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Literary Contest

The 2017 Literary Contest is on!

Presented in partnership with PineRidge Arts Council and Inkslingers


$1200.00 in Prize money!

Sponsored by Karen Giles

Sun Life Financial

Poetry and Prose – Prizes awarded in each category

 1ST Prize $250                          2nd Prize $150                                              3rd Prize  $50

New for 2017!  Youth Category  Ages 12 to 18

1st Prize $100                         2nd Prize $75 each                                3rd Prize   $50


Contest Rules

Entry fee: $20 first entry in each category.  $5 for subsequent entry in same category

Maximum  3 entries per genre.  No fee for Youth entries.


Maximum 2500 words Prose, 100 lines Poetry (per poem)

  • All entries must be EMAILED by midnight EST March 19, 2017.
  • Include one cover page, regardless of number of entries submitted including

your name, complete mailing address, telephone number and email address.

  • Only previously unpublished work may be entered. No simultaneous entries.
  • Judging is blind. Do not print, type or write your name on the text pages of your entry.

Prose entries must be:

Typed and double spaced with a title

Page number on each page

NO author’s name on manuscript

Poetry entries must be:

 Typed and single spaced

Poems that run more than 1 page need title and page number of each page

NO author’s name on manuscript

Online entries only

Email to:

Payment can be made online or by mail. Send cheque or money order, payable to Scugog Council for the Arts, or drop off to 181 Perry Street, Unit G-1, Port Perry, ON L9L 1A7. Payment must be received by the contest deadline or entries will be invalid.

Easy payment available through PayPal.

Entry fee for first entry by a writer in each category is $20. Additional entry in same category $5.

Please use this button to pay the $20 entry fee for a single entry.

$20.00 entry fee for first entry

Please use this button to pay for two entries from the same writer.

$20.00 for first entry PLUS $5.00 for second entry

Please use this button to pay for three entries from the same writer

$20.00 for first entry PLUS $5.00 for two additional entries

(Entries are limited to a maximum of 3 from one writer for each category)


The 2016 Scugog Council for the Arts

Literary Contest

was a great success with thanks to our contestants, our judges and our sponsor.

Here are our results:

1st  Place – Poetry –  “in the sixth winter of the war” by John Lee

2nd Place – Poetry – “Olduvai” by Dorita Peer

3rd Place – Poetry – “Palliative Wing, Room 612-A” by Janis MacCallen

Honourable mentions in Poetry :

“Abate” by Erika Willeart

“Fault Line” by Janis McCallen

“Humber River in Spring” by Joanna Gail

“If I Stood Here” by Heather Parkinson

Here are the comments from our Poetry Judge, Barbara Hunt, on the winning entries:

First place – …in the sixth winter of the war

This piece was intriguing and evocative from the title onward as it used each short line in morsels to open and build layers into moments with specific, sensory details. In short, breathless and breathtaking!

Second place – Olduvai

This piece was intoxicatingly foreign to the reader’s ear – phrasings were lilting and sing-song with a rich, thick tapestry of images and details piled in dense and satisfying craft. Bravo!

Third place – Palliative Wing, Room 612-A

This piece uses a haunting specificity from the title onward. Delicious verbs inject life. Metaphors, similes and bold images stud the poem like jewels. The final stanza runs hot and cold; stark and steering in a final visceral thrust. Well done!

And here are Barbara’s comment on her Honorable Mentions:


Highlights are interesting word choices with great ‘mouth-feel’. It is short and crisp with the added swell of a ‘call & response’ feel.

Fault Line

Lovely candy images threaded throughout are almost saccharine by contrast. How wonderful to start with the larger world (ie room) moving past TV and rug to focus on the candy dish holding (once soft) shrivelled candies – the heart of the matter (like life, love, hopes and dreams). The movement carries the reader in captivating fashion.

Humber River in Spring

Images are soft, dreamy, rich and haunting. Word choices produce lovely ‘mouth-music’ that replicates the movement of water. Lovely.

For Prose:

1st Place – Prose – “The First Six Weeks” by Cheryl MacLean

2nd Place – Prose – “It’s Nothing” by Frances Turner

3rd Place – Prose – “Her Violin” by Suzanne Robinson

Honourable mentions in Prose:

“Stash Cash” by Greer Roberts

“The Soft Rumble of Victory” by Vera Constantineau

“Stranded” by Jerry Bonkowski, a youth entrant.

Here are comments from our Prose Judge, Heather Tucker on the winning entries:

First Place: The First Six Weeks

The First Six Weeks is a well-paced story, touching without veering into sentimentality.  From the first line, ‘Granton was hungry’, the reader is drawn into the protagonist’s loss and loneliness. The writer skillfully weaves the mundane: hockey, beer, condolence casseroles, cleaning the fridge… with profound emotional pain and in doing so both tempers and exposes the grief; the eaves troughs need cleaning, maybe he’ll just let them fall off…

The bite and ‘crustiness’ of the dialogue is wonderful, alerting the reader to the anger and pain beneath the surface.

Skillfully crafted reflections of the mourned relationship are like added jewels: a rescued mouse, quizzies, first kiss, waterfall of hair, the buyer of Halloween treats. These brief glimpses make the present reality so poignant—mouse dirt in the fridge, toonies in the treat bags, an empty bottle of Jack…

Believable characters, a story well told, and a hint of magic at the end leaving the reader with a little hope.

Second Place: It’s Nothing

From the title to last word, the weightiness of ‘it’s nothing’ is felt from a young girl’s POV. Character development is wonderful in this story, from clueless adults, a bully of a stepfather, to a very likeable Jess. She is so believable as grade eight girl: insecure, daydreamy, hopeful, frightened, confused and insightful.

Through the use of well-placed details: Photoplay magazine, eight cylinder Ford Fairlane, frilly bathing suit, ducktail…the reader enters a fully realized world without ever being ‘told’ time or place. A time where women prepare the picnic and stay at the water’s edge while the men posture, swim and ogle the pretty girls.

This is a well-constructed story beautifully told with restraint, leaving the reader a little breathless at the end.

Third Place: Her Violin

Between ‘blue/orange flames of a good fire’ and ‘the lovely lilt of a Brahms lullaby’ the reader meets a child witnessing her mother’s descent, destruction and ultimate death. What is remarkable about this story is its lyricism, a music in the prose that remains pitch-perfect throughout. There is drama, but not melodrama. It is richly woven with sensual details: smoke lavender, scrapes, whoosh…so many notes that the reader hears, smells, feels. It’s a bittersweet story quietly told. Beautiful, really beautiful.

Here is what Heather had to say about her Honourable Mentions:

Honourable Mention: The Soft Rumble of Victory

Myra has been used, betrayed and cast aside for a younger woman, a familiar theme often explored in stories. What makes this one special is the use of plot, pace, surprise and resolution that leaves the reader feeling a smug cat-like contentment. It’s a small victory, but so satisfying.

Honourable Mention: Cash Stash

There’s an edginess to this story that leaves the reader shaking their head. Two ordinary middle-aged guys, somewhat juvenile and a little despicable. The writer deftly use pace and dialogue and lets the characters ride without imposing rules or judgment.

Youth Honourable Mention: Stranded

In Stranded the author uses all the elements of a good short story: character, dialogue, plot and setting to engage the reader. There’s risk, rescue and a hint of romance.  Remarkable!

We had a fabulous afternoon of readings and celebrations at the SCA on May 28, 2016. A special thank you goes out to Libbie Burns, the President of the SCA for attending and to our Literary event sponsor Karen Giles of Sun Life Financial for supporting our efforts.

Of course what would the event be without our esteemed judges; Barbara Hunt and Heather Tucker and most of all, our talented entrants.

Thank you everyone.

Keep those pencils sharp for next year!

Literary Contest deadline extended to May 14!

The SCA gratefully ackowledges the ongoing support from our sponsor

Our sponsor

Heather Tucker has graciously agreed to be our

Prose Judge for our 2016 Literary Contest this year.

bdt_2015-12-03 17-01-41_00041_pp (2)

and we are also able to warmly welcome

Barbara Hunt as our Poetry Judge

20th photo1

Sharpen your pencils, flex those fingers, get out your thesaurus


2016 SCA Literary Prose & Poetry Contest

The SCA Literary Contest for 2016 is moving to a Spring event. Deadline for entries is extended to May 14, 2016.

2016 Contest rules

11 Responses to Literary Contest

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  • kamal parmar says:


    I would like to submit a few poems for the literary contest. May I send you a cheque along with my poems?

    Secondly are there any poetry events/festivals to be held in April/May of this year?
    I reside in the GTA.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    Best wishes.

    • Eveline Klamt says:

      Thank you for your interest in the SCA Literary Contest for 2016. Yes, you can send a cheque along with your poetry entries. We hope to have an “event” here for the readings of the winning entries on Saturday May 28.
      Here’s the address to send your entries to: 181 Perry Street, Box 780, Port Perry, ON L9L 1A7
      Eveline Klamt
      SCA Administrator

  • Pamela Meacher says:

    I shall be bringing in some of my writing in tomorrow

  • Hello:
    I recently submitted 3 poems to enter the SCA literary contest. I had paid on line before I sent them. I did not realize I could not submit poetry there. I sent the receipt for payment via e-mail to How do I know if this is acceptable as no one contacted me to say they even received my submissions or receipt. Thanks for your help. Jessie L. Best

    • Robin says:

      Hi Jessie. Your payment has been received with our thanks. I am checking on your submissions and will confirm asap.
      Thank you for participating and for your patience.
      Robin Bonkowski, Arts Administrator

  • Suzanne Robinson says:

    I am wondering if creative non fiction (eg memoir story previously unpublished) would be eligible as prose entry?

  • Michelle Papp says:

    I would like to submit a short story. I am not from Scugog. I just wanted to make sure that is okay. Also, I was thinking of sending my story to a literary magazine after I enter it in your contest. Is that allowable? The story has never been published anywhere.

    Thank You

    • Robin says:

      Yes it is ok to submit your short story even though you are not from Scugog. I cannot confirm that you can submit to a literary magazine as you would need to check with them directly.


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