Event: Ready. Set. Write! A Short Story Marathon

Authors of all levels are invited to join us for a one day short story writing “marathon”. Stories written at this event qualify for consideration for inclusion to the first Niagara Writes fundraising anthology for adult literacy.

When: January 26, 2019 – 8:45 am to 5:15 pm

Where: St Catharines Public Library, Central Branch. 54 Church Street, St Catharines, ON [directions] [website]

Cost: FREE (other than the submission of a short story)


8:45 am – Registration: Let me know you are there and participating. Pick up your “sign” and submission form. Opening remarks (Library Lobby)

9:00 am – Library opens, writer’s disperse into library to write.

5:00 pm – Library closes. Stories due by email (See details below). Meet in Library Lobby to hand back in “signs” and “submission Affidavit forms”


5:30 pm – Meet Up for Supper at Gord’s Place* (right beside the library on James Street) [menu]

Submission details:

Please use these template specifications for the layout of your submissions:

  • Standard margins: 1 inch
  • Use 12-point, courier font.
  • Double-spaced preferred.
  • Number your pages and ensure your title is on all pages.
  • Please do not include your name on your manuscript. This is for anonymity during reading.

Submissions preferred in PDF format, but can be Word or Pages files if necessary.

Email submissions to:  submissions@niagarawrites.ca and Niagara.Writes.SSM@gmail.com

Submission Affidavit form: Please get the submission form from Krystyne at start or end of event.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is there a theme to the short stories?

A. Not this time. Feel free to submit anything you like; however, we ask that this round of submissions be no racier than “severely steamy”. Graphic / violent sex scenes will not be considered for publication in this first anthology. Thank you for understanding.

Q. Does the venue have Free Wifi?

A. Yes. The St Catharines Public Library has free wifi. No password required.

Q. Where are the washrooms in the library?

A. On the main floor off of the lobby, there is a hallway between library entrance and the cafe.

Q. Do I have to stay on-site all day?

A. No. Feel free to wander the streets of St. Catharines for inspiration, go out for lunch or get your nails done (grin) but please make certain that all writing you do on your story is done between the hours of 9-5pm in marathon day.

Q. Can I co-write with someone else?

A. Yes., but Both writer’s must be at the marathon.

Q. Does the short story have to be “publication polished” by the end of the marathon?

A. No. The purpose of the marathon is to get down your first draft. Fact check later. Just get the story out of you and on the page! You will get opportunity to revise, edit and polish once the judges review your first drafts and give feedback. The purpose of this event is just to write! Have fun!

Q. Is any food/meals/accommodation included in the marathon?

A. No. Participants are responsible for all food, snacks, beverages and any other accommodations they require for the event. This includes the cost of the optional meal at Gord’s Place after the marathon.

Q. Am I allowed to work on my story prior to the marathon?

A. Yes and no.

If you wish to be considered for the anthology – you may bring an outline with you to the marathon but you may not submit a story you started elsewhere. All words of the story must be written at the event to be considered for the anthology. If you decide to work on a story you had started elsewhere, please do not submit for anthology consideration.

Q. What happens to my story once I submit?

A. Your stories will be read by a committee (TBD) and you will receive a critique sheet that outlines what they liked, and how you can improve (based on their humble opinions). Critiques follow these guidelines: https://www.inkedvoices.com/static/critique_sheet_long.pdf

Q. When will I know if my story was selected for the anthology?

A. Once all stories have been read and critiqued by the committee, they will vote on which ones will be included. Depending upon how many are submitted, all or only a certain number will be included in the first anthology.

Q. Will I be paid for my short story if it is included in the anthology.

A. No. No one will be paid for their time or submissions to the anthology. All proceeds from sales of the completed anthology will be donated to charity. At this time the charity will be the benefactor of the Muskoka Novel Marathon. (See below how this will work).

Q. How to I benefit from participating in the short story marathon and/or anthology?

A. You get to work with other writers and benefit from networking with others with your same interests. Great friendships start here! Plus, you get great feedback from the committee on your story and how to improve for your readers. You get to see your name and story in print if you are in the anthology. And if you participate in the Muskoka Novel Marathon (our current benefactor for proceeds), all sales profit will be split between you and the other participants of our anthology who attend in the MNM. For example, if there are 2 of our anthology participants writing in the MNM and our anthology generates $100 in profit, each of the 2 who are in our anthology will get $50 donated to their MNM fundraiser links that will count towards their fundraising totals. Clear as mud? Lol. I’ll rewrite this later to try to explain better.

Q. When will the Anthology be published? When will proceeds be available for fundraiser participants?

A. Loaded question.

This is my first “kick at the can” at doing anything remotely like this, so I am unsure how long it will take to read all the submissions. Give feedback. Decide on finalists/stories to be included. Request edits/polishing from authors. Get polished/edited stories back. Reproof them. Finalize them. Format them. Get a cover designed. And put the book together for Amazon. Upload to Amazon and promote it. I am certain there might be things I have forgotten on that list too. So, this could take a few months. It might take a year. I will keep everyone in the loop as it goes though on our Facebook page – and here on the blog!