2018 Short Story Contest

***     Attention!  Calling all writers !!!     ***

2018 Short Story Contest

Four Calgary Writers’ groups, Calgary’s Imaginative Fiction Writers Association (IFWA), Calgary Crime Writers (CCW), the Alberta Romance Writers’ Association (ARWA) and the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society (AWCS), invite you to submit your original, unpublished written works of fiction to our 2018 short story contest ‘In Places Between’.

IFWA will hold the contest in conjunction with the new When Words Collide literary convention to promote the writing and enjoyment of popular fiction in all its forms.

Contest Rules and Requirements

•      Deadline for submissions is midnight on Saturday, May 5, 2018

•      All authors must be members of the When Words Collide convention

•      No contest entry fee but entrants must be members of the When Words Collide Festival.

•      Short stories of up to 4,000 words maximum

•      Two submissions per entrant maximum..

•      Competition format – A separate first page that includes the author’s name, address, email, and phone with the word count and title of the story. The actual story will have no author information on it, including in headers: we do blind judging. The name of the story should be in the header on each page, and the pages should be numbered. All submissions should be in .rtf format. Please email all submissions to ipb.contest@gmail.com

•      Stories are judged on a combination of factors, including professional presentation, originality, ingenuity, entertainment factor, character, plot, spelling, grammar, and other authorial skills.

All stories will be read and rated to provide the top ten stories. All remaining submissions will be returned with a short critique of the work with notes to suggest improvements.


We are privileged to have a distinguished panel of judges who provide critiques to all the finalists at When Words Collide, and determine the winners of this year’s contest. The panel includes:

Gerald Brandt

Gerald Brandt is an International Bestselling Author of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. His current novel is The Rebel – A San Angeles Novel, published by DAW. His first novel, The Courier, also in the San Angeles series, was listed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as one of the 10 Canadian science fiction books you need to read and was nominated for the prestigious  Aurora Award. Both The Courier and its sequel, The Operative, appeared on the Locus Bestsellers List. By day, Gerald is an IT professional specializing in virtualisation. In his limited spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, rock climbing, camping, and spending time with his family. He lives in Winnipeg with his wife Marnie and their two sons Jared and Ryan. You can find Gerald online at http://www.geraldbrandt.com, on Facebook as Gerald Brandt – Author, and on Twitter @geraldbrandt.


Jeff Campbell

J.R. Campbell is a Calgary based writer and editor whose short fiction has appeared in the anthologies ‘A Study in Lavender‘, ‘Fantasical Visions 2‘, ‘Rigor Amortis‘ and ‘Tesseracts 20: Compostela‘. As an anthologist his credits include, with co-editor Charles Prepolec, the Aurora nominated titles ‘Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes‘ and ‘Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places’ and, with co-editor Shannon Allen, the 2018 release ‘By the Light of Camelot‘.



Shirlee Smith Matheson

Shirlee Smith Matheson’s definition of success is being “a story keeper” – writing adult nonficion biographies as well young adult novels that add to society’s collective knowledge. Her enrollment in writing programs at the Banff Centre afforded her the privilege of meeting, and having as instructors, some of Canada’s top writers including W.O.Mitchell, Alistair MacLeod, Irving Layton, and Robert Kroetsch. Shirlee has had 20 books published and her literary material is in the University of Calgary Library Special Collections. She has had dozens of short stories (adult, young adult & children’s) published in literary and commercial publications and anthologies such as Alberta Bound and Alberta Rebound (NeWest Press, Edmonton, AB); Winds Through Time (Beach Holme Publishing, Victoria BC); Country Roads (Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, NS); In the Footsteps of Giants (Chinook Historical Society, Calgary, AB); and Canadian Children’s Annual (Overlea House, Markham, ON), to name a few. The latest in her popular Canadian aviation stories, Amazing Flights and Flyers, is a fascinating collection of adventures ranging from aerial hijackings to secret Nazi weather stations in Labrador, from the missions of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association to an incredible aerial rescue expedition in the Antarctic. “Every story is different, every story is astonishing, and every story is completely true!”


Margaret Curelas

Margaret Curelas is the owner of Tyche Books, which publishes science fiction and fantasy and related non-fiction. When she isn’t smiting commas and adverbs, Margaret can be found reading. A lot. She also writes, and you may find her most recent short story in the 49th Parallels anthology. Margaret lives in Calgary with two humans and a varying number of guinea pigs.



Prizes ($CDN)

$125.00 – First Place

$100.00 – Second place

$75.00 – Third place

$25.00 – Honorable mentions (7)

The top stories will be printed in the annual In Places Between Short Story chapbook publication. A copy of this publication will be provided to each of the top ten authors.

Prizes and publication of winning entries are made possible through financial support from IFWA, AWCS and ARWA. We thank them for their generous contributions.

Past Covers

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