Literary awards

Building on its B.C. success, a competition for mature writers is expanding this year to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

By Ezra Black

Building on its B.C. success, a competition for mature writers is expanding this year to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

The Cedric Literary Awards were created to encourage the creative talents in fiction and poetry of unpublished writers aged 50 and older who might not have had the time and energy to develop their talent while raising families or working.

Starting February 1, writers of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry are encouraged to submit their manuscripts for the competition’s third year.

“Our plan has always been to open this opportunity to all unpublished Canadian writers over 50,” said awards founder Peter Dale in a statement. “This year we are including English and French-speaking writers from three additional provinces and will continue our expansion to the rest of Canada by 2020.”

The founders of The Cedric Literary Awards believe strongly that encouraging mature emerging writers empowers them to come out of social isolation and gives them a platform to showcase their writing as part of a juried competition.

“In addition to awarding $3,000 to the winner in each category, we also award a prize of the same value to a First Nation’s writer,” said executive director Veronica Osborn in a statement. “Beyond that, we believe the value of having a manuscript reviewed by a selection panel made up of some of Canada’s best writers and poets is an opportunity few mature emerging writers would have were it not for the Cedrics.”

Since 2015, more than 300 writers from across B.C. have taken part in this first-in-Canada competition. Beth Hawkes of Salt Spring Island, a 2016 non-fiction winner said in a statement that, “Receiving a Cedric Literary Award has encouraged me to share my words more freely with others, to deepen my exploration of the art and craft of writing, and to continue contributing to the world I live in.”

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017. Interested writers are encouraged to visit the Awards’ website at: Thecedrics.ca to review the 2017 competition guidelines.