Thursday, July 7, 2011

Writing Contest Young Nova Scotians: Deadline Fast Approaching!

When I say "fast approaching," I mean stories are due by July 15, 2011. Yikes! Sorry for the short notice, but this one only crossed my desk today. Anyway, this writing contest is for Nova Scotians (Nova Scotia is a Canadian province for those who have no idea what I'm talking about) who are between the ages of 13 and 22. There are cash prizes being offered, but the most exciting bit is the opportunity to meet celebrated author Lawrence Hill! (Wish I were under 22...and Nova Scotian...)

If you're reading my blog, I'm assuming you're over 18 (You'd better be! There's some eeeerotic content 'round these parts!) but if you know any younger teens who live in Nova Scotia, do direct them to the contest website. Here's the link:

And here are the details:

What’s this contest all about?

The United Nations has chosen 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. To celebrate, the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs is holding a writing contest for young writers aged 13-22.

The contest is open to Nova Scotians of all backgrounds, but entries must express a connection to the culture, heritage, and/or experiences of people of African descent. For example, stories and poems could be set in historical or contemporary African Nova Scotian communities, they could focus on a prominent person of African descent, or they could connect in another way. It’s up to you — be creative!

Who can enter?

Any Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has lived in Nova Scotia since Oct. 1, 2010, and who is between the ages of 13 and 22 as of the contest closting date – July 15, 2011. The contest is split into two age categories: 13-17 and 18-22.

What do I have to do?

Send us your short story, poem(s) or spoken word lyrics by July 15. Stories can be up to 2,500 words long. You can submit up to five poems or spoken word pieces, to a total maximum length of 1,500 words.

What can I win?

In each age group, we’ll be giving out three prizes:

First place - $500
Second place - $250
Third place - $150

Winners also get to have lunch with Lawrence Hill, author of the acclaimed best seller The Book of Negroes. And they’ll be recognized at an awards ceremony during the African Diaspora Heritage Trail conference, being held September 22-24 in Halifax.

How do I enter?

To enter, download an entry form here and fill it out. You can send your entries by email to, and please use the phrase “IYPAD Creative Writing Contest” in the subject line.

You can also send entries by mail or drop them off at our office:

Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs
5670 Spring Garden Road, Suite 604
PO Box 2691 Halifax, NS B3J 1H6

Important formatting rules: Electronic entries must submitted as a Microsoft Word or RTF document, while hard-copy entries must be typed in black ink on plain white paper (8 ½” x 11”). Use a decent-sized, easy-to-read font, such as Times New Roman 12-pt. Fiction entries must be double-spaced, while poetry can be single-spaced.

All entries must have a one-inch margin on all sides, with pages numbered in order in the upper right-hand corner. As well, the title of your manuscript must appear on each page, but DO NOT include your name on the actual manuscript – only on your entry form. That way your entry will be anonymous to the judges.

Also, remember that all entries must be signed, including those submitted by email. If you’re under 18 years old, a parent or guardian needs to sign the form too. You can scan and email, send by fax to 902.424.7189 … just make sure you send a signed form.

When is the deadline?

Emailed and hand-delivered entries must arrive by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15. Mailed entries must be postmarked by July 15. Hard-copy entries will not be returned.

How much does it cost to enter?

We’re glad you asked. The answer is nothing – it’s free!

How does the judging work?

A panel of accomplished Nova Scotian writers, poets and performers will read the entries and select a set of finalists in each age group. These finalists will be sent to our honourary judge, Lawrence Hill, and he’ll choose the winners in each age group. So you could have your work read by one of Canada’s most well-known authors. And you could get to have lunch with him too. (If that sounds kind of intimidating, don’t worry… he’s a really nice guy.)

What important legal details do you need to tell me?

-By entering the contest, you accept that the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs (ANSA) may contact you to request a photo and/or biographical information for use in promotional materials and announcements relating to the contest.

-You also release and forever discharge the Province of Nova Scotia, the Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, and their officers, employees and representatives, from all liability for any damages, losses or claims arising from participation in the competition or resulting from the conferral, acceptance or use of the award obtained and for the aforementioned disclosures or uses.

Can you summarize in a convenient list of bullet points?

* The contest is open to all Nova Scotians aged 13-22, as of July 15, 2011.
* Entries must express a connection to the culture, heritage and/or experiences of people of African descent.
* Entries may be short stories (up to 2,500 words) or poems or spoken word lyrics (up to 5 pieces, and a maximum of 1,500 words).
* A signed entry form must accompany all entries.
* An entrant’s name must not appear on the manuscript.
* Entries may be emailed to or mailed or hand-delivered to: Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, 5670 Spring Garden Road Suite 604, PO Box 2691, Halifax NS B3J 1H6.
* Contest deadline is 4:30 p.m. on July 15, 2011. Awards will be presented during the African Diaspora Heritage Trail conference, Sept. 22-24, 2011.
* You could win cash. And hang out with Lawrence Hill! What more do you need? Get writing!

Download contest entry form >>

Contact Information:

For inquiries:

For submissions:


No comments:

Post a Comment