#ABWRITERS Write Your Way Out of Isolation


After 2 grueling months and 3 rounds of writing we are pleased to announce the winners of the #ABWRITERS Write Your Way Out of Isolation challenge.

1st Prize: Suzanne Johnston (Calgary) – winning entry, Crossing Over

2nd Prize: Megan Fennell (Lethbridge) – winning entry, The Birdwatcher

3rd Prize: Julie Meier (Calgary) – winning entry, Waiting for a Blue-Eyed Boy

Round 3 Finalists Included (in no particular order)

  • Barry McNeil (Edmonton)
  • Caitlin Evans (Jasper)
  • Rea Tarvydas (Calgary)
  • Kaitlyn Jewell (Edmonton)
  • Vivian Heather (Calgary)
  • Heather MacIntosh (Calgary)
  • Natalie Vacha (Calgary)

Huge thanks to our judges.

  • Round 1 – Ali Bryan, Robert Bose, Pamela Clark, Sarah L. Johnson and Taylor Lambert
  • Round 2 – Rona Altrows, Lori Hahnel and Fran Kimmel
  • Round 3 – Paulo da Costa and Lauren Carter

Stay tuned for a special reading to celebrate Alberta Culture Days and our winning writers. 


Who’s up for a challenge? Alberta Health has announced that gatherings be limited to 15 people until the end of August but we’re not going to let that stop us from writing. AWCS is offering you a summer writing challenge. From July 1-August 31 join the Alexandra Writers Centre and Write Your Way Out of Isolation. Open to fiction and creative nonfiction writers. There is writing to be done and prizes to be won.

This challenge is open to Alberta writers only.

July 1-August 31, 2020


It’s easy. Sign up online to secure your spot.

Round One – July 1-8, 2020

On July 1st, every participant will receive a prompt in their email. You must incorporate these prompts in some way into your story. You then have one week to write a 2000-word story. Submit your story by midnight on July 8 to be eligible. A jury will select the top 25% of entries to move on to the next round.

Round Two – July 29-August 1, 2020

On July 29th, round two begins with another prompt sent to your email. This time you have only 4 days to write a 1500-word story. Submit by midnight on August 1 to be eligible for the final round. The top 10 will be selected by a jury to advance to the final round.

Round Three – August 24-26, 2020

On August 24 you will receive your final prompt. This time you have only 3 days to write a 1000-word story. Submit by midnight on August 26 to be eligible for the final prize.

The top three stories will be announced by September 1, 2020.

A virtual reading of the winning stories may be planned for early September.


First Place: $1000

Second Place: $750

Third Place: $250


Thanks to The Calgary Foundation for their support during this pandemic to help us keep Alberta writers writing.


General Rules and Submission Guidelines

  • This challenge is open to Alberta residents only.
  • Writers of all ages are invited to participate.
  • Upon payment of registration fee, you will be assigned a unique identification code as your name must not appear anywhere on your submission.
  • To be eligible for future rounds stories must be submitted by midnight on the deadline date. No exceptions.
  • Stories can be fiction or creative nonfiction.
  • Submissions must be sent by email in a .doc, .docx or .pdf format.
  • Please ensure pages are numbered and that you have a title. Your name must not appear anywhere on the document.
  • In the header, please include the title of your story and your UniqueIDCode.
  • Your story must be typed and double-spaced in an easy to read, 11 or 12 pt font.
  • Your document must also be named in the following format [RoundX_Title_UniqueIDCode]
  • Authors retain all rights to their stories.
  • Winning entries may be published online on the Alexandra Writers Centre website at the end of the challenge for a period of up to one year.