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Friday: 9:00 to 5:00
Saturday: 10:00 to 5:00
Sunday: 12:00 to 5:00*

*Closed Sundays followed by a holiday Monday

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Tiny Stories Contest

Can you pack vivid descriptions, original characters and surprising plot twists into a narrative small enough to fit in a status update? We want to read your tiny stories!

Contest Rules      Tiny Story Samples      Workshop

Here's the deal:


1) The story must be 420 characters or fewer - including spaces and punctuation (Do not count your title in your character count) Hint: Use the “Word Count” function in Microsoft Word to find out your character count.

2) Each person can submit up to three entries.  Submit all entries as separate attachments to a single email. The subject line must contain your full name and Tiny Stories. e.g., "John Smith, Tiny Stories.” Submit to tinystoriescpl@gmail.com or in person to the information desk at Poirier or City Centre.

3) Please indicate the title and character count for each story you submit.

4) Entrants’ anonymity is preserved throughout the judging. Contact information (including an email address) must not appear on the attached entry(ies), but should appear in the body of the email along with a title (or titles in the case of multiple entries) and character count.

5) Entrants must live in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore, or Belcarra.

6) Contest open to children, teens, and adults. The child age category is 10 years or younger. The teens  category is for ages 11-15 and the young adult category is for ages 16-18. If entering in the Child, Teen, or Young Adult category, please state your age and age category on your submission.

7) Entries already published, accepted, or submitted elsewhere are ineligible.

8) Winning stories and winning authors’ names will appear on the Library’s website, the library’s Facebook page, in the Tri-City News and/or on their website, and at the city festival Kaleidoscope on August 12.


The following sample tiny stories are by last year’s contest winners:

Carly by Ella T.

Last night Carly called me again. She and I are no longer together. I slumped into my sofa weakly. Images of Carly flooded my mind. Her flame red hair, her glowing green eyes, her brilliant smile…Before I knew it, tears soaked me. After purchasing a bouquet of roses, I drove out to Carly. “I love you,” I said, “So please stop bothering me.” As I placed the bouquet in front of Carly’s grave.

The Visit by Anna R.

The chickadee tapped on the window by my hospice bed, I knew in my heart it was my love who died last year.  I’m sad to go but my life has been full.  My granddaughter asks me to give her a sign that I will always watch over her.  I promise I will and she squeezes my hand.  Later that evening as she is tucked in bed by my son, two chickadees visit and lightly tap on her bedroom window.  She smiles knowing I’m ok.

Best Friend by Anna R.

She enters the small enclosure and quietly sits on the cold, cement floor.  She opens the tattered book and starts to softly read.  The barking stops, and the dog listens.  This neglected dog, the one who has never known love, slowly makes his way to where the little girl sits and rests his head gently in her lap.  He starts to lick the girl’s hand to tell her that he will be her loyal and faithful friend forever. 

Kit Was by Ross W.

KIT WAS at that age when kids want to do everything their dads do. One Sunday he saw me penning a flash fiction-contest entry and decided to do one too. “That’s great,” I told him. “Just be sure it comes out to 420 characters.” An hour later, he was back with a fistful of pages. “So far I’ve got a wizard, an ogre, a ninja and an elf,” Kit said. “If I gotta write that many characters, I’m gonna need a lot more paper!”

CONTEST DATES: May 29 – July 14, 2017          



Send entries & queries by email to: tinystoriescpl@gmail.com

Tiny Stories Workshop

Want to enter our Tiny Stories Contest?  Wondering how to craft your ideas into a paragraph-sized story? Join us for our Tiny Stories Workshop! 

Thursday, June 22, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Poirier Branch, Nancy Bennett Program Room

Local writer Rebecca Wood Barrett will lead you through a series of playful writing exercises that will help spark ideas, and lead you to create bite-sized stories, complete with captivating characters and pithy plots - all in 420 characters or less! 

Space is limited. To register for this free program, please leave a message on the library’s registration line at 604-937-4155.

The Fine Print

Coquitlam Public Library takes non-exclusive electronic rights to post the text at www.coqlibrary.ca and in the Tri-City News. All other rights remain with the author. This contest is open to all entrants except Library staff, contract employees, board members and executives. People in these categories may participate but will not qualify to win. Questions? Email contest coordinator Katie Oke at tinystoriescpl@gmail.com.

Library Locations
Poirier Branch
575 Poirier Street
Coquitlam, BC
V3J 6A9

City Centre Branch
1169 Pinetree Way
Coquitlam, BC
V3B 0Y1
604-554-READ (7323)