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LitCon Short Story Dispenser Contest

Showcase what you learned at LitCon by submitting your best piece of fiction or poetry. Send your piece to litcon@calgarylibrary.ca between May 27 and midnight on June 7, 2024, and you could win the chance to have your work printed on demand by the Short Story Dispenser at Central Library. 

Tips for writing a strong entry: 

  • Have some kind of tension or conflict in your piece 
  • Make each word count and use rich language 
  • Have an engaging character and some sense of the setting, but tell us only the necessary details about both 
  • You may want to hint at a larger story that surrounds the one you’re writing (but don’t be too ambiguous) 


Please follow these submission guidelines: 

  • 1 minute stories (fiction, poetry) up to 350 words max/ 2600 characters including spaces  
  • 3 minutes stories (fiction, poetry) up to 750 words max/4800 characters including spaces 
  • 5 minute stories (fiction, poetry) up to 1200 words max/ 8,000 characters including spaces 
  • You can only submit one work of either fiction or poetry 
  • Fiction or poetry must not require a specific line layout or indentation 
  • All stories must be submitted ready to be published “as-is.” No editing will be done after the fact. 
  • Must be your own original writing 
  • Content must be family-friendly 
  • Submit your story to litcon@calgarylibrary.ca. Include your first and last name, and a phone number and email address you can be contacted at, in the body of the email. Attach your submission to the email as a .doc, .docx, or PDF file. 

The LitCon Short Story Dispenser Contest is open to all residents of Calgary, surrounding area, and Indigenous communities who are currently attending grade k – 12, at the time of entry.  

This contest runs from May 27, 2024, to June 7, 2024, and is organized by the Calgary Public Library. 

Relatives of employees and representatives of the Calgary Public Library, as well as their advertising and promotional agencies, affiliated corporations and other persons, firms or corporations involved in the development or execution of this contest, are not eligible to win the contest. 

Winner Selection Process 

Submissions will be judged by a panel of five writers and editors, consisting of Library staff. Judging will begin on June 3, 2024, and conclude by June 14, 2024, at which time the five winners will be contacted. If the winners do not respond to this notice ONE (1) week after correspondence is sent, a new winner may be chosen in their place. 

The winners’ name(s) and likeness may be used in future marketing and promotional materials with written and/or verbal consent from the winner. These may include notice on the Calgary Public Library website, social media channels, or other materials. 

The Prizes 

The five winning works of fiction or poetry will be added to the Short Story Dispenser at Central Library, to be printed at random on-demand. Winning authors will receive one (1) printed copy of their story as it appears in the Dispenser, and a certificate of their achievement. 

Additional prizes may be provided at the discretion of the Administrators. 

Entry Conditions 

Entries must be the intellectual property of the entrant. Entrants who attempt to, or are suspected of, tampering with the rules and regulations of the contest will be disqualified. By entering this Contest, each participant agrees to abide and be bound by these contest rules. All decisions of the Administrators shall be final and binding upon the participant. The prize shall be accepted as is and may not be exchanged or refunded for an amount of money, sold or transferred. No substitutions will be allowed. Any unused portion of a prize will be forfeited. If the prize cannot be awarded as described in these rules, the Administrators reserve the right to substitute a prize or prize component with another of comparable value, as determined in its sole discretion. Refusal to accept the prize releases the contest parties from any obligation toward the winner. By participating in the contest, the winner agrees to the possibility of their name, voice, or likeness being used in promotional material relating to this contest without additional financial or other compensation. All entrants agree to release the Administrators, their respective directors, officers and employees, from all liability for any damage or loss arising from participation in this contest or from the awarding, acceptance or use of the prize. The Administrators reserve the right, exercisable in their discretion, to disqualify and ban any participant from this contest if the participant is found or is believed to have been tampering with the entry process, or the operation of the contest. The Administrators reserve the right to cancel, suspend, withdraw or amend this contest in any way, without prior notice or obligation, in the event of an error, technical problem, computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the Administrators that interferes with the proper conduct of this contest as contemplated by these rules. By entering this contest, each participant agrees that the Administrators will not be liable for any injury or damage from whatever cause associated with or in connection with this contest. This contest is subject to Canadian law and void where prohibited or restricted. 


Any personal information gathered from contest entrants in connection with this contest will be kept in a secure and confidential database and will not be rented or sold. Personal information of the contest entrants will be used for the administration of this contest for the purposes of this contest only. 

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