North Island College English instructor Steve Schoenhoff is hosting the 12th annual 3-Hour Fiction Writing Contest this summer. He’ll provide a prompt to participants. ‘It might be a psychological problem deep in the heart of the protagonist, or a conflict for control of the universe … or the last roll of toilet paper,’ he said. Image provided

North Island College English instructor Steve Schoenhoff is hosting the 12th annual 3-Hour Fiction Writing Contest this summer. He’ll provide a prompt to participants. ‘It might be a psychological problem deep in the heart of the protagonist, or a conflict for control of the universe … or the last roll of toilet paper,’ he said. Image provided

North Island College writing contest returns this summer

There will be three chances to take part in the virtual 3-hour writing competition

A North Island College English teacher is continuing to offer his annual three-hour writing contest this summer. But with pandemic restrictions still in place, there’s a twist. The contest is going online.

The 12th annual writing contest challenges participants to create a piece of fiction in just three short hours. This year they will be given a prompt from a hidden online video.

“As in past contests, it might be a psychological problem deep in the heart of the protagonist, or a conflict for control of the universe… or the last roll of toilet paper,” says Steve Schoenhoff, NIC English instructor and contest organizer.

He started the contest in the Comox Valley 12 years ago after hearing about a three-day novel-writing contest in Vancouver.

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“It’s amazing what can happen when you lock people in a time bubble and ask them to write their way out,” Schoenhoff said. “The quality of work has been great every year.”

This year, the three-hour writing contest will be spread out over the summer with three different opportunities to take part. June and August contests will be for fiction while July is for poetry.

Writers will work from home and submit their finished pieces to the NIC English department’s website.

The prompt will become available for the first contest starting at 6 p.m. on June 28. The deadline to register for the first contest is June 27. Interested writers can email Schoenhoff to register at stephen.schoenhoff@nic.bc.ca. According to a NIC press release, registration may include a donation to the NIC Foundation with proceeds going to support creative writing students through the Stephen Schoenhoff Creative Writing Scholarship.

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Writers may choose to sign up for one, two or all three contests this summer.

First prize is $100 and the winning entry may be published on the NIC English department’s website.


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