Cedric literary awards expand

Starting Feb. 1, writers are encouraged to submit their manuscripts for the competition’s third year.

Building on its B.C. success, the Cedric Literary Awards writing competition for unpublished writers over the age of 50 is expanding its horizon in 2017 to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

Starting Feb. 1, writers of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry are encouraged to submit their manuscripts for the competition’s third year.

“Our plan has always been to open this opportunity to all unpublished Canadian writers over 50,” said awards founder Peter Dale. “This year we are including English and French-speaking writers from three additional provinces and will continue our expansion to the rest of Canada by 2020.”

The founders of the Cedric Literary Awards believe strongly that encouraging mature emerging writers empowers them to come out of social isolation and gives them a platform to showcase their writing as part of a juried competition.

“In addition to awarding $3,000 to the winner in each category, we also award a prize of the same value to a First Nations writer,” said executive director Veronica Osborn. “Beyond that, we believe the value of having a manuscript reviewed by a selection panel made up of some of Canada’s best writers and poets is an opportunity few mature emerging writers would have were it not for the Cedrics.”

Since 2015, more than 300 writers from across B.C. have taken part in this first-in-Canada competition. Among them is 2016 non-fiction winner Beth Hawkes, of Saltspring Island, who said, “Receiving a Cedric Literary Award has encouraged me to share my words more freely with others, to deepen my exploration of the art and craft of writing, and to continue contributing to the world I live in.”

The deadline for submissions is May 1. Interested writers should visit the www.thecedrics.ca to review the 2017 competition guidelines.