Paint a picture on a postcard in only 50 words

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival group challenges authors to keep it light, bright and tight.

If it’s been done before, the members of the Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival group don’t know about it — but they wouldn’t be surprised if it does and it sure isn’t going to stop them.

It’s a new writing contest, designed to get people to submit works of up to 50 words — or the amount of letters that one might be able to fit on the back of a postcard.

Called the Adult Writing Postcard Contest, it opens Saturday, Aug. 15 and closes Sept. 15.

Entries can come in on plain paper — or on  a postcard.

Spokesperson Sharon Hope says they were looking for a new contest to help raise awareness of the Festival, and came up with what they think will be a real challenge.

“We were trying to have a different type of contest,” she explained. “The challenge is to write in a concise form.”

So, instead of writing contests that can ask for entries of up to 2,000 words, they’ve gone with one asking for significantly less.

Why 50 words?

Hope said few postcards that she’s seen have room for any more.

“That’s about all you can fit on there.”

The idea, she said, is for writers to use that limit to convey a message or take a snapshot of life in very few words.

The Festival organization put on their main event every two years and this, being an in-between year, means they are looking for ideas and events that will keep them — and literacy in general — in the spotlight.

This September, Hope said they are opening a writing contest for school students, reaching out to elementary, middle and secondary school-age kids to write about a variety of topics. That one, starting with the return to school and closing Sept. 23, will see a lot more than the 50 words of their Postcard contest.

 

Postcard contest guidelines

• Typed entries preferred, but legible printing or handwriting accepted.

• Two entries per person only. Must be 19 years of age or older.

• Must be your original work that has not been published elsewhere.

• Submit each entry with a cover sheet that contains: your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, entry’s title and word count.

• Drop off entries at the Vancouver Island Regional Library in Sidney or email them to Beverley at slfcontest2@gmail.com

• Deadline for entries: Sept. 15, 2015.

• No entry fee.

First and second prizes of $150 and $75 will be awarded at the Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival’s Gala evening on Saturday, Oct. 3 starting at 7 p.m.