From the Contest Coordinator 2005

Entrants to the 13th Annual Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing contest have done it again! This year they have provided our judges with around 370 entries, each more rich and intriguing than the last. This anthology is our gift to you—evidence that the best of the best can be very good indeed.

As always, the highlight of my job was notifying those writers who made it onto the initial short-lists, and handing the short-listed stories to the judges. Theirs is the toughest job and the five brave souls who agreed to take it on again this year have my highest admiration.

Our judges include:
Diana Gabaldon & Jack Whyte (Storytellers Award) Jack and Diana are both internationally published best-selling authors. Jack is the author of, among other books, the incomparable Dream of Eagles series. Diana is the author of the best-selling Outlander series and the recently published Lord John and the Private Matter. Our deepest thanks go to Jack and Diana for their generous financial co-sponsorship of this award.

Elizabeth Lyon (Nonfiction) is a contributor to The Writer and Writer’s Digest. Author of Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write and A Writer’s Guide to Nonfiction, she is the president of Editing International, LLC, an editing firm that assists writers in the US, Canada, and abroad.

David West & Susan McCaslin (Poetry) David West is the author of five poetry collections, several poetry chapbooks, and articles and stories for adults and children. Formerly a poetry editor of The Fiddlehead, he teaches at Douglas College. Susan McCaslin is a poet and Instructor of English at Douglas College in Coquitlam, B.C. who has authored ten volumes of poetry, including A Plot of Light (Oolichin Press, 2004) and At the Mercy Seat (Ronsdale Press, 2003). Susan is the editor of the anthologies A Matter of Spirit: Recovery of the Sacred in Contemporary Canadian Poetry (Ekstasis Editions, 1998) and Poetry and Spiritual Practice: Selections from Contemporary Canadian Poets (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2002).
Our deepest thanks go out to these generous judges for taking on the difficult decisions leading to the selection of work recognized here.

Congratulations to this year’s winning writers!

Once again the vast and wonderful field made the judges’ job very difficult. Congratulations go out to all the writers who took the courageous step of submitting their work to this contest. As readers, we reap the benefits of their hard work in this anthology. Every story and poem submitted was read a minimum of three to four times—and most were read many times more than that. This contest continues to grow in scope and the depth of the field was remarkable. The winning entries on these pages made their way through a strong selection of excellent writing from across the globe. Stories, articles and poetry arrived for consideration from coast to coast across Canada and from many nations around the world.

Please read and enjoy these winning entries, and then sharpen your pencil and join us next year when we bring you the 2006 Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing Contest. September will be here sooner than you think!

kc dyer, Contest Coordinator