Writers festival in Elora has two contests to encourage local talent

For the eighth year, local writers are encouraged to submit their stories and poems to the Elora Writers’ Festival open writing competition or for the young writers contest.

They are features of the annual Elora Writers’ Festival, taking place on May 29 in Aboyne Hall at the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

The annual writing competition presents an opportunity for writers of any age or experience to win prizes for their unpublished short stories (up to 2,000 words) and poetry (up to three poems, 75 lines maximum).

Competition chairman Julia Browne will announce the winners and award the cash prizes of $100, $75, and $50 during the intermission of the festival.  Judges include K-W writer Sharon Blomfield, whose travel articles have appeared in many Canadian and international publications.

For the second year, teen (13 to 18) and junior (12 and under) writers have their own event: the young writers contest, chaired by Guelph author Jean Mills. With the support of the Elora Arts Council and the Community Resource Centre of North and Centre Wellington, young poets and short story writers can win cash prizes of $100, $75, and $50 (for teens) and $75, $50 and $25 (junior).

Judges include K-W writer Heather Wright, author of Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens, and Kira Vermond, whose book for young readers about money and finances will be published by Owl Publishing in 2012.

With local sponsors supporting the EWF Young Writers Contest, Mills hopes to attract more young writers from area schools. She will announce the winners at a special pre-festival celebration at Aboyne Hall, 11am to 1noon, before the festival readings get underway.

The entry deadline is April 29, so writers are encouraged to visit the festival blog at www.elorawritersfestival.blogspot.com for contest details and entry forms. Note that submissions to the open writing competition should include a $15 entry fee.

For more information, contact the contest chairmen Julia Browne (open competition) at juliacbrowne@netscape.net or Jean Mills (young writers contest) at jrmills@rogers.com.