Brain Block

Yesterday, I my interest was piqued by a writing contest for Canadian authors when I stumbled across the Canada Writes website. It surprises me that I didn’t find the site until this weekend, considering how much time I spend online and/or writing and being Canadian. It’s the CBC Creative Nonfiction competition, and I’m going to enter. In true me style, I found out about this thing ten days before the contest closes on February 1, so yet again I find myself working on a tight timeline. Crap.

Luckily for me, the length requirement for this competition is 1200-1500 words, which is considerably shorter than many of my blog posts. I cannot submit anything I’ve done for Blue Speckled Pup since the rules forbid entering any writing that’s been previously published. Based on the brief length of the composition I need for this enterprise, I should have been able to rattle off a piece in an hour yesterday afternoon. After all, “creative nonfiction” is what I write and publish here most days. Creative nonfiction refers to engagingly-written true stories, serious or funny or whatever else they may be. The genre varies from journalistic non-fiction writing in its use of language and literary techniques.

The grand prize is $6000. I could certainly find good use for $6000, and I promised The Electrician that if I happen to win this contest (however small the odds, I believe wholeheartedly in positive thinking) I am taking us to Disneyland. Nothing says “worthwhile investment of Canadian contest booty” like a trip to the state of glamourous excess and the hub of American family tourism.

Here’s the thing: I can’t decide what to write. Many of the stories I would love to share with a wider audience already exist here. I don’t want to overlap anything I’ve already said on my blog in case I get disqualified for having an entry that’s too similar to a previous piece. I don’t know how strict the adjudication is, but since I’ve never attempted this competition before, I’m going to play it extra safe. I half-expected a snazzy idea to burst forth from my brain matter yesterday while I did laundry and scooped the cat box, but nothing happened. I guess cat turds don’t provide fertile thinking ground.

Help me, beloved readers! (Yes, I really do love you and you don’t even pay me). What do you recommend: should I write something humorous or should I come up with something sentimental and goopy? I have a bit of an idea for either option, but I’d like some guidance from my modest but loyal fan base. Leave me a comment and give me your valued advice. Thanks in advance!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. O.K. Since I’m all about doing internet searches, I decided to try to find out who had won this award before, and I found this: (there are links on the page to each of their essays). It looks like they were both more on the sentimental goopy side rather than the humorous side, so that seems to be what the judges want.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Writing Jobs says:

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  3. Mary says:

    I was going to go with the humourous side, you have a lovely light humour and a way of looking at your life with humour that I really enjoy and brings me back here time and time again.

  4. pipersmom says:

    I was going to suggest you write about how you and The Electrician met, but the only reason I know is because i’ve read it here lol, so that won’t work. So maybe go with why you choose to be a teacher?

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