Call it a mini National Writing Month (TBayWriMo?), call it a 30-day warning, call it whatever you like – just don’t call in too late!

February 28 officially marks the last month of the NOWW 19th Annual Writing Contest. Online submissions are due by 11:59 pm Thunder Bay time (Eastern) on March 31, 2017. “We’ve had several entries already for each of the five categories, but we’re expecting many more to come this month,” said Jodene Wylie, the contest committee chair.

“Writers tend to be very deadline-oriented, so if you’re submitting on the very last day, you won’t be the only one!” Wylie added that it might be helpful to actually think of March 30 as the “soft” deadline. “I know at least one writer who missed a contest deadline by one minute – he still talks about it to this day,” she said.

Although Wylie said that she sympathizes with those who worked so hard on a piece only to miss the deadline, NOWW closely observes the rules to make it fair for everyone. “Plan to get it in a day early as a buffer.” (Read more on deadlines:

Judges for the contest come from all over Canada, representing some of the finest writers in their fields. This year’s five judges are: Ann-Marie MacDonald judging the Short Fiction category, Jane Urquhart judging the Bill MacDonald Prize for Prose, Stephen Kimber judging the Creative Nonfiction category, Jayne Barnard judging the Novel category (this year’s theme is Speculative Fiction), and Liz Howard, recent winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, judging the Poetry category.

Full contest details including bios of the esteemed judges are available at