Collins Writing Contest

White bird flying into the distance on a blue background

30th Annual Collins Writing Contest:  Flight

In human history, flight has been envied, attempted, and finally conquered, and it still sparks
the imagination of people worldwide.

We marvel at hummingbirds, mark seasons by the direction geese fly, and daydream about jetting away to distant lands.

For the 30th annual Collins Writing Contest, entrants are invited to explore the subject of flight in a short story.

Download the entry form here. [PDF - 835 KB]

Important Dates

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 9:00 pm

Entry Deadline

Friday, March 23, 2018 GPPL staff members will start notifying winners
Saturday, June 16, 2018 Awards Ceremony

Entering Contest

Please submit your entry to:

Collins Writing Contest
Grande Prairie Public Library
#101, 9839 103 Avenue
Grande Prairie, AB  T8V 6M7

Contest Rules

  1. Authors must reside in the City or County of Grande Prairie, Saddle Hills, or the MD of Greenview to be eligible.
  2. Authors may submit one entry per year.
  3. Stories must be previously unpublished.
  4. Entries must be typed in a minimum 12-point font and double-spaced.  Handwritten entries will not be accepted.
  5. The maximum length of a story is 2000 words (with no minimum).
  6. The author's name, address, phone number, and word count must be included on the entry form and stapled to the front of the entry.  The entrant's name MUST NOT appear anywhere on the story itself.
  7. Contest entries must be submitted in print form; e-mailed entries will not be accepted.
  8. Authors should save a digital copy of their story.  Winning authors must later submit their story in a Microsoft Word-readable format (.doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf) to be published in the anthology.
  9. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure their stories are submitted in compliance with these rules.
  10. GPPL staff members are not responsible for catching errors upon story submission.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why can't I submit a handwritten story?
    • Stories must be readable for our judges, as they could be reading hundreds of entries.
    • Authors must have a digital copy of their story to submit if their story is chosen as one of the contest winners.
  • Can I type my child's story?
    • Yes, you may type your child's story, but you may not correct the grammar, spelling, or plot points while transcribing it.
  • Can I enter a one-word story?
    • Yes, but GPPL does not recommend taking this approach if you intend to have a reasonable chance of winning the contest.
  • Why can't I put my name on my story?
    • All stories will be judged anonymously to ensure fairness.
  • What does "previously unpublished" mean?
    • Previously unpublished means that your story has not been shared with the public.
      • If your story has already appeared in print form (in a book, magazine, etc.) or has been posted online where it can be read by the public, it is a previously published work.
  • Can I submit a story I self-published?
    • Self-published works do not meet the above criteria for previously unpublished works, and may not be submitted.
  • Can my story include characters from a show I like?
    • Entries must be original work and include original characters, settings, and plots.
  • Can I e-mail you my story?
    • GPPL requires print copies to distribute to contest judges, and it is not practical for our staff members to print hundreds of contest entries.  Please submit a printout of your story along with a completed entry form to the Children's Information Desk on the second floor of GPPL.
  • I typed my story in Google Docs.  Can I just send you the link to enter the contest or to submit my winning story?
    • GPPL requires print copies to distribute to contest judges, and winners must submit their stories in a format that prevents future changes by the author once submitted.
    • Unfortunately, a story contained in Google Docs does not meet either of those requirements.
  • I wrote my story in Pages on my Mac -- can you accept that file if I win?
    • Microsoft Word cannot open .pages files.  Please save your story as a .doc, .docx, .odt, or .rtf file to ensure you are able to submit the file if you are chosen as a winner.
  • A staff member quickly flipped through my story when I submitted it -- that means my entry is okay, right?
    • GPPL staff members cannot ensure every story complies with the full set of contest rules at the time of accepting entries.  Authors must ensure they have followed the contest rules when preparing their submission.
  • Something came up -- can I submit my story late?
    • The entry deadline is firm; authors are encouraged to plan to submit their story well in advance of the entry deadline.
  • I made a mistake -- can I re-submit my story?
    • Re-submissions and replacement stories will not be accepted because GPPL staff members cannot guarantee the revised version was written by the author of the original story.
  • I had my students all write entries for the contest.  Can I submit them together?
    • Yes, provided that...
      • Your students gave permission for their stories to be entered,
      • Each story is accompanied by a completed entry form, and
      • The individual entries all comply with the full rules of the Collins Writing Contest.
  • How are winners contacted?
    • GPPL staff members will contact winners by phone, then by e-mail if necessary.
  • When and where will the winners be announced?
    • GPPL will announce winners on this page and through GPPL's social media channels after the winners have been contacted.
    • Please do not contact GPPL to ask if you have won.


All winners and honourable mentions will receive a copy of the published anthology.  In addition, winners will receive cash prizes as follows:

Grades 1-3

First Prize:  $150.00
Second Prize:  $125.00
Third Prize:  $100.00

Grades 4-6

First Prize:  $200.00
Second Prize:  $150.00
Third Prize:  $125.00

Grades 7-9

First Prize:  $250.00
Second Prize:  $200.00
Third Prize:  $150.00

Grades 10-12

First Prize:  $300.00
Second Prize:  $250.00
Third Prize:  $200.00


First Prize:  $350.00
Second Prize:  $300.00
Third Prize:  $250.00


If you have any questions that are not answered on this page, please e-mail Jacob Fehr at