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The History of the Okanagan Short Story Contest

The Okanagan Short Story Contest was originally jointly sponsored by the Central Okanagan Foundation and Okanagan University College. In 2006, with the demise of Okanagan University College, the contest was revived as a joint project of the two new post-secondary institutions in the valley: Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan with the Central Okanagan Foundation. The contest has been held annually since 1997(with two years missing.) Support from the contest has come from the George Ryga Centre, CBC Radio One in Kelowna and Kelowna Capital News. Prizes each year vary, but they have included a cash award, a reading, the publication of the story in a chapbook, excerpts of the stories broadcast on CBC radio, a weekend retreat at the George Ryga Centre, and most recently a week-long residency at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre .

John Lent and Nancy Holmes administered the contest for Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan respectively for many years. In 2009, professor Michael V. Smith UBC Okanagan took over the administration of the contest, with help from fourth year students. The story now is run by various students and faculty at UBC's Okanagan campus Creative Writing program. The short story contest is made possible by the efforts of support staff at UBC Okanagan, our terrific judges, and the Central Okanagan Foundation. All funds remaining after prizes and administrative fees are paid go to pay for a scholarship for a creative writing student who transfers from Okanagan College to UBC Okanagan.

This website was created by Ian Hoyte and is maintained by faculty, staff and students at UBC Okanagan.

Photography Copyright 2006 Nancy Holmes