Canadian Writing Contests

English: A map of Canada exhibiting its ten pr...

As a writer, one of the things that always helps me when I hit a slump or haven’t had anything published in a while is entering a writing contest.  Even if I don’t win, it’s exciting and motivating and usually results in a work I can submit for publication elsewhere, which is always a bonus.

While I have no comprehensive list of Canadian writing contests available, I have found ten web sites that should kick-start any Canadian writer who has hit the proverbial “writing wall.”

That said, I don’t think these competitions are all entirely exclusive to Canadian writers  as far as entries go, but you will have to peruse the rules for yourself to see if submissions from elsewhere are accepted.

It has been my experience that most competitions do accept world-wide entries but some do reserve the right to limit entries as I learned once when trying to enter a UK contest and thereafter began to pay closer attention to the rules before sending off my entry.

Hope you have fun checking these out and even if you don’t enter a work in any of the contests, you may find a new read you love, a conference or organization you were unaware of.

Also, please feel free to add any links you think may be of value to writers who need some inspiration or motivation.

LOVE SAVES LIVES: The Human Condition

It is not unusual in many societies throughout...

Love. As I’ve said before, no one lies on their death-bed saying, ‘wasn’t I great at that’ or ‘isn’t my bank account fantastic?’ It is the love account that matters. That is what is drawn on in times of need and replenished in times of joy. This is the one life account none of us can escape opening and with any luck, we won’t ever close it. On my death-bed, I hope to be saying I love you to someone or at least, having someone saying to me, I love you.

Food and shelter are at issue for many every day who struggle just to provide same for themselves and families, if they even can. It is love that motivates them to continue striving for their goals, walking miles to get food for loved ones, taking horrible jobs at low pay in foreign lands just to send every penny home. It is love that holds us together when there is nothing else left. I believe love is the human condition. It keeps us going when nothing else will.

Love is what we yearn for when we don’t have any. The loving touch of a mother’s hand, the kindly hand holding of an elderly friend while walking with them, taking time to call someone just to say we are thinking of them when our day is so overloaded we really don’t have those moments to give but we also know that, in love, we will never get them back, the opportunity to show love will be gone forever if we don’t take it.

Love can take many forms. It can be as simple as the love of a pet cheering you up or a the love of strangers who cheer you on toward your goals.

Love has no condition that love itself cannot surmount. Even in moments of hurt, you can say, I’m sorry and I love you always. No matter what.

Love can be simply not letting someone down, keeping your word and walking your talk. Love can be good care of the self, taking the time out you need to replenish that you can better love those in your world. Love can be a voice on the internet telling you to hang in there. Love can be a voice on a phone in the middle of the darkest night saying, “If you need me to come and sit with you right now, I will.”

Love can often simply be showing up. Showing up is caring. Choosing absence is a position of control that some cannot see is harming themselves to “hold” more than those they “withhold” from.

Love is kindness in motion. Love is listening. Years ago, my friend Jon said, “Listening is a way of valuing others.” So right he is. Like a brother to me, life changes had him move quite far away and he is now married to a lovely woman; I’m sure they spend nights talking to sunrise as we often did. Love is the memories we make when we don’t even realize we are making them.

How we love one another on this planet defines us. Every simple act of kindness precedes us with the love shining from our character, moral compass and way of being in the world. When we are not shining purely, we hurt others.

I choose to continue to shine my love as purely as humanly possible.

Walking kindly and carrying a big ear.

JAM 11Feb2012

Art of Writing

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

 ~ Gustave Flaubert

Français : Statue de Gustave Flaubert à Trouvi...

Image via Wikipedia

Gustave Flaubert’s quote just sparked me off thinking how my own writing is a direct reflection of who I am. The more I write, the stronger my convictions become, the more I write, the stronger I feel about who I am and what I have to say as having value for others.

The more I write, the more I find my way home. To me and all that I am not just as a writer, but as a compassionate human being with much to share from her own journey and those of others she has witnessed.

I do believe Flaubert was right. It’s a good thing I cannot stop because I have miles to go before I have written myself all the way home.

What do you think about the above quote?

Do you discover more about yourself as you write, more about others or both, as I do?

JAM (c) 09Jan2011