Final chance to take part in NIC’s 3-hour Fiction contest 2020

NIC English instructor Steve Schoenhoff is hosting the final summer installment of NIC’s 3-hour Fiction Contest. Register by Saturday, Aug 29 to take part.

Writers have a one more chance to put their creative skills to the test in the final round of NIC’s 3-hour Fiction contest.

The 12th annual contest challenges writers to deliver a creative writing piece in just three hours, based on a prompt that will be hidden in a video, posted online.

The contest was moved to a new, virtual format this year and expanded, with three opportunities to take part.

“It was a bit of an experiment to see if an online contest would work,” said contest organizer and NIC English instructor Steve Schoenhoff. “Everything came together better than I'd hope, with writers from around the Island and the rest of BC.”

The final round, focusing on fiction, will take place Sunday, August 30. Writers will be given access to the prompt for a designated three hour window, starting at 6 pm at

A panel of NIC faculty and staff will judge the completed works based on readability, creativity and the degree to which it weaves the required elements into the story.

First prize is $50 cash and a $50 gift certificate. The winning submission may be published on the English department’s website.

The winning entries from the first two rounds have been posted online:

“You'll find a brief description of the prompt along with the winners, one short story from June and the winning poem from July. They're great examples of creativity under pressure,” said Schoenhoff.

Schoenhoff brought the competition to the Comox Valley 12 years ago after hearing about Vancouver’s famous three-day novel-writing contest. There were more than 40 entries in NIC’s very first contest.

The registration deadline for the final contest is Saturday, August 29.

Interested writers can register by emailing Schoenhoff at Registration may include a donation to the NIC Foundation. Proceeds support creative writing students through the Stephen Schoenhoff Creative Writing Scholarship.

Along with professional writing and literature, NIC offers a wide range of creative writing courses. ENG 107 covers ‘fiction and non-fiction’ writing, while ENG 108 looks at ‘poetry and drama.’

Registration is now open for fall. See a full list of NIC’s English courses at

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