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?

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ghostriders extend win streak to eight games

The action and energy grew exponentially at Friday night’s Ghostriders game. The… Continue reading

Hands on avalanche training for FSS students

On Thursday, January 9 the day began with a golden sunrise and… Continue reading

Friday fatality at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

Two weekend rescues for Fernie SAR

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) was activated twice this past weekend to… Continue reading

To Australia from Fernie, helping those back home

With her home country going up in flames over 13,000 kilometres away,… Continue reading

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Larry Walker Jr. and Sr. keeping expectations low for hall-of-fame induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Gene Simmons to launch new Titans of Rock music festival in Grand Forks

The rock legend has partnered with Chuck Varabioff to run Titans of Rock in Grand Forks

Most Read