Monthly Archives: December 2009

Writing Contests

Deadline: Spring 2010
While the cherry blossoms bloom from March through May, you are invited to write your haiku with fresh inspiration. The poems will be judged during the summer and winners announced in the fall 2010. Winning poems will then be featured during the 2011 festival.
Please visit the festival web-site to view past winning haiku.
Literary Arts director: Steven Ross Smith

Deadline: January 15, 2010
6th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.

First Prize: $250, Second Prize: $150 Third Prize: $100
Honourable Mentions get swell Geist gifts
Send us a postcard along with a story that relates to the image. The relationship can be as tangential as you like, so long as there is some clear connection to the image or place.
Maximum length: 500 words, fiction or non-fiction.
Winning entries will be published in Geist and at
Honourable mentions will be published at

Deadline: May 31, 2010
1st Book Competition
The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University.

seeks original, book-length manuscripts by emerging Canadian writers who have not previously published a book. The winning manuscript, in each of the three contest categories of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, will be published by Anvil Press of Vancouver in 2011.
Complete information is posted on our website To discuss running a 1st Book Competition ad or copy, kindly contact Janel Johnson 604 879 7753 or by November 20th.

Deadline: February 1, 2010
Creative Non-Fiction on the Topic of “Migrations”.

The prize is $250 and publication in LAKE: A Journal of Arts and Environment. Length: 2500 words maximum; entry fee is $20 and includes a one year subscription to LAKE starting with issue #4. Creative non-fiction forms include personal essay, lyric essay, narrative essay, and memoir. Send to Lake: A Journal of Arts and Environment, Dept. of Creative Studies, UBC Okanagan, 3333 University Way, Kelowna BC, V1V 1 V7. See website:


Filed under Stuff to do, Writing Tips

A Few Weeks Later – the Manuscript/Coffee Shop Author

Just a short time ago, I was complaining about That Damn Manuscript!
Ah, good news! Can’t announce who yet, but my manuscript passed muster and the editor loved it! Expect to see it in print within the next twelve months (maybe optimistic).
I guess that is all I needed to hear. I have three totally quiet days on my own and I’m going to write a second draft – I’ve already pretty much written the end and I think it is quite good!
I always get so much done when I have a little space and time to write. I also realized today that it is time to get back to my “office,” the Wired Monk and I wish I had seen this a little earlier. It’s a great idea:

Deadline: April 30, 2010 (Register by March 15, 2010)

For authors wishing to hone their craft and enjoy writing at the same time. Authors register and secure the endorsement of their favourite coffee shop. They pledge to write the bulk of a novel, short story collection, poetry collection, or work of creative non-fiction at the coffee shop between November 2009 and April 2010. Registration begins November 1st, 2009 and continues until March 15, 2010. Manuscripts must be submitted by April 30, 2010. Fee: $30 (includes registration, vinyl decal for your coffee mug, and blog space to share your experiences with the world). First Prize: trip for 2 to Fernie, BC, registration in the Fernie Writers Conference, one week accomodation in Fernie, and the chance to have your work published by Oolichan Books.

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Filed under Writing Tips

Lying on the couch thinking

This in “I Saw you.”

“Your name is Max and you went to the wrong party.”

There’s a story here for sure…

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Filed under General

Exert From (ABS) Author Booking Service Holiday Newsletter

Here is my little write up in the ABS Holiday Newsletter:

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that in our house our most anticipated seasonal tradition is based on books. Two books, both unrelated but each one representative of Christmas – at least to our family and friends. On Christmas Eve, after church, we settle down in front of the fire, our plates loaded with mincemeat tarts, shortbread and other delectable goodies, and out come the books – both poetic but otherwise unrelated.

I am the designated reader, although guests are sometimes given the honour if they are not shy. “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” I begin, and many of you, like our family can recite the rest off by heart.

The next book is less obvious, but just as popular: The Cremation of Sam Mcgee.” We all recite the first line together: “There are strange things done in the midnight sun.”

“That’s not very Christmassy,” a guest once commented.

“No, it’s not,” I replied, “at least not to most people, but it is to us. It’s our tradition.”

Like all traditions, ours might seem odd to some, but like all traditions, customs and rituals, it makes sense to those practicing it. In this case, our family.

– Julie Burtinshaw

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Filed under Stuff to do

Perfect Saturday Except for That Damn Manuscript!!

Today I did only what I wanted to do: Slept late, read my book, read the paper, had a long bath, watched two movies – only edited first articles and finally unpacked both of my suite cases – from UK and Hawaii.
I went to the Canucks game on Thursday, which I loved and we won against Atlanta! I have finished my Christmas shopping and the house is decorated…wow – talk about organized 🙂
The only thing is, I haven’t written a word of my novel since returning to Canada. I suspect it is because the first draft (50 thousand words of it) are at this moment with an editor. We were supposed to get together for lunch last week, but she had to cancel and I haven’t heard from her for this coming week. Writers will know what this translates to: pure insecurity and fear. Here is what I think: She hates my ms and wants to burn it. In fact, she hates it so much she doesn’t want to call me and waste her time on such a pathetic loser of a writer. She hates it so much that she is tempted to use it as TP! I could, of course go on an on with this negative thinking, or I could distract myself with another movie and dinner out – hey that sounds like the better idea.
It is because of how I feel when I don’t hear from an editor, that I do my best to turn around first suite articles within 12 -24 hours. I figure a good writer has a great imagination and that can be bittersweet…
In the meantime, I just wish she’d call…


Filed under Give Me a Break