RISING FROM THE ASHES, ISLANDS SHORT FICTION CONTEST TO PRESENT 2016 AWARDS

RISING FROM THE ASHES, ISLANDS SHORT FICTION CONTEST TO PRESENT 2016 AWARDS

The winners of the 2016 Islands Short Fiction Contest will be announced at a presentation in Nanaimo on April 28th.

Jointly sponsored by the Nanaimo Arts Council, the Vancouver Island Regional Library, and the Vancouver Island University Department of Creative Writing and Journalism, the contest continues to grow in popularity, with a record 118 entries this year. Over $2000 in cash and prizes will be awarded in three categories: Adult (19 and over), Youth (13 to 18), and Junior (12 and under).

The contest is open to writers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. According to Sarah Schmidt, Executive Director of the Nanaimo Arts Council, the increase in submissions is due in part to removing the entry fee for the Junior and Youth categories.  “We were delighted to have more young writers bring their work forward this year,” she says. In addition to a cash prize, the winner of the Youth category will be published in the anthology In Our Own Voice – 2016 from Rebel Mountain Press.

While the Nanaimo Arts Council recently lost its offices in the fire that destroyed Nanaimo’s Jean Burns Building, entries in the Short Fiction Contest were safe. “We had converted any hard copy entries to electronic form to send to the judges,” Schmidt notes. “Thank goodness.”

Judge of the Adult category is Victoria resident and best-selling writer Robert J. Wiersema. An instructor in the Department of Creative Writing and Journalism at Vancouver Island University, Wiersema is the author of five books, including the 2015 novel Black Feathers, published by HarperCollins. He is also a widely-published literary critic.

VIRL librarians Jennifer Seper and Justin Unrau are judges of the Junior and Youth categories. The awards will be presented at the Nanaimo Harbourfront branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library (90 Commercial St., see map here) on Thursday, April 28th at 6:30 pm. Excerpts from the winners in all three categories will be read. The event is open to the public and admission is free.