On Nov. 16, scores of budding authors will gather at all four Okanagan College campuses to test their writing talents in the fourth annual Three-Hour Short Story Contest.
Open to students in Grades 11 and 12, and to all current Okanagan College students, contestants are given 180 minutes to create an original literary piece that incorporates a word, phrase, or object revealed at the start of contest.
“Having the surprise element meant I couldn’t plan. I went in cold, and got to really see what I can do. It was fun,” said last year’s winner Samantha Wex.
Five prizes are up for grabs. Each campus declares a regional winner who receives a $250 Okanagan College tuition credit. A grand prize winner is then selected from among the four regional winners and awarded an additional $250 tuition credit plus a chapbook publication of their story created by Okanagan College writing and publishing diploma program students and Kalamalka Press.
“The contest gets students excited about writing,” said contest organizer and Okanagan College professor Sean Johnston. “It’s an act of courage for many of the younger students to take part, but they walk away from the experience happy and surprised at what they were able to produce in such a short period of time.”
“The contest is also an introduction to the great diversity and strength of the College’s creative writing faculty,” said Johnston. “We have a programming and instructional focus on creative writing, with many successful working authors teaching university transfer courses and the two-year Writing and Publishing program.”
Registration is free. Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting to sign up before the Nov. 15 deadline.