The Great Big Northern Ontario Story Contest

Mythic, epic, charming, touching, or all the above: Submit your best travel story to win $1000! And a byline on Northern Ontario Travel. (It's all about that byline, we know).
Story Contest

Welcome to the first annual Great Big Northern Ontario Story Contest. We're looking for YOUR best travel story!

Northern Ontario is huge—it's twice the size of Texas with hundreds of thousands of lakes, bustling cities, and historic towns. It's home to the world's largest freshwater island, the world's largest bass, and the world's biggest mural.*

Up here, we just go big.

Our regions are full of bucket list adventures like the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, the Lake Superior Circle Tour, the Path of the Paddle, and the Polar Bear Express.

It's where the Group of Seven went for inspiration and where modern artists call home. It's home to the Up Here Festival and the Walleye Classic.

And we want to hear YOUR stories.

Contest Details: Entry Fee $0, Application Deadline: December 15, 2023, Genre: Travel Essay, First Prize: $1000, Second Prize: $250

We want to know about.... 

Your most epic adventure, your biggest catch, the moment you fell in love with the north. Tell us about the canoe trip with your kids, the cabin you built by hand, or the RV trip that took you across the province and back. Tell us about the trip that went awry but was saved at the end, the craziest coincidence you’ve experienced, the most awe-inspiring encounter with wildlife. Take us on a journey and don’t shy away from the highs and lows. It can be mythic, epic, charming, touching, or all the above.

Winners will have their story published online in Northern Ontario Travel or Nord du l’Ontario.

*which is located just a few kilometres from the world's biggest nickel.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Email with SUBMISSION in the subject line.

  2. Include your full name and address in the submission.

  3. Submit your story in either French or English.

  4. Submit your story as a Word or Google doc.

  5. Submit a story that is set in or showcases the beauty of Northern Ontario.

  6. Make sure your story is non-fiction in essay form. No lists, round-ups, poetry, fiction, etc.

  7. Make sure your story is between 800-1600 words.


All the Fine Print that's Fit to Print

  • Winners will be notified within 60 days of the contest closing date.

  • Winning stories will be published online in on Northern Ontario Travel or Nord du l’Ontario, depending on the language of the submission.

  • Writers will grant non-exclusive rights to Northern Ontario Travel to publish the story. (Writers may publish the story elsewhere).

  • Writers agree the story may be edited, copyedited, and proofread at the discretion of the editors at Northern Ontario Travel.

  • Open to all residents of Canada over the age of 18.

  • We will not accept any submissions that include racism, misogyny, or homophobic or any other harmful language. These entries will be deleted.

  • We will not sell your personal information to any third parties.

  • Prize money will be paid in cash via etransfer. Winners must have a bank account in good standing to receive the funds.

  • Winners agree that Northern Ontario Travel can use their name, likeness, and story in publicity and promotional materials.

  • Contest is sponsored by The New Business (TNB), a full service marketing agency, in partnership with Destination Northern Ontario.

  • For the purposes of this contest, Northern Ontario is Northeastern Ontario, Algoma Country, Superior Country, and Sunset Country. The Muskoka region is not officially part of Northern Ontario.

  • Depending on the number of submissions, 4 winners total will be chosen. First and second place in English, and first and second place in French.

  • In the event that the quality or amount of submissions is too low, TNB reserves the right to not declare a winner or award any prize.

  • Employees of TNB, Destination Northern Ontario, and Destination Ontario are not eligible to participate in the contest.

  • The judging decision of TNB is final.

About Northern Ontario

Welcome to Northern Ontario, Canada! Bigger than Texas, wilder than the west, more welcoming than a campfire in October, Northern Ontario is like no place else. Sunset Country is famous for its spectacular fishing lakes, Superior Country has friendly towns and a superior coastline, Algoma Country has bucket list drives and epic outdoor adventure, and the Northeast provides excellent vacation destinations close to Toronto and other large urban centres in Southern Ontario.

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