The first ever Voice writing contest!


$600 in scholarships to be awarded
$300 each in the fiction and non-fiction categories

Write for The Voice and win money for your education.

The Voice is launching its very first writing contest, with categories for both fiction, and non fiction.

Non-Fiction: In 1500 words or less, tell us what you would do if you were the President of Athabasca University. Feel free to use research or statistics in your article [with proper citations], or write a creative opinion piece. Don’t just write a critique of AU – tell us what you would do to make a difference and to make distance education even better!

Fiction: Free form – write a 1500 word or less fiction submission in any genre or any format. Short stories, poetry, a scene from a play, even a comic. Be creative!

Please read the contest rules and regulations and submission guidelines very carefully to ensure you are not disqualified. Good luck!

Rules and Regulations:

Entrants must be students of Athabasca University (* see below for the defintion of a student). Student status will be confirmed with the AU registrar. Please ensure that the registrar has your current address and contact information.
All non-fiction entries become the property of The Voice. Winning entries will be published in an upcoming Voice issue. The Voice reserves the right to print non-winning fiction entries at a rate of remuneration in accordance with current Voice freelance submission rates. The Voice may use information from non-fiction entries to create a composite article about what entrants would do as president of AU, or may use excerpts from these entries at any time. No remuneration will be provided for such use.
All decisions regarding this contest and the selection of winners remain with the judging panel and are final and binding.
AU, AUSU, and Voice staff or council members are not eligible for the contest.
Entries will be judged by a panel to be selected by the Voice Editor, and this panel may include: AU students, AU tutors, and/or AUSU council members. The panel will include at least 3 members.
The Voice Editor will collect articles and oversee the judging, but will not be a judge.
Entries must be original works which have not been printed or published elsewhere, and must not be course assignment papers or derivatives of.
Entries must not contain any information that would make the identity of the author evident to judges. To insure fairness, all entries will be forwarded to the judging panel with a reference number attached, but no personally identifying information will be forwarded. The Voice Editor will keep the identity of the authors private until the contest closes. The Voice editor will keep a record of the authors of submissions, and will be the sole owner of this list.
Entries will not be edited for grammar, spelling, or content, although The Voice Editor may black out any personally identifying information contained within the submission. Otherwise, entries will be forwarded to the judging panel, as is.
The deadline for submissions in both categories will be October 15, 2003. The winner will be announced by November 10, 2003. The Voice reserves the right to extend either deadline if necessary.
One grand prize winner will be selected in both the fiction and non-fiction categories. If no entries are received in one of the categories, the prize money will be returned to the Voice scholarship budget. Prizes will be awarded in the form of a cheque, payable in Canadian funds.
The Voice reserves the right to add additional, secondary prizes.
The Voice is not responsible for lost emails. The Voice editor will confirm receipt of all entries by email. Follow up if you do not receive a reply.
All entrants agree to allow their name and city to be printed, along with their submission, should it be selected as a winning entry. No further remuneration will be paid to the contest winner when their entry is printed.
Entrants will be asked to sign a standard Release and Indemnity form; each prize winner agrees to release the Sponsor and its agents from any liability in connection with the prizes awarded in this contest.
Any entrant found to be tampering with the contest results, or attempting to influence any of the judging members, or using any forums or other public communications media to advise others of which entry is theirs will be disqualified; or if The Voice editor determines, at her sole discretion, that any other form of tampering has been attempted, that entrant will be disqualified.
Where applicable, this contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest void where prohibited by law.

Submission Guidelines:

Your submission must be an electronic file, sent as an attachment to email. Submissions sent as the body of an email will not be accepted. Contact if you require instructions on how to attach a file to an email.
Submissions should be in Microsoft Word format [.doc], rich text format [.rtf] or plain text format [.txt]. If you use a Word Processor other than Word or work on a Mac computer, you can save a file in one of these alternate formats using the ‘save as’ function and selecting the desired format on the save menu. Contact The Voice editor if you require assistance in formatting your submission.
All entries must be under 1500 words, due to judging time constraints. Length will be determined by the Word Count feature in Microsoft Word. Your References and Citations section will not be included in the word count.
Entries should not include unnecessary formatting such as drop caps, graphics [unless the graphic is integral to the work], or unusual fonts. Times New Roman or Arial 12 point font are preferred. Entries must be text – scans of hand written or typed documents will not be accepted.
All entries forwarded to the judging panel will be converted to the same file format, font style and font size.
Submit your entry as an email attachment. The email should include the following information: Your full name, your AU student ID number, an email address and telephone number where we may contact you, your home address, the title of your entry, and whether you are submitting a fiction or non-fiction entry. Make sure non-fiction entries are based on the topic question detailed above. Fiction entries can be on any topic you like. Do not include your contact information within your article – but be sure to include a title. Your contact information and article will be coded, and filed separately.
Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
Non Fiction entries: will be judged on originality, creativity, the plausibility of your suggestions, and how well your support your suggestions with data or argument. You will also be judged on the presentation of your article, including professionalism, proper spelling, grammar and syntax, and readability.
Fiction entries: will be judged on creativity, entertainment value, and the originality or your writing style. Regardless of the genre you choose, you will be judged on the effectiveness of your piece, and your technical writing skills.

* An AU student, for the purposes of this and all Voice contests, is any student who is a valid AUSU member. AUSU members include all current students, as well as anyone who has taken a course which ended in the last 6 months. If you extend a course, the revised end date is used to determine student status.