-listed work to the final judges, and to produce the anthology of winning work in time for the conference). Short-listed writers will be notified in early October.
  9. Entries are also accepted by email. Please follow the submission guidelines as noted above and copy your submission into the body of your email. Send your email to "contest at siwc.ca" . (Use appropriate notation for all email addressed to the conference – we use this notation here strictly to keep the spammers at bay!) Attachments will be deleted, unread. The contest coordinator will print and format your submission (including a cover page) as per above instructions for consideration by the judges. Send your cheque or money order to Surrey Conference Centre, Unit 400, 9260 - 140 Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V3V 5Z4 Emailed entries will not be considered until the entry fee is received.
  10. No entries will be returned. If you want the receipt of your entry acknowledged, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard.
  11. Final judges: To be announced
  12. a) Mail deliveries: Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing Contest; Unit 400, 9260 – 140 Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V3V 5Z4;
    b) Courier or hand deliveries: Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing Contest; Unit 400, 9260 – 140 Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V3V 5Z4
    c) Email entries: Submit your work in the body of your email to "contest at siwc.ca" Attachments will be deleted.
  13. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: All entries must be received at the addresses noted above by 4 p.m., Friday, September 4th, 2009. No late entries will be considered.
  14. All entries must be sent by email, regular mail, courier, or hand delivered. Faxed entries will not be accepted.
  15. Only work which conforms to all the guidelines can be considered. Due to the volume of entries, we are unable to contact writers whose entries are incomplete. Check that yours meets every requirement before submitting it.
  16. The judges and conference/contest organizers cannot comment on individual entries.
  17. Entry fees: $15 per submission. You may enter as many pieces as you like in one or more categories, but each entry must be accompanied by the $15 fee. You may combine fees in one cheque or money order. Fees must be received by September 4, 2009.
  18. Cheques/money orders must be included with all entries, and be payable to Surrey International Writers’ Conference. Emailed entries must send cheque or money order by mail to SiWC Writing Contest, SiWC Writing Contest, Surrey Conference Centre address.
  19. Winners will be informed by October 12, 2009. Prizes will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony on the first evening of the Conference, Friday, October 23. Winners will be listed on the conference website www.siwc.ca in the week after the conference.
  20. Prizes:
    Storyteller’s Award: 1st Place - $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) - $150 each.
    Nonfiction Award: 1st  Place $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) - $150 each.
    Poetry Award: 1st  Place $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) - $150 each.
    Writing for Young People Award: 1st Place - $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) - $150 each.
    All winning entries will be published in the Writing Contest anthology which will be available at the conference Friday evening, immediately following the announcement of the winners.
  21. Submission implies the author is granting first right of publication to the SiWC, as winners will be published in our annual anthology. Rights then revert to the author. Entering the contest also grants the SIWC the right to publish the entrant’s name in the contest anthology and the SIWC website, should the entrant be short-listed for, or win, a SIWC writing contest prize. Please see the SIWC website (siwc.ca) for the SIWC's full privacy policy. In some cases, prizes might not be awarded exactly as noted, according to the discretion of the judges.

Direct any queries about the contest to kc dyer: "contest at siwc.ca"

NB. Young Writers should check out Surrey Public Library’s Young Writer’s Contest.

Thank you to our contest sponsors

LP wordsolutions SFU Writing & Publishing Program