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Write on! Registration opens for Okanagan College Three-hour Poetry Contest

March 14, 2014 - 4:12 PM

Versifiers, rhymesters and sonneteers from throughout the region will congregate on all four Okanagan College campuses on Thursday, April 3 to put their deftness with doggerel and love of lyric to the test in the first annual Okanagan College Three-hour Poetry Contest.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, aspiring poets who are Okanagan College students or high school students in Grades 11 or 12, will have 180 minutes to create up to three original poems in the poetic form revealed at the beginning of the contest. Instructions will be provided.

“We’re launching the Three-hour Poetry Contest in response to the success of the Three-hour Short Story Contest we hold every fall,” explained Okanagan College English Professor Kerry Gilbert. “We thought it would be valuable to reach writers who prefer working in verse over prose.”

“As a writer, I’m a poet first,” said Gilbert. “I love to experiment with other genres, but they don’t feel as natural as poetry does. There’s something about capturing large ideas within brief moments through imagery that’s appealing. I think it appeals to a lot of writers.”

Five prizes are on offer. Each campus will declare a regional winner who receives a $250 Okanagan College tuition credit. A grand prize winner will then be selected from among the four regional winners and awarded an additional $250 tuition credit.

“The benefit for students of participating in a contest like this is to flex their ‘writerly’ muscles,” said Gilbert. “It’s a true test of a writer (poet or otherwise) to work in demanding writing situations. Sometimes the best work comes out of those moments. The prizes and recognition are good motivators, too.”

Registration is free. Visit to sign up. Registration closes at noon on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

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