Inviting Vancouver Island and

Gulf Island writers to submit their short stories.


This year over $2200 in cash and prizes will be awarded!



First prize: $700 cash

Second: $400 cash

Third: $300 cash



First prize: $250 cash

and published in the Anthology "In Our Own Teen Voice - 5” 

produced by the Vancouver Island Regional Library

with the support of Rebel Mountain Press

Second: $150 cash

Third: $100 cash



First prize: $75 Chapters gift certificate

Second: $50 gift certificate

Third: $25 gift certificate.


Winners and finalists also choose from a selection of books donated by the Vancouver Island Regional Library.


Now in its 14th year, the contest is open to writers of all ages on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. More than $2200 in cash and prizes will be awarded over three categories: Adult (writers 19 and over), Youth (writers 13 to 18), and Junior (writers 12 and under).

Thanks to a boost in funding from the Vancouver Island University Department of Creative Writing and Journalism, which co-sponsors the award with the Nanaimo Arts Council and the Vancouver Island Regional Library, the top prize, given to the first-place winner of the Adult category, is now $700. Increased amounts will go to the adult second- and third-place finalists as well.


“We’re delighted to support the Islands Short Fiction Contest,” says Kathy Page, Chair of the VIU Department of Creative Writing and Journalism. “The contest is a great motivator and a wonderful opportunity for writers — it’s just a fantastic way to both stimulate and celebrate local talent.”


“This is an opportunity for Island writing talent to really shine,” says Daniel Appell, General Manager of the Nanaimo Arts Council.


Judge of the 2019 adult category is novelist and short-story writer Stephen Guppy. The author of two novels, The Fire Thief and Like I Care, he has also published two collections of short fiction, Another Sad Day on the Edge of the Empire and The Work of Mercy. His stories have been selected for The Journey Prize Anthology, Best Canadian Stories, and various other anthologies. Recently retired from VIU, Guppy has also published a textbook for creative writing workshops: Writing and Workshopping Poetry—A Constructive Introduction (Broadview Press).


The Youth and Junior categories are judged by VIRL librarians specializing in young adult and children’s literature. The winner of the youth category will be eligible for publication in the anthology In Our Own Teen Voice—5, produced by the Vancouver Island Regional Library with the support of Rebel Mountain Press.


  • Each entry in the Adult category must be accompanied by payment of the $20 entry fee. Your story will not be officially entered in the contest until the entry fee has been received. There is no fee for the Junior and Youth categories.

  • Entries will not be returned.

  • The Islands Short Fiction Contest is a regionally-focused competition intended to highlight the work of area writers. Submissions are accepted from residents of Vancouver Island and the northern and southern Gulf Islands only.

  • Your name must not be on any part of the entry except the entry form .

  • Multiple entries are permitted so long as each entry has its own entry form and entry fee payment.


  • Entries must be previously unpublished and not currently under consideration in any other competition. Stories which have previously placed first, second or third in the Islands Short Fiction Contest may not be entered again.

  • STORIES MAY BE NO MORE THAN 2000 WORDS. Entries above the word limit will not be considered.


  • Deadline for submission March 29, 2019 (noon)

  • Entries may be submitted online using our electronic form (see below for links), and payment made using PayPal.

  • Note: You do not need a PayPal account to pay via PayPal. You may use a credit card or Visa debit card, or a PayPal account if you have one.

  • You may also submit via regular post or dropping off hard copy at 78 Wharf St. Nanaimo. BC V9R 2X3

  • Click here for adult entry form

  • Click here for junior and youth entry form

Winners will be announced at a reception and reading on Saturday, April 27, 2pm at the 78 Wharf Street Gallery. All entrants will receive an invitation by e-mail to attend; winners and finalists will be notified no later than one week in advance of the presentation. The results will be announced in a media release, as well as online on this website and in NAC’s weekly electronic newsletter and quarterly review. The first, second, and third place stories in each category will, with permission of the authors, be posted on this website. 

Good luck!


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"Nanaimo Arts Council acknowledges with gratitude that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation."