NIC English instructor, Steve Schoenhoff. Photo submitted

NIC asks: can you write under pressure next weekend?

North Island College English instructor, Steve Schoenhoff, invites local writers to join him for NIC’s 10th Annual Three-Hour Fiction Writing Contest Sunday, Nov. 18, from 1-4 p.m. at NIC’s Comox Valley campus. Registration is by donation to the NIC Foundation.

The contest takes place at NIC’s Comox Valley campus, in Tyee Hall, Room 114, starting at 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

“It’s amazing what can happen when you lock people in a room and ask them to write their way out,” said Steve Schoenhoff, NIC English instructor and organizer of the contest.

The contest winner receives a $300 NIC voucher and will have their winning entry published in a local newspaper.

“At 1 p.m. the doors close and writers will be given elements that must appear in the story,” said Schoenhoff. “It might be a psychological problem deep in the heart of the protagonist, or a conflict over control of a useless piece of furniture.”

Schoenhoff brought the competition to the Comox Valley 10 years ago, after hearing about Vancouver’s notorious three-day novel contest.

“There were over 40 entries in NIC’s very first contest,” Schoenhoff said. “The quality of work has been great every year.”

Writers craft their story in NIC’s computer lab and print their work at the end of the three hours.

A panel of NIC faculty and staff will judge the stories based on readability, creativity and the degree to which they weave the required elements into the story.

“Writing a story in three hours can be an inspiring dilemma for people,” Schoenhoff said. “I wanted to give short story writers an opportunity to show what they can do under pressure.”

Registration is by donation to the NIC Foundation. Proceeds support creative writing students through the Stephen Schoenhoff Creative Writing Scholarship. Register by contacting Steve at 250-334-5094 or email stephen.schoenhoff@nic.bc.ca.

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