The Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing Contest

Sharpen your pencils!

Sharpen your pencils! It's time for the SIWC Writing Contest

Now that I’m not on the board anymore, I should enter this. Then again, email submissions are not allowed (honestly, is it SO hard???) and I don’t have a printer. Maybe I’ll make a web video of me typing it out on my old ’59 Hermes and get some juice out of it that way.

Wow, they’re getting specific with these. The deadline has a time as well as a date!

Deadline for entering is 4 p.m., Friday, September 10, 2010

1. The Surrey International Writers’ Conference Writing Contest is open to all writers 18 years and older. Young writers should check out Surrey Public Library’s Young Writers’ Contest.

2. Submissions from employees of the Surrey Continuing Education Department, instructors in the Surrey Creative Writing Diploma Program, and members of the Conference Board of Directors cannot be considered.

3. All submissions must contain original material, and may not have been previously published, accepted for publication, or have been a winner in another contest prior to the September 10th deadline.

4. Four Categories:

SIWC Storyteller’s Award: short stories 3,500 — 5,000 words

SIWC Non-fiction Award: maximum length 1,500 words

SIWC Poetry Award: one poem per submission: 40 lines max.

SIWC Writing For Young People Award: short stories, maximum length 1,500 words

5. Standard manuscript format — double-spaced, typed, one side only on white 8-1/2 x 11″ paper (letter-sized),each page to include title and page number only. No staples, please. Poetry may be single-spaced.

6. Blind submissions — the author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript except cover page.

7. Include a cover page listing the writer’s name, address, email address, phone number, entry title, word length, and award competition category. Attach to manuscript with paper clip. All information is held in strict confidence, and will be destroyed after the contest winners are announced. Manuscripts are not returned.

8. In addition to hard copy, all entrants must be able to submit their work by email if requested. (This enables us to forward short-listed work to the final judges, and to produce the anthology of winning work in time for the conference). Short-listed writers will be notified in early October.

9. Entries are also accepted by email. Please follow the submission guidelines as noted above and copy your submission into the body of your email. Send your email to Attachments will be deleted, unread. The contest coordinator will print and format your submission (including a cover page) as per above instructions for consideration by the judges. Send your cheque or money order to

SiWC Writing Contest

SD #36, Unit 400, 9260 – 140 Street

Surrey, BC V3V 5Z4


Emailed entries will not be considered until the entry fee is received.

10. No entries will be returned. If you want the receipt of your entry acknowledged, please enclose a stamped,self-addressed postcard.

11. Final judges to be announced.

12. a) Mail deliveries:

SiWC Writing Contest

Unit 400, 9260 – 140 Street

Surrey, BC V3V 5Z4


b) Courier or hand deliveries:

SiWC Writing Contest

Unit 400, 9260 – 140 Street

Surrey, BC V3V 5Z4


c) Email entries:

Submit your work in the body of your email to Attachments will be deleted.

13. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: All entries must be postmarked by 4 p.m., Friday, September 10, 2010. No late entries will be considered.

14. All entries must be sent by email, regular mail, courier, or hand delivered. Faxed entries will not be accepted.

15. Only work which conforms to all the guidelines can be considered. Due to the volume of entries, we are unable to contact writers whose entries are incomplete. Check that yours meets every requirement before submitting.

16. The judges and conference/contest organizers cannot comment on individual entries.

17. Entry fees: $15 per submission. You may enter as many pieces as you like in one or more categories, but each entry must be accompanied by the $15 fee. You may combine fees in one cheque or money order. Fees must be received by September 10, 2010.

18. Cheques/money orders must be included with all entries, and be payable to SiWC. Emailed entries must send cheque or money order by mail to

SiWC Writing Contest

Unit 400, 9260 – 140 Street

Surrey, BC V3V 5Z4


19. Winners will be informed by October 13, 2010. Prizes will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony on the first evening of the Conference, Friday, October 22. Winners will be listed on the conference website in the week after the conference.

20. Prizes:

Storyteller’s Award: 1st Place $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) $150 each.

Nonfiction Award: 1st Place $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) $150 each.

Poetry Award: 1st Place $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) $150 each.

Writing for Young People Award: 1st Place $1,000 and anthology; Honourable Mention(s) $150 each.

In some cases, prizes might not be awarded exactly as noted, according to the discretion of the judges.

All winning entries will be published in the Writing Contest anthology which will be available at the conference Friday evening, immediately following the announcement of the winners.

21. Submission implies the author is granting first right of publication to the SiWC, as winners will be published in our annual anthology. Rights then revert to the author. Entering the contest also grants the SIWC the right to publish the entrant’s name in the contest anthology and the SIWC website, should the entrant be short-listed for, or win, a SIWC writing contest prize. Please see the SIWC website ( for the SIWC’s full privacy policy.

Direct any queries about the contest to kc dyer:

NB. Young Writers should investigate Surrey Public Library’s Young Writer’s Contest

Zombie Literature Appreciation Day Party: our May monthly meeting!

Welcome to the zombie party!

Welcome to the zombie party!

In honour of Zombie Awareness Month, we will be hosting a discussion of the literature of the reanimated as our May event. What better way to celebrate the ripening Summer than to feast our minds on the ravening necronauts which have brought us so much pleasure over the aeons?

Attendees are invited to bring their favorite piece of zombie literature for reading: poems, screenplays (not the WHOLE thing, though!), short stories, short-short stories, and particularly haikus in the original Japanese are all welcome.

Zombie Literature Appreciation Day Party

7-9pm Monday, May 17
The Shebeen, 212 Carrall Street behind the Irish Heather (go right through and to the back; we will be lurking in the back corner)
$20 buys you dinner and a drink; it’s the best deal in town!
Note that salt-free menu options are available for the zombies in attendance.

Dress: Zombie or victim. Please, let’s keep it pure: no bloody vampires, for once!

Please check your weapons with the hostess.

In the event that ninjas materialize, there will be a rumble between ninjas and zombies to settle that question once and for all. Five bucks on the zombies.

See you then! Or not, if you’re ninjas.

You can join our Facebook group here:!/group.php?gid=50587958868&ref=ts
You can respond to this event on Facebook here:!/event.php?eid=116900301680148&ref=ts

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Writing Short Screenplays: The Good News and Bad with Ric Beairsto

Ric Beairsto

Ric Beairsto

Got this from a Facebook message from the Vancouver International Film Festival group or page or whatever it is that I joined sometime last year and now can’t remember. But I found the direct Facebook Link anyway. I’m dogged like that, yo.

And really, you CANNOT beat that price! Best price I’ve ever seen on a screenwriting workshop, and with the VIFF behind it, you know it’s going to be quality.

Attention Filmmakers and Creative Writers:

This Saturday Nov 22, 2:00pm, Vancity Theatre

Writing Short Screenplays: The Good News and Bad with Ric Beairsto

This three-hour workshop will address the art of storytelling in its broadest, most accessible sense, then range through to the much more exacting craft of short story writing for the screen. Focus will be on the increased flexibility of short form (the good news) but will include discussion of the impact of the obvious constraints of writing within more immediate boundaries (the bad news). Particular attention will be paid to the evaluative skills involved in determining which story ideas lend themselves best to short screenplay, as well as an examination of the means of writing a short screenplay designed to give the filmmaker the best chance of producing a truly compelling ‘calling card.’ A number of successful short films will be screened during the workshop, some locally produced, some international in their origins, with a continued emphasis on the story characteristics and genres which lend themselves well to successful execution in short form. Copies of  THE TYRANNY OF STORY: Audience Expectations and the Short Screenplay will be available for sale to workshop attendees at a discounted rate.

Ric Beairsto is an award-winning screenwriter, director and producer who has been active in the Canadian film and television industry since 1980. He has written more than a dozen feature-length screenplays, and his TV writing credits begin with The Beachcombers for CBC and extend to Mixed Blessings, currently in production for APTN, where Ric is the Creator and Head Writer. Since 1987, Ric has also taught screenwriting on a part-time basis at various post-secondary institutes, including the Vancouver Film School, The Interior Film and Television Centre, Trinity Western University and Langara College, where he has actively workshopped more than 1500 short screenplays. He is the author of  THE TYRANNY OF STORY: Audience Expectations and the Short Screenplay, first published in 1998, and now available in a revised 2 nd edition. The book is about story form in general, and short screenplay form in particular, and has been used as a regular textbook in over a dozen North American film schools, including UCLA and the American Film institute

Adults $20 // Students $15

For tickets and info:


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