Vancouver Island's secret scribes have come out of the woodwork again to answer the call of So You Think You Can Write - a public writing contest for amateur wordsmiths.
We received about 160 submissions in response to the open call, which asked unpublished writers to use six specific words in a 250-word piece. Short stories ruled the day, but the Times Colonist also received memoirs, poetry and even a submission in the form of a letter.
Soon, four finalists will compete in weekly writing assignments for a chance to win a trip for two to the Galiano Literary Festival.
They'll be asked to stretch their skills and step out of their comfort zones - and their work will be publicly critiqued by a panel of three writing professionals, whom you'll meet today.
Those judges will award points to each of the finalists' weekly submissions, but the tally will be kept secret until the end of the contest.
It isn't a read-only contest though. The public has its say by picking the Readers' Choice Winner, who takes home a netbook computer, by voting online each week. Interested in challenging yourself? Readers are encouraged to follow along with the contest at home - why not complete the assignments and share them with friends? Consider it a public workshop.
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