New awards program to spotlight unpublished older writers

Calling all West Shore would-be writers, submissions accepted until May 1

The Cedric Literary Awards are calling for submissions from writers over 50.

The award program is aimed specifically at recognizing and celebrating unpublished writers that age or older.

“That is the community we are trying to reach, and the reason we think it is important is because we want to give writers in that demographic an opportunity to showcase their work,” said executive director Veronica Osborn.

English and French-speaking B.C. writers of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, as well as First Nations storytellers, are being encouraged to submit a book manuscript by the May 1 deadline for the juried competition. Each of the four category winners for the provincewide competition will receive a $3,000 prize.

“We’ve been receiving a steady stream of submissions since we put out the call for submissions,” Osborn said. “But we’re hoping for more so that we can have a competition that is truly representative of the talent we know is out there of writers with a lifetime of experience to share.”

Authors who have published their own stories on their own social media channels are still eligible, but self-published books available to the public are not.

Osborn called the competition quite unique for Canada, adding the plan is to run a national contest next year. “I am happy to say the response has been extremely positive, not just from writers but from organizations that support writers.”

While she chose not to name the judges, she said all are well-known and award-winning writers in B.C. and Canada. The program is funded by Betterthan50.com and writers must be at least 50 as of Jan. 1 2015. The submission fee is $25 per category. For more information visit thecedrics.ca or email vosborn@thecedrics.ca.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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