Vancouver-based comedy website Nearly Robots has launched a nation-wide humorous essay competition in hopes of seeking out, and publishing, the next batch of the best comedy writers in Canada.

The competition is open to all Canadians, but is directed mainly towards university students. The deadline is Mar. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Nearly Robots, created by several ex-editors of McGill’s humour magazine The Red Herring, is an online source for comedic articles, lists, letters, comics, videos, and more. With a readership that already extends across Canada and the U.S., the contest has been launched to encourage the expansion of contributors to the website. Nearly Robots hopes to establish itself as a nationwide platform for the presentation of young comedic talent. “In the U.S. there are institutions like the Harvard Lampoon and College Humor that give young comedy writers an opportunity to showcase their ideas and have a shot at turning professional, whereas in Canada the best we can hope for is a chance to be a really funny doctor, lawyer, rig-worker, or distiller of maple syrup,” says Nearly Robots’ Editor-in-Chief David MacLean in a recent press release about the competition. “What we’re aiming to do is to create an accessible community for young Canadian writers that will also serve as a platform to showcase their talents to the powers that be—whether they are in the United States, the U.S., or just plain old America.”

Entries for the competition are limited to one per person, must be between 250 and 1000 words, and can be sent to <nearlyrobots@gmail.com>. The writers of the top three articles will be awarded a Nearly Robots t-shirt, and cash prizes will be given to first and second place writers—first prize $350 and second prize $50. “All submissions must be hilarious, ribald, humorous, humarious, or mention Jeff Goldblum.” For more information, visit <www.nearlyrobots.com>.

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