Aerial of Kelowna campus. (Okanagan College)

Aerial of Kelowna campus. (Okanagan College)

Okanagan Young Writers Awards almost closed for 2022

Submissions end Nov. 30 and the finalists will be announced on Dec. 9

The best of the Okanagan’s literary future still have a few days to get their submissions into the Okanagan Young Writers’ Awards.

The awards (OYWA) were founded to promote excellence in writing for students in high school and beginning college, and are now open to any youth from 14 to 19.

“Our beautiful Okanagan Valley has long inspired talented creatives from around the region,” said OYWA Chair Jadon Dick. “We really wanted to build on this legacy with a literary competition intended to showcase the next generation of Okanagan writers.”

The awards come with a $200 cash prize in each of the two major categories: fiction, including either a short story or one-act play, and poetry through a group of three poems submitted by Nov. 30.

Selected entries will be featured in a Best of the Okanagan Young Writers’ Awards collection and published in print and online by Okanagan Publishing House.

The Trophy Den in Kelowna is supplying medallions for the top three submissions in each category and the Okanagan Regional Libray is hosting a story/poetry reading at their newly renovated ORL Mission Branch on January 15th.

“When we were putting together this initiative, we wanted to put the people writing first. Our focus is on growing the writers and their joy and love in this art form,” said Dick. “We are committed to providing praise and feedback for each submission, regardless of where it places.”

The OYWA judging panel features some of the region’s finest including Kerry Gilbert, Jeremy Beaulne, and Jeremy Lanaway, professors at Okanagan College. Jadon Dick, of Okanagan Publishing House and local author Robert Humphries, who recently released their poetry collection Fractured Thoughts, round out the judging panel.

There is no cost for submissions, an intentional step by the OYWA Committee to increase accessibility to the contest.

Once submissions close, the entries will be reviewed and then the finalists will be announced on Dec. 9. Winners will be announced on Dec. 16.

To learn more and to enter, you can visit okanaganyoungwriters.ca.

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