Writing contest

Third annual WCWF Writing Contest

Sponsored by The Raven’s Oddities … a store full of eclectic and unique finds located in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia. Pop in and tell them WCWF sent you.

Reedsy "Best Writing Contests 2022" badge
Reedsy "Best Writing Contests 2023" Badge

Reedsy.com has listed our WCWF Contest as one of the best two years in a row! Thank you Reedsy!

WCWF Contest Coordinator: Kara Antifeau

Kara is an avid reader, writer and is active within her writing community. She will be your go-to for any contest questions.

All entries will go to Kara. She will sort and code each one, make sure the eligibility rules are followed (pay attention to word count, dates, formatting, etc.) and when the contest closes, she will distribute entries to the judges.

Read the eligibility rules first and if you still have a question email Kara. WCWFContest@gmail.com

Payment options are at the bottom on this page.

Judge of Short Fiction: Dave Butler

Dave Butler is the author of the Jenny Willson mystery series, published by Dundurn Press. He’s a forester and biologist living in Cranbrook, British Columbia, in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. His writing and photography have appeared in numerous Canadian publications. He’s a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal winner, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. When he’s not writing, Dave is professionally involved in sustainable tourism at local, national and international levels and he travels extensively. He’s a Professional Author Member of the Crime Writers of Canada. Dave is represented by Sam Hiyate at The Rights Factory and is a founding member of, and regularly posts at Free Range Writers.com.

Judge of Short Non-Fiction: Christina Myers

Christina Myers is a writer, editor, and former journalist. Her novel The List of Last Chances (2021) was a finalist for both the 2022 Leacock Medal and the Fred Kerner Book Award. She is currently at work on a collection of essays (expected to be out in 2024, details TBA) as well as her next novel, and she is represented by Westwood Creative Artists. Her work has appeared in almost a dozen prior or forthcoming anthologies, as well as in magazines, journals and online, and she has been the editor of one non-fiction anthology, with plans for another one forthcoming. An alumnus of the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University, she now teaches both fiction and creative non-fiction through the university’s continuing studies creative writing department. 

Judge of Poetry: Genevieve Wynand

Genevieve Wynand

Genevieve Wynand is an editor for Pulp Literature, and an award-winning writer with work in print, online, and included in public-art displays. Her adventures as a haiku poet have taught her to pack as much life as possible into as few syllables as necessary. Genevieve’s work appears with PRISM international, Grain, Tricycle, Frogpond, First Frost, Kingfisher, Modern Haiku, Presence, The Heron’s Nest, Unlost, Complete Sentence, and Introvert, Dear, among others. Visit her at genevievewynand.com.

PRIZES In Each Category:

Winners (1st/2nd/3rd) and Honorable Mentions will all receive a complimentary copy of WCWF Writing Contest Anthology

  • 1st Place: $150, entry to next year’s WCWF (accomodations and travel not included), publication in anthology
  • 2nd Place: $75, anthology, publication in anthology
  • 3rd Place: $50, anthology, publication in anthology

It is up to the discretion of the judges in each category as to whether or not there will be Honorable Mentions.


$15.00 per fiction/nonfiction/poetry submission, non-refundable.

$25 for two same-time submissions, non-refundable.

Contest Rules and Regulations

  • FICTION short story maximum is 2,000 words. Any genre welcome. Going over the word count will result in disqualification…even if the count is 2001. No exceptions.
    • Formatting your short story: double-spaced, 12-pt Times New Roman. No special fonts or pictures. Blind submissions only— the author’s name MUST NOT appear anywhere on the document except the cover page. Submit as a .docx or .pdf file. All manuscripts need to be sent electronically.
  • NONFICTION short story maximum 2,000 words. This genre includes creative nonfiction, memoir, personal essay. Going over the word count will result in disqualification. No exceptions.
    • Formatting your non-fiction piece: double-spaced, 12-pt Times New Roman. No special fonts or pictures. Blind submissions only— the author’s name MUST NOT appear anywhere on the document except the cover page. Submit as a .docx or .pdf file. All manuscripts need to be sent electronically.
  • POETRY in any style or structure are welcome. Maximum 40 lines including stanza breaks. This means you count any empty breaks between as a line. Going over will result in disqualification. No exceptions.
    • Please title your work. The title is NOT included in the word count. The space between the title and the first line (poetry) does not count as a line.
    • There is no maximum or minimum word count for poetry.
    • Formatting your poetry submission: 12-pt Times New Roman, can be single-spaced. No special fonts or pictures. Blind submissions only— the poet’s name MUST NOT appear anywhere on the document except the cover page. Submit as a .docx or .pdf file. All manuscripts need to be sent electronically.
  • Cover/Information Page: this is to be included with each entry as page one. It will include: Title as it appears on your piece, author’s name, address, email address, phone number, category entered, and word/line count. All contact information is held in strict confidence and will be duly destroyed after the event. Please ensure you keep a copy as nothing will be returned.
  • Email Your Entry to WCWFContest@gmail.com Each entry must include the payment receipt, manuscript and cover page.
  • All entries will be acknowledged by a return email. Check your spam or junk box.
  • 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 deadline.
  • Please note our internet policy: If a work has been briefly excerpted anywhere on the internet it is still eligible as an entry, but if it has been published or posted in its entirety on a blog or any other internet site, it is not eligible for our contest, as we retain right of first publication as a part of our mandate.
  • Winners will be announced at the Wine Country Writers Festival on Friday September 22, 2023.
  • Submission implies the author is granting first right of publication to the Wine Country Writers Festival Society on the website and in an anthology. Rights then revert to the author.
  • Entering the contest, grants the Wine Country Writers Festival Society the right to publish the entrant’s name and entry title on our website (and photo if available.)
  • Festival organizers, instructors, judges, and close family members of WCWFS are not eligible to enter the contest.
  • If a writer feels it is imperative that a disclaimer be attached to their work, it is to be short (max 25 words) and will not count in the overall word count.

Eligibility and Entry Fee:
This contest is open to writers and poets, over the age of 18, worldwide. 

$15.00 per fiction/nonfiction/poetry submission, non-refundable.

$25 for two same time submissions, non-refundable.

Multiple entries welcome if accompanied by entry fee at the time of payment/entry only.

• Submissions must be in English.


The contest is open to all writers, over 18, established and emerging, worldwide. See exceptions above. You do not need to be registered, in attendance, for the Festival.


  • OPEN: March 29, 2023
  • CLOSE: June 30, 2023 at 2359 hrs (11:59pm) PST (Pacific Standard Time ie: the time in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.)

It is your responsibility to ensure the deadline is met. And, sorry no refunds.

Winners are chosen by blind judging (only the Contest Coordinator knows the name of the entrants). Judges’ decisions are final.

We can’t wait to read your stories and poems. Get them in as soon as you can.

**Note. We reserve the right to extend the deadline if deemed necessary.

Good Luck and Happy Writing.

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Past contests


One Entry To the WCWF Writing Contest

Single entry $15


Two Entries to WCWF Writing Contest

Two Entries must be submitted at same time. Can be in separate category.


Pay by E-Transfer: wcwfestival@gmail.com

This will be an auto deposit. Please include your name and entry title in the notes.

Good Luck