Winter in the Bay Art Exhibit and Writing Contest Returns

The Community Enterprise Centre (CEC), the Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts (PCAFA), and The Masthead News are teaming up again this year to bring Winter in the Bay, an art exhibit and writing contest, to our area.

From February 4 to March 4, art by members of PCAFA will be on display at the CEC. The art is there to enjoy, but also to serve as inspiration for community members’ writing pieces. Most of the art on display is for sale. In addition to being available to view in person, art will also be displayed on Facebook. Visit for details.

All stories submitted to Winter in the Bay must select one of the pieces of art on display as their inspiration or illustration for their story. Writers may choose to submit a nonfiction essay or a fictional short story on the very broad topic of “Winter in the Bay.” Writers may submit only one story per category, but are welcome to submit in both story categories.

Nonfiction essays (maximum length, 400 words) should be either set in or refer to the St. Margaret’s Bay or Mahone Bay areas, but the story need not take place here. For example, one of last year’s adult winners, Joan Redmond, described escaping the Nova Scotia winter to spend the time sailing, only to be shipwrecked in the Caribbean.

Fictional short stories (maximum length, 2,500 words) should also be set in or refer to St. Margaret’s Bay or Mahone Bay. Again, the location can be simply a jumping-off point for the story. Last year’s stories included fantasy and science fiction, making St. Margaret’s Bay a very different place!

DEADLINE EXTENSION! The deadline for all stories is Friday, March 11 at 11:59 pm. Stories should be sent by email to Local writers, editors and librarians will serve as judges. Writers should submit in one of three age categories: Ages 6-9, Ages 10-12, Ages 13 to adult. Consideration will be given by judges to age differences of writers within categories. All writers, regardless of their age, are welcome to have a friend, teacher or family member review and proofread the story before submission.

All stories must be submitted with the writer’s first and last name, email address and telephone number for contact purposes, and writers should grant permission for Winter in the Bay to publish their story. Writers under the age of 16 must submit their essays and short stories with first and last name, age, and contact information and permission to submit from a parent or guardian. Winter in the Bay organizers cannot accept stories from minors without that information.

Judging will take place later in March, and winners will be notified by email and/or telephone. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place in the three age categories. First-place nonfiction essays will be published in The Masthead News, and all the essays and stories submitted, not just winning entries, will be published in a book available to purchase, thanks to support from HRM Deputy Mayor Pam Lovelace and an HRM grant, and publishing support from The Masthead News.

Visit the Winter in the Bay project page for writing resources.