The Toronto Star Short Story Contest

The 2021 Toronto Star Short Story Contest launches Saturday, January 9, giving teens (and adults) the opportunity to show their writing skills and possibly seeing their story published in Canada's largest newspaper.

The contest, now in its 43rd year, is the largest of its kind and carries one of biggest prizes in Canada for a short story contest. The first-place winner will receive $5,000, plus their choice of either the tuition fee for the two-semester creative writing graduate certificate correspondence program at the Humber School for Writers, valued at $3,700, or a summer workshop in a creative writing online program, valued at $850.

The second-place winner receives $2,000 in cash and the third-place winner gets $1,000.

The contest is open to all Ontario residents 16 years of age and older. Entrants can write on any topic of their choice. Stories must be original, previously unpublished and no longer than 2,500 words. Entries are limited to one per person.

For the 12th consecutive year, the Toronto Public Library is partnering with the Star in presenting the contest.

"The Library is very proud to support this wonderful prize again this year," says Toronto Public Library's City Librarian Vickery Bowles. "It's been a challenging year. As we look forward to 2021, it's vital to remember that storytelling is one of the best ways we can connect, learn and share our experiences with one another. We look forward to reading a wide range of submissions from talented writers all across Ontario."

A Humber School for Writers' panel will read all the entries and narrow the submissions to a short list of 25 to 30 stories. A panel of distinguished judges will then select the winners from the short list. This is the 11th year that the Humber School for Writers partners to facilitate this contest.

Winners will be announced in April and their stories will be published in the Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper and on

All submissions must be received by 5 p.m., on Monday, March 1, 2021.

For full contest rules, visit

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