The Truro and District Lions Club, in partnership with the Truro Daily News, is hosting a literacy project that will feature readers voting for their favourite written submission each month.
"This is the third year the Lions have worked on a literacy project of some sort," said Joyce Gero, a member of the club. "I had an idea of doing some sort of supplement and to have people send in some of their creative writing, and having it published."
She said it was a chat with Truro Daily News advertising manager Judi Wellington that solidified the writing contest.
Each month will have a different theme, said Gero, and some of the monthly submissions will be catered to specific ages.
"We're hoping it will get some people writing and reading that they normally wouldn't do," she said.
Lions Clubs International made a 10-year commitment in 2012 to improve literacy and reading rates through a Reading Action Program, which sees Lions clubs around the world undertaking projects.
The first year of the commitment saw the local club donate a number of meaningful books to four local organizations, and eight local schools benefited last year with magazine subscriptions.
"This year, we wanted to do something a little different," said Gero.
Participation can be done in two ways - a written submission and online reader votes. Short stories of up to 500 words can be submitted each month through the Truro and District Lions Club's website - http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/trurons/. Contest rules and regulations can also be found online.
The first month's theme, New Beginnings, will see submissions up until Dec. 18. The theme focuses on some way of change or improvement.
On Dec. 29, readers can begin voting for their favourite submissions among the short stories appearing in print and online at www.trurodaily.com. The submission with the most votes will receive local author Hattie Dyck's ‘Amazing Tales from Nova Scotia,' a collection of short stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
When asked why votes would be done online, Gero said it was about bringing in more involvement.
"Hopefully we'll get some more people reading," she said.
Additional themes, deadlines and prizes can also be found online at the Truro and District Lions Club's website.