Each year the Klondike Visitors Association works with the Writers’ Trust of Canada, Parks Canada, and the Dawson Community Library to put on the Authors on Eighth Walking Tour during the week before Discovery Days.

Connected to that event is the annual Authors on Eighth Writing Contest, which challenges would-be authors to emulate the work of Jack London, Robert Service or Pierre Berton in order to win prizes of books and gold.

Entries can be poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction and must be under 2500 words in length. Each year a theme is assigned and this year’s is First World War Stories, which ties in with the successful Dawson Study Tour that concluded The North and the First World War Conference in May.

The deadline for submissions this year is July 31, by 4 o’clock that day. There is no fee to enter the contest. Entries must be in digital form, as a word or text document, and the writer must be clearly identified, although pen names are allowed.  Personal identification should be on the title page, but not part of the entry itself. One entry per person is the limit. Send entries by e-mail to kva@dawson.net.

Winners will receive an actual gold nugget and a selection of Klondike books. There are two prizes, one for prose and the other for poetry. The winners, and all the other submissions, will be published in the Klondike Sun newspaper during the fall and early winter.

“Dawson City has inspired people to dream and create for years. Authors on Eighth celebrates the rich literary history of the Klondike and showcases current talented writers from around the world,” said Paul Robitaille, Marketing and Events Manager for the Klondike Visitors Association.

The contest concludes with the announcement of the winners during a buffet luncheon and reading at Berton House, following free presentations at the Jack London Museum and the Robert Service Cabin. The walking tour of all three sites takes a bit over two hours and concludes with a tour of Berton House itself, which is usually not open to the public, by the current writer-in-residence, Claire Caldwell.

The tour will take place at 2 o’clock on August 13, beginning at Jack London Square.