Local writers and musicians get ready for the Annual ‘Writing in 150’ competition

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
Local writers and musicians get ready for the Annual ‘Writing in 150’ competition
Jen Pretty, 1st place winner of the 2020 Fiction Category. (Photo : Submitted photo)

North Dundas — A Bunch of People Arts and Events is set to host the Annual Writing in 150 writing competition on Saturday, April 15th, 2023 at the North Dundas Business Centre in Winchester – 457 Main St E, Winchester, ON K0C 2K0.

The fifth year of the competition, this is the brain-child of Board Member Patrick Burger and is one of the organization’s most successful events. As usual, profit from this event will be donated to House of Lazarus to help local community members.

The first year of the competition took place on-site at McCloskey’s in Chesterville. At that time everyone created their pieces at the same time in the same place and their pieces were judged on-site. All the writers got together afterward and shared their work with each other and the public, but since the pandemic, each person has worked from home and submitted their work online.

“This year we are excited to say we are going back to the original format where everyone will write at the same time in the same place and then share their work with each other while the judges are deliberating. It was so nice to share the work together and the public is invited to attend to hear the stories, poetry and songs that were created in 2 ½ hours that day!” exclaimed Amanda Burger, president of A Bunch of People Arts and Events, the not-for-profit organization that holds the yearly writing competition.

The event will start at 11 am, with judging beginning at 1:30 pm and it is at 1:30 when the public is invited to attend.  1st and 2nd place winners will have their written work published in a book, and the 1st place winners’ work will also be published on Perch magazine’s website. For the second year running, the 1st place song will be recorded professionally by Railroad Recording Company and the song-writer receives a track of the piece for uploading to music platforms.

Scheduled April 15th, Writing in 150 is so named because the competitors have 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) to write based on a theme given to them that day. Four writing genres are involved: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry/Spoken Word and Song-Writing. Fast-paced and creative, the competition will be judged by a line-up of experienced judges including Rachelle Eves (Poetry), Tom Schoch and Jen Pretty (Fiction), and Murray Barkley (Non-fiction), and we are excited to have Lyle Odjick, a First-Nations  musician living in the Ottawa area, as our Song-Writing judge.

Tony Glen, winner of the first year’s song-writing genre, said, “I think we were all surprised what we could achieve in 150 minutes. Having a deadline like that really energizes the creative spirit. Everybody has something important to say; this event gave us license to express ourselves in a supportive environment.”

Last year’s winners were all published in a book entitled Expansions by Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Publishing Inc. “The book is a real success,” says Burger. “We always sell well, with many bought as Christmas stocking stuffers!”


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