Writing Contest

The 3rd annual Wind & Water Writing Contest returned in 2021. We’ve covered themes of Exploring and Memory, and this year’s theme was the concept of Unity, in light of the challenging times we are currently facing. We asked entrants from the Quinte and Prince Edward County regions to interpret the theme in unique, exciting and creative ways for a host of prizes, recognition and celebration! In the past, we have had winners who are both seasoned and emerging writers.

We are pleased to announce the 2021 winners! Yet again, it wasn’t an easy choice, but our judges were unanimous in their choice of winners.


Winner: Sanctuary by Shauna Haugen

Judges’ comments on Sanctuary: “Beautifully written with powerful imagery, Sanctuary really spoke to our theme of unity, and offered the reader such a beautiful escape to the author’s world.”

Honourable Mention: Atmospheric Waltz by Nora-Lyn Veevers

Fiction and Non-fiction:

Winner: Fox and Mouse by Andrea Koehler

Judges’ comments on Fox and Mouse: “A beautiful story stunningly written with a unique spin on the theme, we loved this story for its powerful use of language.”

Honourable Mention: sleep, an account in ten parts by Halliday Reynolds

Congratulations to Shauna and Andrea for their winning entries, and thank you to all the writers who submitted for our 3rd annual contest!

About the Judges

Kelly S. Thompson is a retired military officer who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and is a PhD candidate in Literary and Critical Studies at the University of Gloucestershire. Kelly won the House of Anansi Press Golden Anniversary Award for fiction, the 2014 and 2017 Barbara Novak Award for Personal Essay, and was shortlisted for Room magazine’s 2013 and 2014 creative nonfiction awards, placing 2nd in the 2019 competition. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies and in publications such as Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Maisonneuve, and more. Her memoir, Girls Need Not Apply, released summer 2019, was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller and rated one of the top 100 books of the year. Her next memoir, Still, I Cannot Save You, will be released with McClelland & Stewart in May, 2022.

Dorian Widling is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He has written several short stories and is currently working on a historical novel set in 18th century France. Dorian is also an award-winning photographer, having taken several prizes at the Department of National Defence Photo Competition, as well as having won a commendation from the judges at the Sony World Photography Awards. Dorian’s images have been shown in places as far as Grosvenor Gallery in London, UK, and his work is held in private collections across North and South America.


  • 1st Prize for Fiction or Non Fiction: $200, published in Artscene (our monthly newsletter with over 1200 subscribers) and on our website and shared on social media.
  • Honourable Mention for Fiction or Non Fiction: Published on our website and a fifty-page consult with Kelly S. Thompson.
  • 1st Prize for Poetry: $200, published in Artscene (our monthly newsletter with over 1200 subscribers) and on our website and shared on social media.
  • Honourable Mention Poetry: Published on our website and a five-poem consult with Kelly S. Thompson.
  • Winners in both categories will also be invited to appear on Artscene 99.3FM, the county radio show, to discuss their win and writing.
  • Winners and Honourable Mentions in both categories will be invited to read their work at a PECAC event, to be set at a later date.


  • Pieces can be any genre, but poetry will be a separate prize, and fiction and non fiction as a joint prize.
  • Pieces should be no longer than 1600 words.
  • Writers may enter as often as they like.
  • The piece submitted cannot be previously published.
  • Only emailed entries will be considered.
  • The written piece cannot be under consideration for a prize elsewhere until the winners are announced.
  • Ensure your name does not appear on your submission anywhere except on the cover letter.
  • You must reside in the Quinte region or Prince Edward County. (If you are uncertain of whether or not your location fits within the guidelines, simply email us at
  • Entries must be accompanied by a $15 entry fee and $10 for additional entries.
  • Prince Edward County Arts Council and Quinte Arts Council members pay only $10 and $5 for each additional submission.
  • The contest judges reserve the right to dismiss any submissions that do not meet the guidelines above.
  • Only writers who are longlisted will be notified by email. The longlist will be announced on social media and our websites in mid-May, 2020, with the shortlist announced shortly after. Winners to follow by end May.

How to Enter

  • The deadline for submissions is 31 March, 2020, at midnight!
  • Include a cover letter with your name, title, genre, word count, contact info, and a short bio. PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR GENRE.
  • Include your title on every page of your entry in the header.
  • Number every page.
  • Select the PayPal drop down menu item for your first or additional payment. Once complete, note your order number and include that your cover letter as proof of payment.
  • Send all submissions by email, in PDF or a WORD DOC only, along with proof of payment to
  • You will receive an email within a few days, acknowledging receipt of your submission.
  • Wait for the winners and start writing something new!

Past Contest Winners

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