Be a Bard: CBC’s Shakespeare Selfie Challenge

shakespeareDo you have immortal longings in you?

Is there no creature loves you?

Could you be bounded in a nutshell and count yourself a king of infinite space were it not that you have bad dreams?

Now’s your chance to tell all.

To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday this month, CBC Canada Writes is hosting a “Shakespeare Selfie” writing challenge for Canadians. Take any Shakespearean character, put them in a present-day setting, and let them speak.

She has immortal longings in her.
She has immortal longings in her.

You have from today, April 14th, through May 9th to enter your 200-400-word soliloquy (or monologue – there’s a difference and I know that because I just googled it) into the “Shakespeare Selfie Challenge.” Your literary selfie could win an iPad mini. The contest has prizes for adult and youth writers (aged 12 and up), so if you’re reading this blog you’re probably old enough to enter.

Full contest details and submission info (and a blurb on the difference between soliloquies and monologues) on the Canada Writes Website.

You may be thinking, Wassup with this promo, Catherine? Did you get a job for the CBC? No, alas, I didn’t.

There is no creature loves him.
There is no creature loves him.

But I am one of 9 Canadian authors of young adult fiction taking part in “Shakespeare High,” an original short fiction series on Canada Writes. We’ve each written a contemporary YA short story about a Shakespearean character. (I chose Cordelia from King Lear.) You can read all 9 of these original stories this month, starting tomorrow, on the Canada Writes Website. (I’ll post a link to “Cordelia’s Valentine” when my turn comes up. But be sure to read them all.)

Needs no caption.
Needs no caption.

I also was one of three YA authors – with Mariko Tamaki and Monique Polak – who spoke about “Shakespeare High” with CBC’s Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter radio show, in which I said a bunch of things I have absolutely no memory of because I was really nervous and probably not making much sense at the time. I don’t know when the show is airing because I was unable to form memories in my nervous state of mind but I’m sure it’s coming up, and definitely worth a listen to Monique and Mariko. I’ll post a link to the podcast here, after it airs.

But in the meantime, get thinking about Shakespeare, his characters and all their tragic flaws, and get writing your literary self-portrait. Good luck.

4 Comments on “Be a Bard: CBC’s Shakespeare Selfie Challenge

    • Me, too. I haven’t read any of the stories but my own and I’m curious as to what – and whom – the other authors chose to write. It’ll shine a new light on Shakespeare for me. (And the old light, for me, is a bit dim.)

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about soliloquies being referred to as “selfies” but sounds fun. Congrats on your project.
    Incidentally, as I scrolled through this, out of the corner of my eye I thought Olivier’s Hamlet was The Friendly Giant. No reason at all to think that but, to say the truth, reason and I keep little company together nowadays.

    • Wow, he does look like the Friendly Giant. I never saw the connection before. Hmm. I think a Friendly Giant version of Hamlet could be interesting, with a happier ending.

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