The 34th annual Collins Writing Contest hosted by the Grande Prairie Public Library has come to a close and the winners have been selected. Head of Children’s & Teen Services Jacob Fehr says that he is pleased with all of the submissions.
“We had some really great entries once again. This year we decided to go with the Beyond theme. Someday, we’ll be on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. I really wanted to encourage people to use their imaginations in their writing,” he explains.
“This contest gives people the opportunity to put all of their thoughts down on paper and could be a stepping stone for potentially publishing a longer novel in the future. Moreover, it encourages people to hone their writing skills. With just a 2,000-word maximum, writing a story is pretty attainable. It’s something that people can finish in a reasonable amount of time and be proud of.”
Fehr gave credit to everyone who entered the contest but he pointed to Her Scars by Lily Healing, as one that stands out, which won first place in the grades 4-6 category.
“It was a compelling, incredible story about a person trying to escape in either an assumed identity or a circular story with a paradox. In the reading of it, the story could’ve been read either way. Lily has a heck of a lot of talent and I look forward to reading her entries in future years,” he says.
The contest has evolved over the years since it first began in the 1970s.
“When it was first established, it alternated between poetry and short story contests. Whereas the last 20 years the contest has been exclusively for short stories,” he says.
Fehr adds that he will determine the theme for next year’s contest early in the summer or upcoming fall, encouraging people to enter.
In total, $3,750 in prize money was handed out this year. For a full list of winners and honorable mentions in each age category, visit the Grande Prairie Public Library website.