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Muskoka Chautauqua Writing Contest

Historic Arts Group Unveils 1812 Writing Contest


Muskoka Chautauqua announces Joseph Boyden event as part of prize package for inaugural contest  


Muskoka, May 10th, 2012:     To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, Muskoka Chautauqua – a vibrant arts-based community established in 1916 – has launched its first annual writing contest. Part of the group’s busy 2012 program of events and activities, the contest promises to become one of the most exciting writing competitions in North America.


Organizers of the contest, which follows the same theme as Muskoka Chautauqua’s Signature Event in June, are thrilled to have secured best-selling Giller Prize winner Joseph Boyden (Through Black Spruce, Three Day Road) to participate as part of the prize package.


“We’re extremely excited to kick-off what will be an annual writing contest with so spectacular a prize,” says Muskoka Chautauqua Reading Circle committee member Bryan Dearsley. “Joseph Boyden is one of North America’s leading contemporary writers, and having him on board will provide the impetus to ensure this event becomes a must for all writers, regardless of experience, year after year.”

Open to residents of the US and Canada, the contest hopes to challenge writers of all ages and abilities with their choice of one of the following topics:


  • The War of 1812: Who really won?


Without celebrating war or being anti-anyone, this theme recalls the struggles of each of the adversaries during this watershed conflict.


  • Our Canada: Rocks and Roots


Whether it’s rock music, the rock that dominates much of the landscape, your ancestral roots or our magnificent forests, we want to know what makes Canada so special…


One winner from each category will receive two (2) VIP passes to the Muskoka Chautauqua “Weekend With Joseph Boyden” event being held at the luxurious JW Marriott’s The Rosseau Muskoka Resort and Spa this fall. Part of a North America-wide initiative to draw attention to tourism in Ontario, the event will include opportunities to discuss writing and novels in small, intimate groups, with industry professionals such as Boyden, and publishers Penguin Canada.   


Essays will be judged on both style and content, and should be between 500 – 2000 words. Deadline for submissions is Fri. Aug. 31st at 5pm. Entries should be sent to:; or via mail to PO Box 172, Port Carling, ON. P0B 1P0.


Muskoka Chautauqua’s Signature Event:  This year’s event will focus on the 100th anniversary of the War of 1812 while staying true to the “Rocks and Roots” theme. Hosted once again by TVO’s Steve Paikin, our panel this year includes author and journalist John Ibbitson (Jeremy’s War: 1812) along with historian Richard Gwyn (Nation Maker).


The event is being held at JW Marriott’s The Rosseau Muskoka Resort and Spa and at Clevelands House Resort in Minett, Muskoka, ON, from June 1-3, 2012. 


To learn more about Muskoka Chautauqua and the group’s Signature Event, visit For interviews or other queries, email, or phone 705-687-3744.


Muskoka Chautauqua:  Established in 1916, Muskoka Chautauqua is a vibrant arts-based community focusing on personal growth, enrichment and renewal. Based in Ontario’s cottage-country, Muskoka Chautauqua is an uplifting cultural hub where visitors can reflect on the arts and culture. It’s also a place where practitioners and thinkers from around the globe share innovative and creative ideas; a place where the arts blend with the natural beauty of Muskoka, and where the human spirit is liberated… and soars.


Each year, the Chautauqua Reading Circle establishes a reading list based on a particular theme around which the season’s programming is built. For 2012, the theme Our Canada: Rocks and Roots has been chosen, and will be featured at our annual Muskoka Chautauqua Signature Event. In addition to featuring the books that topped our members’ list, this not-to-be-missed cultural event provides audiences a chance to interact with some of North America’s leading literary talent.

Author: Barrie Writer's Club

The Barrie Writer's Club meets every Monday evening from 6:30pm - 9pm at Grace United Church in Barrie, Ontario.

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