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Toronto Catholic District School Board

Toronto Star and Toronto Public Library
Launch 2020 Short Story Contest


So you think you might have what it takes to be an author?

If you do, the 2020 Toronto Star Short Story Contest offers you the chance to have your work published in the largest newspaper and on one of the most popular websites in Canada and to study with some of the best creative writing teachers in the country.

Effective Saturday, January 4, aspiring authors aged 16 and older living in Ontario can enter the contest, which is the largest of its kind in Canada and one of the biggest in North America. The contest is co-sponsored by Toronto Public Library and the Humber School for Writers.

The contest is in its 42nd year and has a grand prize of $5,000 plus the winner's choice of either the tuition fee for the 30-week creative writing correspondence program at the Humber School for Writers, which has an approximate value of $3,400, or a week-long summer workshop at Humber's Lakeshore campus in Toronto, which is valued at approximately $1,000. There is also a $2,000 cash prize for the second-place entry and a $1,000 cash prize for the third-place entry.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Toronto Public Library and the 10th year that the Humber School for Writers have been partners with the Toronto Star in presenting the contest, which attracted more than 1,200 entries last year.

"The Library enthusiastically supports this prize as we've done for many years," says City Librarian Vickery Bowles. "Whether it's a college student or a new Canadian or a homemaker or someone working in the IT sector, a cross-section of Toronto participates in the contest each year, telling us their stories and showing us how much talent and creativity we have here and in Ontario generally."

A panel of judges from the Humber School for Writers will read all the entries and narrow the submissions to a short list of 20-25 stories. Winners will then be selected from the short list by a panel of distinguished judges, including Vickery Bowles; Deborah Dundas, Toronto Star books editor; and Richard Ouzounian, former Star theatre critic and author of six books.


Winners will be announced in April and their stories will be published in the Toronto Star.


The deadline for submitting entries is Friday, February 28, at 5 p.m. For full contest rules, please visit