Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Days of You Away: A Visual Treat

I've been sorting through the mountains of papers around my desk, and came across a... well, I don't know what to call it except a "graphic short story" (like a graphic novel, but short?) I created YEARS ago. I wish I'd dated it because I don't remember exactly when I made this thing, or even why. Maybe I just felt like drawing naked people. hehe

By way of explanation, this short story is basically a letter a day from a girlfriend to her boyfriend, who seems to have gone on vacation without her. That spells trouble, of course.

You'll notice that, because these are "letters," I actually drew them on the kind of stationary you might recognize from your childhood (primarily because it's left over from MY childhood LOL).

Okay, so there's one letter per day for the next 7 days. Some are very NSFW. Here we go:


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Writing Made Me A Better Person

Sometimes I look back on the person I was before I became a writer and I shake me head. If I met that person today, I wouldn't want to hang out with her. I would think she was mean and bitchy and tremendously callous. I wouldn't want to be her friend.

Of course, me being me, I have access to all my memories and experiences. I can psychoanalyze myself and explain away certain tendencies and behaviours. But part of my establishment of Self involved getting a job in business... in downtown Toronto... right out of university. As other Canadians will freely tell you, a lot of people in business in downtown Toronto are not so nice. Maybe we're talking on a Canadian scale here, but nevertheless, working in business plunked me right up against some crazy fucks.

I figure there are only two directions you can go when your clients are assholes. No, I just changed my mind. There are three:

1) You can become meek and submissive, just hoping if you keep your head down low enough and don't stop apologizing, they might not yell at you today. 2) You can have a complete emotional shut-down, so that you just don't care if you're being chewed out every day. 3) You can become an asshole too.

For me, it was a combination of 2 and 3, I think. Maybe I'm being a touch hard on myself, and of course there are always other factors at play, but before I started writing, I just wasn't a very nice person.

Let's skip ahead a few years to the days when I've just started writing and submitting my work to publishers. No, let's skip even further forward to the days when my work has been accepted for publication and I'm started to get those "join our author yahoo group" links.

I came into publishing quite naively, but I distinctly remember thinking, "Everybody's going to be ruthless. Everybody's out to get me. Everybody wants their book to sell and mine to fail."
I don't believe that anymore. Sure, I'm aware of those few and far between authors who will trash competitors' books on Amazon, but from what I've encountered, authors in the romance/erotic fiction genres are the absolute best and most giving people... ever!

When I was a novice, just coming into writing professionally, I had no idea what to expect. What I found, at every turn, were other authors willing to help. No, WANTING to help. Because we all remember what it felt like to know nothing and feel insignificant. I couldn't believe how at home I felt with other writers. I thought they'd be mean, because I was used to people being mean to me. Instead, I found I'd stumbled upon the most giving, loving, generous, and caring people I'd ever encountered.

And other authors' generosity encouraged me to be generous too. As soon as I'd established a blog I opened it up for interviews and granted authors lots of free promo opportunities. So many people in this industry went above and beyond for me. When you're not used to "nice," "nice" can be a thing of inspiration.

My change in attitude has extended out into other aspects of my life too. As an author, you're bound to get some bad reviews along the way, and god knows I've had my fair share. I know how it impacts me when somebody out there in the world, somebody who doesn't know me and maybe doesn't even realize I'm a real person, says something scathing or cruel or just plain... mean.

That hurts. As a result, I'm now very careful how I talk about other people, even if they are celebrities to some degree. Twitter makes it very easy to hear what others are saying about us, and I would never, never want to make another human being feel as down as I have felt at times.

I think about other people now. I really didn't do that before I started writing professionally. I care about people I've never met. I want other authors to succeed. I want other people to feel happy and proud of their accomplishments, not depressed or ashamed.

I care about other people. I'm excited about other authors' projects. I want them to have great sales and great reviews. That's how writing made me a better person.

Hugs,
Giselle

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Call for Submissions: Sex: Unknown, A Digital Zine By and For Intersex Folks

Today, a call for subs for those of you who identify as intersex. Get writing!

Call for Submissions! Deadline April 1, 2012

SEX: UNKNOWN
A Digital Zine By and For Intersex Folks

Call for Submissions! Deadline: April 1, 2012
*Please forward widely*

As intersex people, we often feel alienated from queer and trans communities, our identities invisibilized within the discourse of “LGBT.” Because our experiences are portrayed as highly medicalized conditions in most forms of popular media, we want to give voice to our personal experiences and create a more complete picture of our emotional and social lives as intersex folks.

Our purpose is to create a digital zine in which to share our stories and our struggles, build a network of community support and foster transformative healing. We want to show a broad spectrum of our backgrounds with regards to race, ethnicity, class, sex, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and nationality. This is about who we are and how we feel. We are not alone.

We invite self-identified intersex folks to send us stories, poems, narratives and visual art pieces on the feelings, experiences and struggles of living in our sexes/genders. What does intersex mean to you? How does being intersex affect your relationships with family, friends and partners? What is your experience to coming out? How do you connect to your sex and/or gender?

Send us your poems, stories, memoir/autobiography/non-fiction or other writings (limit 1,500 words, as .DOC attachments) and visual art (as .JPG attachments) to intersex.zine [at] gmail [dot] com. Please submit no more than 5 pieces total. Include your preferred name, location, age and email address. Anonymous submissions are acceptable. Let us know if your pieces have been previously published. We look forward to connecting with you!

DEADLINE: APRIL 1, 2012

The Editors:
This project is put together with love by a group of queer POC writers and activists living in Oakland and Berkeley, California. Chi Mei Tam is an intersex genderqueer Chinese American immigrant who grew up in Oakland. She is a passionate organizer for social and economic justice, specifically for immigrant and queer communities. Dylan Casama is a tomboyish boy Pinoy. He writes intersex love and ghost stories. See him published at http://www.theintersection.org/iwl/2011. Jai Arun Ravine is a trans-identified mixed race Thai American artist and ally to the intersex community. They are excited to support Chi Mei and Dylan in the production and design of this zine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Justine Elyot Guest Post: Anything But Vanilla

Guess who's here? It's Justine Elyot, with a guest post called 'Anything But Vanilla.' I'm handing it over. Here I go. Here she is:

Vanilla was just a flavour of ice-cream when I first took an interest in BDSM. And
BDSM wasn't called BDSM then, either. It was the sexier, but more misleading,
S&M. How it delighted me that this was an inversion of my mother's favourite shop,
M&S. In a way, it still does. (Though her favourite shop is John Lewis now – not
much perversion potential there.)

But S&M wasn't right – I'm not and never will be a masochist. I don't find pain
sexually arousing. But I do like BDSM. From my late teens onward I got my hands on
a variety of kinky classics and devoured them like ripe melons in the desert, though I
made sure nobody else saw me at the feast. From The Story of O to its more modern
counterpart, Carrie's Story, I lapped it up.

But then the internet happened, and I started to wonder if I really liked BDSM as
much as I thought. I found a site with stories on, but they were, in the main, far more
extreme than anything I fantasised about. I wasn't interested in being suffocated with
polythene, for instance, or undergoing extreme torture. I read a number of things that
disturbed me at the time, though I'd never question the writers' right to publish them.
All the same, I retreated a bit and looked for tamer pastures.

Then it struck me. I could just write my own stuff, to cater to my own tastes. Maybe
too mild for some, too extreme for others – as with pretty much everything, kink has
a spectrum. You are where you are on it and it's nothing to feel inadequate about.
Unless you get off on feeling inadequate, of course, in which case – go for your life.

My quandary with finding good BDSM reading material is mirrored by the dilemma
of my heroine, Cherry, in Meeting Her Match. But she isn't looking for a dirty book –
she's looking for a dom. Of course, just like the stories, doms come in varying degrees
of strength. Some of the dynamics she experiments with are not to her taste, some of
them decidedly are. But she gives it a go, and she learns in the process.

Here's an excerpt:

In the hotel room, we dressed again, this time surrounded by luxury and history
instead of cheap felt carpeting and plasterboard walls. Justin had bought a new
martinet at Shepherds Bush Market and was swishing it to and fro while Maz rubbed
gold-flecked lotion all over my bare flesh, which took some time.

"So you're feeling brave?" Maz asked gently, reaching deep down into my cleavage
and working the ointment in. "You want to go through with what we talked about?"

"I think so. Dressed like this makes me want to even more. Funny how just changing
clothes can get you into a mindset."

"It's good, isn't it?" Justin grinned, wrapping the leather fronds of the whip around
one of the bedposts with a flick of the wrist. "How something as simple as showing a
lot of skin can make a person feel submissive. And when you add collars and cuffs to
that…"

"It's a bit like magic," I agreed. "Before a word's been said, I want to kiss somebody's
feet."

"Kiss mine if you like," offered Maz, giggling.

They were cute feet, toes wriggling in gladiator sandals, but I decided to pass for the
moment.

"Maybe later. You look great too, by the way."

In her abbreviated silk toga and richly-jewelled cloak, she looked imperious and
impish at the same time. I supposed that was the trick of switching. The opulent
cloths were mistressy enough, but the teeny toga hem was perfect for flipping up and
delivering an impromptu spanking. She could go either way tonight.

"Right then, you two," said Justin, bored of practising his whip hand on the
bedposts. "Bend over the end of the bed and let's give this a proper trial run."

"Both of us?" squealed Maz.

"Of course. Bottoms bared, please. I want you both going downstairs with noticeable
markings. Besides, I think a little warm-up is a sensible idea, don't you?"

Yes, I do! And if you want more than a warm-up, here are some more details:

In the internet age, it should be easy for like-minded fetishists
to find and connect with each other. Or so Cherry thought. Her
decision to enter the wild and wonderful world of BDSM leads her
to some interesting and unexpected places. She soon finds herself
on 'the scene' and her insatiable curiosity takes her to orgies, slave
auctions and mansion houses full of trainee submissives, but where
will she find her perfect dom? Will Cherry ever meet her match?

Available in paperback:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meeting-Her-Match-Justine-
Elyot/dp/1908086157/ref=tmm_pap_title_0


And for Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Meeting-Her-Match-ebook/dp/
B006C4C3SK/ref=sr_1_11?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1325881785&sr=1-11


Justine Elyot is the UK bestselling author of On Demand, The Business of Pleasure
and Erotic Amusements. When she isn't buried under a pile of new projects, you can
find her waving at the world from her website http://justineelyot.com/ or gassing
about trivialities on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/JustineElyot


Heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Giselle for letting me blether on here today – and
thanks for reading.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Option for Authors: Advertise with Donuts and Desires


I've been toying with the idea of offering ad space here at Donuts and Desires for years, and every time I've thought about it I've ended up talking myself out of it. Why? Well, when I was a "young" author ("new" author might be a better way of putting it) I was always on the lookout for free promotional opportunities. Heck, I still am. That's why I've been committed to providing free promo ops to other authors for as long as I've had this blog.

Here's the thing: I've been listening in on a lot of back room chats among authors like myself, and what I've gleaned in recent months is that authors are looking for affordable ad space at blogs readers AND other authors frequent (like this one).

Promo opportunities, like my Quick Six interviews, my holiday "Festive Frenzy" and the various LGBTQ-oriented promotional possibilities I make available throughout the year are fun, BUT... authors want more--banner ads, static cover ads, image-oriented advertising that stays up on a blog for months at a time.

So this time when I rolled the idea of offering ad space at Donuts and Desires around in my brain, I decided not to talk myself out of it.

That's right, starting now I'm opening up AFFORDABLE ad space at Donuts and Desires.

What's available?

At the moment, we've got 3 options:

Cover Ads

Your cover ad will appear on the sidebar at Donuts and Desires--ABOVE my own book covers on the first row and ABOVE my antho covers on the second! (You're just that special!) The ad will consist of your book cover linked to a destination url of your choice as well as the title spelled out above and a descriptor of 8 words or fewer below, if desired.

Cover Ads Pricing:
One Month: $5 US or Canadian Currency or £3.25 GBP (yes, I can accept payment in 3 currencies--awesome, right?)
Six Months: $25 US or Canadian Currency or £16 GBP


Bottom Banner Ads

Look down... look waaaaay down! Donuts and Desires now offers the option of placing your banner, whether it be for your book, your website, your blog, your llama farm (actually, let's just stick to books and related services LOL) at the base of all site pages. You can send me the html or the image with a destination url--whatever works for you.

Banner Ads Pricing:
Twelve Months (a.k.a One Year): $25 US or Canadian Currency or £16 GBP (That's an amazing deal!)

Ad placements may be limited and prices are subject to change, so act fast to secure your spot. Payments can be accepted via PayPal only.


Quick Six Interviews

You know I've got to offer up a freebie, right? Quick Six interviews are featured on Mondays at D&D. Just answer six of the following questions (I repeat, SIX, not five, not ten, but SIX) and send 'em IN THE BODY OF YOUR EMAIL to the address below. At the bottom of the post I will also feature your author blurb and websites--so you'll have to send those along as well. No attachments, please.

It's free, so take advantage!

Quick Six PRO

Interview with _______________


Q: What's hot on the market these days?


Q: What's the most time-consuming part of a writer's life?


Q: On the topic of ebook piracy, hunter or head in the sand?


Q: What should a writer's priority be?


Q: How do you handle a bad review?


Q: Have you ever encountered any unprofessional behaviours from editors,

publishers or other writers, that they might not even realize are damaging?


Q: What advice do you give aspiring authors?


Q: What do you look for in a publisher?


Q: What makes an editor great or...not so great?


Q: Do you have a preference for short stories of longer works?


Q: If you've ventured into self-publishing, what are the pros and cons?


Q: Do you find yourself writing for the market and not for YOU, or self-censoring in any way?


Q: How have the people in your life reacted to your career as a writer?


Q: Any promo tips for fellow authors?



Contact Info

Questions? Want to book ad space? Cool! Email me at:

DonutsandDesires@gmail.com

(please use only the above address for inquiries~thanks)

Ok, that's it for now. If I've left out any pertinent information please let me know.

Hugs,
Giselle

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Wonderful Wing Boys


In Wonderful Wing Boys, Deb from the world of Only Angels is back with a story of her own. Well, it's not just hers. She shares it with two hot young guys from the Only Angels cougar club.

Six Sentences from Wonderful Wing Boys by Giselle Renarde:

Avoiding the bar, Deb squeezed past working hunks and their huge white wings to get to the booths. Most of the white curtains were shut, which meant an angel was inside entertaining a client. When she arrived at booth six, the one she’d been advised to meet her boys at, she found the ceiling-to-floor curtain closed. Her angels must have shut it so the boss wouldn’t think they were slacking off, she figured, and pulled the thing wide open.

Deb gasped at what she saw. She told herself to pull the curtain closed again, but couldn’t manage it.


Wonderful Wing Boys is now available from Secret Cravings Publishing. The best part is it's only $0.99!

Hugs,
Giselle

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gather 'Round the Projector. It's Time for Travel Slides!

Not quite, but almost.


As I may or may not have mentioned, Sweet and I enjoyed a romantic little getaway to Niagara Falls last week. I've always thought of NF as touristy and tacky, but Sweet thinks it's romance up the wazoo, so I figured I'd go with an open mind this time and you know what? I caught the fever. I guess no matter where you are, the romance is there if that's what you want to see.


So I bought my girl a dozen red roses, booked us a jacuzzi room, and treated her to a just-because mini-vacation. And now YOU have to look at pictures. Mwahahaha! My evil plan is complete.


First off, I took Sweet to Niagara Parks' Floral Showhouse. I love that place. It's free, it's open every day except Christmas, and for an avid photographer like my girlfriend, it's an opportunity to get shots of brightly-coloured things. January in Canada tends not to be overly colourful, at least not outside. Oh, and there are birds in there:















When in Niagara Falls with your sweetie, it's really worth getting a hotel room with a jacuzzi tub big enough for two. I bought us a romance package at the Hilton Fallsview, and I gotta hand it to Hilton staff--they didn't seem even momentarily fazed about two women checking in with a romance package.

As you can see below, our room looked out on the Fallsview casino and both sets of falls. You can kind of see the America falls in the casino pic but the Horseshoe falls are out of shot. Sometimes all you can see of them are mist anyway.



















































Maybe you've heard of the lights by the falls? Well, most of them are Disney characters and I don't really feel like being sued so I won't post them. But here are some mounties and the coolest fountain I've ever seen (with a ferris wheel in the background):



The 9 o'clock fireworks over the falls were really something special--totally worth freezing your buns off after dark to hug your sweetie and watch (even if your sweetie is watching through a camera lens LOL):






























Okay, I'll stop boring you now. Anyway, those are some highlights of our Niagara getaway.
Hugs,
Giselle
--

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Call for Submissions: Chicken Soup/Positive Thinking

Hey writing people,
Here's another Chicken Soup for the Soul call that found its way to my inbox. I'm really looking forward to receiving my (10!) contributor's copies of Tough Times for Teens. If I'm not mistaken, the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul edition was published when I was a teenager, and at that stage of my life I derived a lot of strength from it. If you've got a story around "The Power of Positive" that might help others, why not submit?
Hugs,
Giselle


Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive
101 Inspirational Stories about Changing Your Life through Positive Thinking

After the success of our book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, we are ready to make another book full of stories about how you changed your life, solved a problem, or overcame a challenge through a positive attitude, counting your blessings, or an epiphany of some kind. Tell us your success story about using the power of positive!

Topics could include:
  • Attitude! It does make a difference
  • The unexpected benefits of challenges
  • Putting things in perspective
  • Turning negative into positive
  • How you spread the message of gratitude to others
  • Lighten up and laugh!
  • What made you realize that your life is good and that you are grateful
  • Silver linings that you have discovered
  • Appreciating the simple pleasures
  • ... Anything else that you think that is interesting and inspirational
Your stories or poems need to be nonfiction and about your personal experiences or those of someone close to you. No "creative writing" please. We prefer stories written in the first person and no more than 1,200 words. If you ghost-write a story for someone else, that person, not you, will be listed as the author of the story. We are no longer running "as told to" stories. Stories should not have been previously published by Chicken Soup for the Soul or other major print publications.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for US $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO http://chickensoup.com
Select the Submit Your Story link on the left tool bar and follow the directions.

DEADLINE FOR STORY SUBMISSIONS IS APRIL 30, 2012.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Giselle Renarde's SCP Blog Hop Stop

If you've been participating in Secret Cravings Publishing's first anniversary blog hop, you know why you've come.

If you just happened to have popped into Donuts & Desires today, you might be wondering what's going on. You can find out more here.

I joined Secret Cravings with my multicultural MMF menage story Callie and the Hipster, which is a part of their "hot flash" line:

When Callie’s husband leaves her for a younger woman, she drives all the way out to the summerhouse only to find it's been taken over by hipsters--twenty-somethings who wear plaid and listen to indie rock and eat nothing but raw broccoli. They're friends of her son, Dante, all queer and quirky students at the nearby university.

At first, Callie's irritated that her son has thrown a party in her haven of relaxation, but when she and a bottle of Kahlua stumble upon two young men gettin' it on in her bed her annoyance morphs into arousal. The drink and the day's multitude of disappointments encourage her to join Vish and Evan, pansexual and polyamorous young men who are more than happy to welcome a vibrant older woman into their bed. How will they feel about inviting Callie into their lives?

It's a funny story, and heartfelt as well, with lots of hot sex. You can find out more here: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=12&products_id=126


My newest addition to the SCP lineup is another MMF cougar story called Wonderful Wing Boys:
Deb has nothing in common with the other women at Only Angels. They're mutton dressed as lamb in their gold miniskirts and sequin tops. Deb's all business. Her life’s work is her only interest...until The Big Guy hooks her up with Andreas and Zander, two of the club’s incredibly hot young angels.

Yeppers, this one is urban fantasy and then some. Since it's a THREEsome story I'll be giving away THREE copies of Wonderful Wing Boys. Yay!!!

To enter the Wonderful Wing Boys contest, as well as SCP's grand prize contest as outlined at their blog, all you have to do is leave a comment in the comments. Remember to include your name and email address.

Good luck everybody!

Hugs,
Giselle




Sunday, January 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Naughty: Full to Bursting, lesbian strap-on erotica

I don't think I managed to feature Naughty: Full to Bursting during the holiday season, even though it is a bit of a holiday story. A strap-on makes a damn fine Christmas gift, and lesbian erotica is the gift you can give yourself any day of the year.

Here are my six, from Naughty: Full to Bursting from Torquere Press~

Janelle sat up in the middle of the mattress, cradling the covers in both hands. Her back was bare, chilled not by the temperature of Wanda’s cozy home, but by her apprehension. The house was too quiet.

“Wanda?”

There was a squeak on the stairs and then a creak on the landing before Wanda appeared in the doorway. Janelle struggled with where to look first: she glanced at her woman’s face, but she couldn’t glean any emotion from that stony expression before her gaze shot down between Wanda’s thighs.


If you want to know more (I think there's a dildo in the next sentence), read the blurb, read an excerpt or buy a copy, visit Torquere Press here: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68&products_id=3475

Hugs

Giselle

--
Giselle Renarde

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Cheapest and Easiest Way to "Stamp Out Poverty"

If I'd been thinking, I would have posted info about this program in December, when everyone was getting cards in the post. Oh well, better late than never.

Most people I talk to have never heard of Oxfam's "Stamp out Poverty" program (actually, most people in Canada have never heard of Oxfam), but I think it's brilliant. The program collects postage stamps from volunteers across Canada to sell them to collectors and raise money for Oxfam projects.

I've participated for years, and it's as easy as cutting the cancelled stamps off envelopes I receive in the mail. Really! I just save them up until I have a whole bunch, then send them in. It's unbelievably easy.

The stamp program needs volunteers to collect stamps, or even donate valuable stamp collections, which they sell to philatelists (stamp collectors--there's a word of the day for 'ya LOL). Here's some info I pulled from Oxfam Canada's website:

How the money is raised

Those used stamps and envelopes can add up. Oxfam Canada volunteers raise about $10,000 annually by sorting and selling stamps to collectors. Nearly $250,000 has been given to Oxfam from the Stamp Program since it started in 1980.

What you should save

  • Everything!
    • foreign stamps
    • Canadian stamps
    • commemorative stamps
  • Keep the entire envelope if there are:
    • clearly identifiable town/village postmarks
    • registered/special delivery postmarks

Where should I send the stamps?

Once you've collected the stamps and envelopes they can be delivered to any Oxfam Canada office or sent directly to either:

Stamp Programme
Oxfam Canada
39 McArthur Ave
Ottawa, Ontario
K1L 8L7


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FREE READ: Underhanded, Lesbian Erotica

I hesitate to admit when a story I write is pretty much 100% true...

That said, I have some new lesbian erotica up at Oysters and Chocolate today. I love the O&C site--always great visuals there as well as great reads.

My new story's called Underhanded, and you can read it for FREE right here: http://www.oystersandchocolate.com/Stories/2342/Underhanded.aspx

Hugs,
Giselle

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Toronto Star Short Story Contest

If you're an Ontario writer, you just might be eligible to enter this year's Toronto Star Short Story Contest. First prize is $5,000 and then some. Here's a lot of reading:

2012 TORONTO STAR SHORT STORY CONTEST RULES


Agreement: These rules govern the Toronto Star Short Story Contest ("Contest"). The act of entering the Contest constitutes acceptance of the Contest rules and the decisions of the Contest judges, which decisions shall be final and binding upon all entrants.
Sponsor: The Contest sponsors are Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, the Toronto Public Library and The Humber School for Writers ("Sponsors").
Eligibility: The Contest is open to all residents of Ontario who have attained the age of 16, except for employees, their immediate families and anyone living with any employee of the Sponsor or its corporate affiliates, advertising or promotional agencies. There is a limit of one entry per person.
Contest and Judging Criteria:
    • • Contest begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, February 26, 2012.
    • Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, February 26, 2012.
    • • By entering this Contest you acknowledge that all entries become the property of the Contest Sponsors and will not be returned or acknowledged.
    • • To enter the Contest, submit your entry by the contest deadline in its own envelope. Stories submitted by fax machine and e-mail will not be accepted. Illegible entries will be disqualified.
    • • Stories must be written in English, original and unpublished up to the time the winners are declared on Thursday, April 12, 2012.
    • • Stories must be written on a computer or typewriter, be double-spaced and no longer than 2,500 words.
    • • Total word count must be printed on the front page of the story.
    • • No changes to a story are allowed once Toronto Star Newspapers Limited receives your entry.
    • • Manuscripts will not be returned.
    • • To ensure that the stories have reached Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, entrants may wish to enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard with their entries.
    • • Information is not available by email or telephone. Pseudonyms are not permitted.
    • • By entering the Contest, entrants agree to allow Toronto Star Newspapers Limited to publish their stories, names and biographical information in all media, including but not limited to its newspapers and thestar.com without compensation. Entrants also agree to allow the Toronto Public Library and The Humber School for Writers to publish their stories, names and biographical information in all media. Do not send photographs with entries. Winners will be contacted about a photograph at a later date and must agree to publication of his/her photograph.
    • • In connection with your submission, you affirm, represent and/or warrant that (i) you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents and permissions to use and authorize Sponsors to use all copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights in and to your submission to enable inclusion and use of the submission in the manner contemplated by these Contest rules; and (ii) you have the written consent, release and/or permission of each and every identifiable individual person in the submission to use the name or likeness of each and every such identifiable individual person to enable inclusion and use of the submission in the matter contemplated by these Contest rules.
    • • Sponsor reserves the right to reject and disqualify any submissions that could be offensive or inappropriate or that do not meet the terms and conditions of these rules.
How to enter:
• The author’s name, address, telephone number, email address and a 25-50 word biographical sketch must be included with each entry on a separate sheet of paper.
• The name of the author should not appear on the story itself.
• Mail or drop off your submission to: Short Story Contest, Toronto Star, One Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M5E 1E6. Entries may also be dropped off in the Short Story contest box in the main lobby of the Toronto Star building, One Yonge Street.
• NO ENTRY FEE REQUIRED
Judging and notification:
• Members of the faculty of The Humber School for Writers will complete the first round of judging starting on or about Wednesday, March 28, 2012.
• The finalists’ entries will then be judged by the 2012 Toronto Star Short Story Contest judging panel, who will select the First, Second and Third prizewinners on or about Tuesday, April 10, 2012. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received and the caliber of the entries. The decisions of the contest judges are final in respect of any matter relating to this Contest.
• The potential winners will be contacted by telephone or email between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2012 by a representative of the Sponsor, and must reply within 48 hours to maintain eligibility. If the potential winner(s) cannot be contacted within this time period or fail(s) to respond to any attempted contact, such potential winner(s) will be disqualified, his/her entry will be declared null and void and the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to select another potential winner based on the judging criteria, in which event these provisions shall apply to such other eligible entry.
Ownership/Use Rights:
Entrants retain the copyright to their stories. However, by entering the contest, you hereby grant the Sponsors a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to print, publish, use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and display your full name, short story and photograph in connection with Sponsors’ (and its successors’) business, including without limitation in any media formats and through any media channels.
Prizes:
• Three prizes will be awarded:

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First Prize: $5,000, plus the tuition fee for The Humber School for Writers 2012 Correspondence Program in Creative Writing. Approximate retail value: $3,000.00.
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Second Prize: $2,000.00
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Third Prize: $1,000.00

• If the winner does not claim the prize within 48 hours of notification, the next eligible entry selected by the judging criteria set out in these rules will be contacted, and the first potential winner will have no further claim to the prize. Sponsor will not mail or courier the prize and is not responsible for unclaimed prizes.
• Winners must attend a prize presentation event at the Toronto Public Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4W 2G8 on or around Monday, April 23, 2012 to collect the prize won.
• The winners’ stories will appear in the Sunday Star as follows: The Third place story will appear on Sunday, April 29, 2012; the Second place story will appear on Sunday, May 6, 2012; the First place story will appear on Sunday, May 13, 2012. Should any of the above-mentioned dates become unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances, the stories will run, in the order listed above, on the next available Sunday edition of the Toronto Star.
Release:
Prior to receiving the prize, the potential winner will be required to show valid photo ID and to sign a declaration of eligibility and release form releasing the Sponsor and its related parties from any and all liability in connection with the Contest and/or the prize, confirming compliance with the rules and consenting to the use of his or her name and short story in any and all forms of media, without further compensation, in any publicity carried out by the Sponsor and/or its advertising and promotional agencies. If a potential winner is under the age of majority, his/her parent or legal guardian must also sign and return the declaration of eligibility and release form. The signed form must be received within 48 hours of notification or the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate entrant.
Indemnity:
By participating in this Contest, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsors, and their parent, subsidiaries, affiliates and/or related companies and each of their officers, directors, shareholders, employees, advisors, assignees, agents, licensees, representatives, advertising, media buyers and promotional agencies from any and all damages, injuries, claims, causes of action, or losses of any kind (including but not limited to lawyers’ fees) arising from your participation in the Contest, your violation of any term of these Contest rules, your violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, property, or privacy right; or any claim that your submission caused damage to a third party.
Privacy:
We use your personal contact information to administer contests, including contacting, announcing and promoting prizewinners. In addition, we may use this information to send you offers or information from us, our affiliates and from selected Sponsor or advertisers ("Marketing Offers"). If you do not wish to receive Marketing Offers, you may opt-out at any time by: following the instructions at the bottom of any email Marketing Offer you receive, informing your telemarketer at the time you are called with a Marketing Offer, by calling 1.800.279.0181 and requesting that your personal information not be used for Marketing Offers, or emailing privacy @thestar.ca and requesting that your personal information not be used for Marketing Offers. The Contest is run in compliance with the Toronto Star privacy code, which may be found in full at www.thestar.com/privacy.


Banning:
The Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, prohibit any person from entering the Contest whom it believes to be abusing the rules. Such abuse includes entering false information and entering more than once.


Other:
This Contest is governed by the laws of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein and is void where prohibited by law. The Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify the Contest or the Contest rules at any time without notice. All prizes must be accepted as awarded, are non-transferable and are not convertible to cash. The Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any prize or portion of the prize with a prize of equal or greater value. All prizes are awarded as-is. Sponsor is not liable for any lost, late, misdirected or stolen entries or inability to process entries, or any errors, damage or negligence that may arise in connection with this Contest, including human error. Sponsor is not responsible for any errors or omissions in printing or advertising this Contest.

For more information visit The Star's website