The mandate of the Shuswap Association of Writers is to encourage writers of all ages. Offering recognition of your writers can lead them to careers where they use strong writing skills or to authorship that will continue Canada’s reputation of excellence in both fiction and non-fiction.

Recognition ~ Awards ~ Prizes ~ Recognition of teachers and schools

Contest Opens January 3, 2017

Deadline: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 (That’s 3 days before Good Friday)

Eligible: Students in School Districts #22 & #83
Ages: 5 – 18 (age at end of 2017)

Two Genres: Short Story & Poetry
Four Age Categories: 5-8, 9-11, 12-14, 15-18


Poetry: All age groups One poem. One Page. No graphics.

  • Any style.
  • Title at top
  • Plain white paper
  • Clear, plain font
  • Or clear hand-writing.

Story: 5 – 8 Maximum 500 words. No minimum.

  • Plain white paper, plain. Size 11 font
  • or clear writing. Double spaced
  • No graphics. Titles on all story pages.

Story: 9 – 11 Maximum 500 words. No minimum

  • Plain white paper, plain. Size 11 font
  • or clear writing. Double spaced
  • No graphics. Titles on all story pages.

Story: 12- 14 Maximum 700 words. No minimum.

  • Plain white paper, plain. Size 11 font
  • or clear writing. Double spaced
  • No graphics. Titles on all story pages.

Story: 15 – 18 Maximum 1000 words. No minimum.

  • Plain white paper, plain. Size 11 font
  • or clear writing. Double spaced
  • No graphics. Titles on all story pages.

Important notes: Do not write name on story or poem. Include cover letter. (see example) Entries with inadequate cover letters will be disqualified. Without proper contact info winners can’t be found. :-(

Send Entries to:

Young Writers’ Contest
Box 1134
Salmon Arm, BC
V1E4P3 (Multiple entries in one envelope accepted but each poem and story must have a cover letter.)

NO EMAIL ENTRIES.

Prizes awarded: at Word on the Lake Festival Writers’ Festival on May 20, 2017
Prestige Inn and Resort, Salmon Arm, BC
This contest is sponsored by the Shuswap Association of Writers

IMPORTANT! Download the KIDSWRITE 2017 Contest Kit (includes example of the cover letter)

Only those who enter will receive recognition. There’s no fee, there’s nothing to lose. To gain:

  • Pride and knowledge of completion.
  • Understanding the requirements of a competition.
  • A good story or poem for your personal collection.

Suggestions for better stories or poems:

  1. Read your story or poem aloud to hear the flow.
  2. Check the story for the word “is”. Too many might mean a need for better action verbs.
  3. Do not use your name for one of the characters when writing for a contest.
  4. A standard short story includes an opening, a description of characters—with different techniques—and an action, mystery, or question. The ending solves the problem.
    For example: A simple description of you, your dog, and your friend out for a walk on a sunny day wouldn’t be a story. Why not lose your dog or your friend, or both, and find them at the end? Perhaps they’re at the ice cream store, in a tree, or at the police station—the action in the story grabs your reader who will want to know the ending.
  5. Poems are better with fewer well thought-out words.For example: A poem by Fred Cogswell’s, “Classroom” describes students writing poetry.
    A great gust of words
    Bends our student heads to one
    Attentive levelA looser poem might read
    Everyone’s heads
    are bent over their desks because
    the whole class is concentrating on
    writing poetry
    The word “gust’ immediately brings a picture of enthusiasm and power. “One attentive level” says much more than concentrating.
  6. In poetry and prose your descriptions invite the reader to use their imagination for their own understanding. For example, it’s common to say that at an object is as blue as the sky, which is fine, but not very original. However, blue as your cousin’s socks will awaken the reader who then tries to imagine your cousin’s socks.
  7. Your action verbs will change your story completely. Try www.thesaurus.com to consider other ideas.  Instead of run or ran your character might charge, or leap, or skip, but in a mystery she or he might or sneak, creep, while avoiding the villain when it may be necessary to tip toe or shuffle. When you’ve chosen your alternate word also check the meaning in www.dictionary.com.
  8. All authors write and re-write their work dozens of times. Good writers read, and write often, because the only way to learn to write well is to keep writing.
  9. Write for yourself. Your personal writing voice grows when you allow the stories and pens to flow. If one story or poem seems stuck, put it aside and some back later.

Do be careful to follow the guidelines.  Your well-written stories must be under 500 words except the 15 – 18 years, who may choose to write 600.

Good luck! Write On!