Call for Submissions: What’s Your Story? Short Prose and Poetry Competition for Emerging Writers

Posted on February 2nd, by scararts in Recent News. 13 comments

What's Your Story, Scarborough? Short Prose and Poetry Competition for Emerging Writers

The Ontario Book Publishers Organization is pleased to announce that submissions are being accepted until January 15, 2018 for the What’s Your Story? Short Prose and Poetry Competition for Emerging Writers.

This writing competition is part of What’s Your Story?, a series of events that celebrates the literary communities in four different community hubs: Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, and East Toronto. In the spring of 2018, literary events will be held in each of these neighbourhoods featuring one winning emerging author and their works (along with three established writers). There will be a total of four winning emerging authors who have written works inspired by one of the four community hubs Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, and East Toronto. 

Read last year’s winning Scarborough pieces here


There is a $1,000 prize for each winning author. The author will be featured at one of the What’s Your Story? literary events in the fall of 2017, published on and published in an anthology of all winning works.


The competition is open to writers who are over 16 years-old, are Toronto residents and have not had a book published. Authors must be available to participate in the literary events that will be scheduled for the fall of 2017, the dates of which will soon be determined. What’s Your Story 2016 winning authors are not eligible.


  1. Submissions will be accepted by email only. Please put What’s Your Story? Emerging Writers Competition in the subject line.
  2. Short prose submissions must be between 1,300 and 1,500 words and poetry submissions must be a maximum of two pages. Entries should be typed, double-spaced, in a clear twelve-point font on a 8.5″ x 11″ sized document, saved as a Word document with your last name in the document name and neighbourhood identified. Please put the neighbourhood you are writing about in the upper left hand corner of the first page and can be single or double-spaced. The boundaries of the neighbourhoods are below. Please do not include author name on writing sample. This is a blind competition.
  3. Please provide a cover page stating your name and a 50-word bio and title it with your first and last name.
  4. Entries must be received electronically by May 1, 2017 at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time to
  5. Winning entries will be notified by email in early July 2017.


Scarborough — Steeles Ave to Lake Ontario and Victoria Park Ave to the Scarborough-Pickering Townline
East Toronto — O’Connor Drive to Lake Ontario, and the DVP to Victoria Park Avenue
Etobicoke — Steeles Ave W. south to Lake Ontario and Mill Road east to the Humber River
North York — Steeles Ave. to Eglinton Ave and Victoria Park Ave to Jane St/Hwy 400


13 responses to “Call for Submissions: What’s Your Story? Short Prose and Poetry Competition for Emerging Writers”

  1. Jackelyn (Bobby) Aherne says:

    I was wondering if you had to be 16 on time of entry, or 16 within 2017?

  2. May says:

    I’m living in Markham. Is there any competition in my area?

    • scararts says:

      Hi May,

      What’s Your Story is a Toronto-specific competition, but I’m pretty sure that Markham Arts Council has a great resource for literary opportunities! Good luck!

      – Scarborough Arts

  3. Val says:

    can the story be about anything (or in any genre) as long as it is ultimately inspired by a Toronto neighborhood?

  4. Val says:

    oh, sorry to bug you again, but I was wondering if you wanted submissions to be family-friendly. (sometimes I swear when I write)

  5. Han Han says:

    Is it a complete story?
    about myself?

    • scararts says:

      Hi there! It can be whatever you want it to be, but it has to be inspired by/related to a neighbourhood in Toronto!

  6. Denise says:

    Hello, I just want to confirm that the story doesn’t need to be a real-life story. Can it be fictional, as long as it reflects the inspiration from one of the neighbourhoods?

    Also, can the word count be less than 1300 words, or must it be somewhere in between 1300 and 1500 words?

    Thank you


  7. Marc says:

    Hi, has the judging been completed / winners notified?

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