Logo banner Final for Web

Girls 2017 Literary Competition

Request for Literary Submissions

The 2017 Girls Conference Writing Contest is open to all girls, young women and nonbinary youth aged 12 – 18 living in Nova Scotia.

We are seeking creative writing on the theme of POWER: Who has it? Who needs it? What do we do to get it?

Tell your story through personal essay, fiction, poetry, screen or stage play, diary entries, graphic short story….Surprise us! We are open to a wide variety of genres, voices, experiences and interpretations of Power.

The contest will be judged by a special guest judge TBA and Katherine Barrett, Understorey Magazine’s founder and editor in chief. Decisions will be announced at the Girls Conference on March 3rd, 2017 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Three prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place.

Writers of the winning entries will receive $100.00 for first place, $75.00 for second place and $50.00 for third place and first place will be published in the youth issue of Understorey Magazine in the spring of 2017. Understorey is an online magazine of writing and visual art by and about Canadian women and is published in partnership with the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender, and Social Justice (AMI).

Judges will consider:

  • Originality. Is this a fresh, exciting story? Is the writer’s voice clear, unique and engaging?
  • Interpretation of the theme. Does the writer provide an unusual or thought-provoking slant on the theme of power? Does the submission tell us something about the world beyond the story?
  • Quality of writing. Does the story pull readers in? Can we believe in the characters (even if they are fictitious)? Does the writer use the five senses to create vivid details? Does the writer use literary techniques such as scenes, dialogue, and metaphor?
  • Adherence to guidelines below.


  • Writers may submit up to three entries. Teachers, parents and guardians are invited to submit work on behalf of the writer (with the permission of the writer).
  • Submissions must be solely the work of the writer and must be previously unpublished.
  • Please note that we are not looking for research essays or opinion pieces. Submissions must tell a story using the techniques of literary poetry or prose.
  • Maximum word length: 1500.
  • Attendance at the Girls’ Conference is not a requirement for consideration.
  • Deadline for entries: February 1, 2017.

Send contest entries by email directly to girls2017@msvu.ca