The Kootenay Literary Competition’s organizers — from left, Morty Mint, Kathy Hartley and Antonia Banyard — are looking for more volunteers to help them run the event. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Kootenay Literary Competition returns

The deadline for submissions from writers across the Kootenays is December 31

Kathy Hartley says the thing she loves most about the Kootenay Literary Competition is “the joy you see in the winners when they see their work recognized and valued. It is wonderful.”

The competition began in 2001 and Hartley has been one of the organizers since 2008. She’s seen many local writers win the competition and then become better known: Jane Byers, Amanda Bath, Roz Ney, Elena Banfield, and Jordan Mounteer, to name a few.

Novelist Anne DeGrace and actor-director Brian D’eon won it later in their careers. But Hartley is especially interested in the effect on new writers.

“We all feel it is a very important part of a development of a writer to be able to expose themselves to a competition to be judged by qualified writers,” she said, “and to have the publicity. I think one of the big things especially for young writers is to see their work in print. It is so encouraging.”

Each year all winners receive cash prizes and are published in an anthology. Antonia Banyard, another organizer, thinks this helps new writers establish publishing credits.

“You have to start somewhere. There is a very practical aspect to that: if you are applying grants, even if you don’t have a book, if you have a good enough list of publishing credits, it establishes you as a writer.”

This year’s festival comes after a one-year hiatus. The new version of the festival is simpler, with no public gala event as in past years, but only an online announcement of the winners.

There are two new categories: Indigenous and New to Canada. The other categories are Adult Poetry, Youth (Grade 9 to 12) and Adult Fiction or Personal Non-Fiction.

In the youth category, the organizers are departing from past years’ practice of getting teachers involved. That produced student writing that sounded like an assignment.

“We are focusing on getting young people who want to write,” Hartley says. “We want to support young people who are already dreaming of being a writer.”

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31 and the judges will make their decision in the spring. Details on how to enter can be found at kootenayliterarycompetition.wordpress.com.

The theme of this year’s competition, around which entrants’ submissions should be based, is: Origins. Who are we? Where did we come from?

Just Posted

Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools

It’s lunch time at the Dunn-Reker house, and four happy children bounce… Continue reading

Fernie Museum fundraiser a blast from the past

Retro themed evening raises over $10,000 for museum programming

Fernie Alpine Resort opens for preview weekend

Fernie Alpine Resort will be opening for a preview weekend, this Saturday and Sunday

Local boys raise money for sick children in unconventional way

Four local boys have found a way to use their passion for… Continue reading

Skid Steer stolen from Sparwood Transfer Station

Elk Valley RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance with a theft that… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Parastone weighs in on Slalom Drive

At a public hearing in Fernie Council on Tuesday night, Jacqueline Arling,… Continue reading

Ghostriders play hard against Nelson Leafs

Fernie Coach proud of team’s effort against top KIJHL contender

Cokato resident receives Order of Canada

Dr. Bryan Kolb has been instrumental in helping society understand what happens inside our heads

Mainroad discusses road conditions, standards

Last week, Mainroad, the Ministry of Transportation, the City of Fernie and… Continue reading

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Most Read