What better way to take your mind off of things than to write a fiction story for a chance to win a prize.

That’s what North Island College is thinking about as it moves ahead with its annual three-hour fiction writing contest.

This year, however, the 12th annual contest will be held virtually and writers will have to create a story based on a prompt that will be hidden in a video.

“As in past contests, it might be a psychological problem deep in the heart of the protagonist, or a conflict for control of the universe… or the last roll of toilet paper,” said Steve Schoenhoff, NIC English instructor and contest organizer.

This year the contest is spread out, with three different opportunities throughout the summer.

“I wanted to give writers an opportunity to show what they can do under pressure,” said Schoenhoff. “June is fiction, July poetry, and August fiction.”

Writers will be given access to the prompt for a designated three-hour window, starting at 6:00pm on June 28th and can access the contest by clicking here.

A panel of NIC faculty and staff will judge the stories based on readability, creativity and the degree to which they weave the required elements into the story.

The prize for first place is $100 and the winning story may be published on the North Island College’s english department’s website.

Writers can choose to sign up for one, two or all three contests. The registration deadline for the first contest is June 27th.

Interested writers can register by emailing Schoenhoff at stephen.schoenhoff@nic.bc.ca.