One of the Salish Sea’s premier literary events is back in 2017.

Now in its 12th year, the Islands Short Fiction Contest welcomes entries from writers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf islands in three categories: Adult (writers 19 and over), Youth (writers 13 to 18), and Junior (writers 12 and under). The contest is co-sponsored the Nanaimo Arts Council, the Vancouver Island Regional Library, and the Vancouver Island University Department of Creative Writing and Journalism.

Over $2000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.

“Last year’s winners hailed from throughout the region,” says Jennifer Seper of the VIRL. “And we packed the room for the awards presentation. We’re glad to see the contest has become an important part of literary life on the islands.”

Judge of the Adult category in 2017 is Governor General’s Award-winner and VIU Creative Writing instructor Robert Hilles. Jennifer Seper along with Julie Carter, also a VIRL librarian, will judge the Junior and Youth categories. The winner of the Youth category will be offered publication in the anthology “In Our Own Voice – 2017” from Rebel Mountain Press, and first-, second-, and third-place stories in all categories will be published on the ISFC website.

The entry deadline is March 27, 2017. Entry forms are available at and at the Nanaimo Arts Council, #120, 256 Wallace St., Nanaimo (please see for hours of operation). A $20 fee is charged per adult entry. There is no fee for the youth and junior categories.

Winners will be announced at a reception in Nanaimo in April.

For further information, e-mail or phone 250-729-3947 (Nanaimo). The winning entries from recent years can be read at

The Islands Short Fiction Contest is made possible by support from the Province of British Columbia and the City of Nanaimo.

Tracy Balanik, 2016 awards presentation

Adult category first-place winner Tracy Balanik reads her story “A Clean Slate” at the 2016 Islands Short Fiction Contest awards presentation