Are You Toronto's Next Top Writer?
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Are You Toronto’s Next Top Writer?

The short story is an unfortunate middle child. Not romanticized like poetry, nor widely read like novels, the short story finds refuge in literary journals, the New Yorker, and writing contests. In fact, the Toronto Star, Broken Pencil, and Eye Weekly all have contests ready for your masterpiece.
First, stalwart Toronto Star has its annual short story contest. The top prize includes $5,000 and tuition to the Humber School for Writers for Creative Writing. (Shouldn’t those who lose be forced into writing programs?) Submissions can’t be longer than 2,500 words and must be accompanied by a $5 fee. Make sure your story is postmarked by Thursday, January 17th, 2008.
Broken Pencil is pitting submissions against each other in a “death match.” Writers will start blogs to beg the masses to “pick me, choose me, love me” and talk smack about the other entries. Readers will then vote on their favourites. (A similar “Idol” style contest was also attempted earlier this year in the States.) The winner gets $250 and published in the magazine. Entries must be between 1,000 and 3,000 words, and there’s a $20 fee. The contest deadline is Monday, December 31st.
Finally, Eye Weekly follows its corporate sibling, the Toronto Star, into the contest ring. The winner will get $500 and published in the newspaper. Submissions must be 1,000 words or less, and there’s no fee to enter! Hopefully your story’s already complete, though, because the deadline is this Friday, November 30th.
Each contest has its perks: Toronto Star offers the most cash for their prize; Broken Pencil probably has the most street cred; and Eye Weekly won’t cost you a penny to enter. Make sure to read the rules carefully (especially on simultaneous submissions) so you don’t get disqualified. Just one piece of advice: short stories are rarely happy. Chalk it up to “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.”
Photo by SirCharlie from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.