A few years ago, a writer friend of mine asked me to review a short story he had written. I did, and he responded with remarkably incisive questions, which surprised me.
Many people shrug off critiques, but he really took them to heart, and that surprised me. As we corresponded, I learned that he planned to submit the story to the Writers of the Future Contest, a well-regarded contest in the speculative fiction community.
Secretly, though, I’d always wondered if those things worked. But this contest did for him and he ended up taking home second place.
Now another writing contest has arisen with significantly steeper stakes than publication and a monetary reward. According to CNN, a woman from Alberta, Canada, has started a letter-writing contest with a very large payout.
In 2011, Alla Wagner built what she considered her ideal home. Spanning an impressive 5,000 square feet, the Gregorian edifice in rural Alberta had all the accouterments most people could want.
Not only does it boast breathtaking views of the mountains, but it also contains three bedrooms, three baths, and a pair of half baths. Oh, and it also has a wine cellar.
“I was planning to grow old here,” Wagner said. “A house on a hill was my dream. It’s my dream home and every detail is built with my roots.”
But due to an unfortunate accident, Wagner’s dream home became a nightmare.
In 2018, a chair flipped out from under her while she went to sit down. The resulting fall injured her bad so badly that she could no longer navigate stairs.
Loathe to add disability accommodations to the property, Wagner decided to sell it. However, it simply sat on the market.
“Nothing was moving, and I was getting really, really depressed about it,” she said. “I needed to move on.”
So she came up with an idea. Why not give away the house through a letter-writing contest?
Business Insider reported that Wagner created the “Write a Letter, Win a House” contest on Jan. 5. It will wrap up in April.
Participants must mail in a $25 CAD (approximately $19 USD) entry fee and write no more than 350 words answering the question, “Why would moving to this lakefront dream home change your life?”
However, there’s one sticky stipulation: Wagner must receive enough in entry fees in order to cover her asking price, which would translate into about 60,000 participants.
Interested in participating? Go to the Facebook page Wagner has set up for the contest for more information on how to enter.
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