NCPL Brings Back Annual Writing Contest


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There’s still time to let your creativity run free to compete for the Norfolk Literacy Prize.

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The Norfolk County Public Library encourages writers and poets to submit their original work for this year’s competition.

Formerly known as the Write for Fun competition, the Norfolk Literacy Prize will continue with paperless submissions from recipients.

Writers will have the option of writing a short story no longer than 2,500 words or a poem of any length.

“I kind of wanted to rename the whole writing contest,” said Belinda Smith, virtual library coordinator at NCLP.

Smith said the competition moved from the Write for Fun competition to the Norfolk Literacy Prize due to previous submissions that covered serious topics.

“I didn’t want the contest to undermine the content we were getting. I wanted to raise the prestige behind the writing contest. That’s why we replaced it with the Norfolk Literary Prize; it’s basically the same writing contest, just a bit more adult.

There are three age categories for applicants to submit their work: 9-13, 14-17, and 18+.

People can submit up to two entries in the short story and poetry categories.

First, second and third place winners will receive a cash prize.

All work must be submitted by the July 31 deadline.

“With the three different age categories, we get a huge range of topics in the news category. We get people to submit short stories that cover autobiography, fiction, and all kinds of topics,” Smith said.

“The poems submitted cover topics like suicide, love and nature, that’s really all the writer draws from, we get it all.”

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Smith said the library hopes to host an in-person awards ceremony in mid-fall at one of NCPL’s branches with a guest speaker or panel visit. Winners will be announced at the event.

Last year there were 80 submissions. Smith said she hopes that number doubles or triples this year.

Smith said her favorite aspect of the contest is that she can connect with people who share a passion for writing and enjoy showing off their work.

“It really represents Norfolk County and the talent we have. It’s a contest but there is no competition between people. Everyone is so generous in supporting and encouraging each other, it’s so inspiring.

To download a submission and for registration details, visit

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