A guide to writing prizes for Canadians

No publisher? No problem! In fact, these contests only accept unpublished work (and in some cases, they only accept work by writers who have never been published).

Unless noted, prizes and entry fees are in Canadian dollars. Where prizes are listed, the amount cited is for the grand prize - other prizes may be available. Information is subject to change - please see the contest's official site for more details.




FICTION | NONFICTION | POETRY


FICTIONBANNER-PRIZES.jpg

Alberta Views Short Story Contest

Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: Current or former (long-term) residents of Alberta
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $1,000

Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story Literary Competition for Emerging Writers

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and residents
Entry fee: $25 adults / $10 youth
Prize: $1,500 adults/ $500 youth

Beacon Award for Social Justice Literature

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Residents of Atlantic Canada (N.L., P.E.I., N.S., N.B.)
Entry fee: None
Prize: $500

Canadian Tales of the Fantastic Short Story Competition

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Written by a Canadian, about Canadians, or takes place in Canada
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $500 for first place

Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Competition (Exile) 

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $10,000

CBC Short Story Prize

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $6,000

Cedric Literary Awards

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Residents of Western Canada (B.C., Alta., Sask., Yukon) aged 50+
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $3,000

Eden Mills Writers' Festival Contests

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Residents of Canada
Entry fee: $0-$15
Prize: $50-$250

The Fiddlehead Literary Competition

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $30 for Canadian entries
Prize: $2,000

FreeFall Annual Prose Contest

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500

Geist writing contests

Entry period: Rotating
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $500

Glass Buffalo Prizes

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Residents of Canada
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $500

Golden Anniversary Short Story Contest

Entry period:Winter
Eligibility: Canadian residents (excluding Quebec)
Entry fee: None
Prize: Published as an ebook under Anansi Digital Imprint, $500 cash and $100 to spend at houseofanansi.com

Half the World Global Literati Award

Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International (must have one or more well-rounded female protagonists)
Entry fee: $20 US
Prize: $50,000 US
Notable winner: Laurie Petrou

*Note: This prize is based in the United States.

Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500 grand prize

Leaside Fiction Contest (Riddle Fence)

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25 for Canadian entries
Prize: $3,000, split between four winners

Matrix Lit POP Awards

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Citizens or residents of Canada and the United States (excluding HI/AK)
Entry fee: $25
Prize: Travel, accommodation and entry to the POP Montreal festival

Malahat Far Horizons Award

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,000
Notable winner: Kerry Lee Powell

Malahat Novella Prize

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500

Malahat Open Season Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500

PEN International New Voices Award (Canada)

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Writers aged 18-29
Entry fee: None
Prize: $1,000 and entry to PEN International contest
Notable winners: Claire BattershillLaura Legge

Prairie Fire Short Fiction Contest

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $32
Prize: $1,250

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents under the age of 35
Entry fee: None
Prize: $5,000
Notable winners: Alissa YorkMichael Crummey
*Note: This award alternates annually between poetry and short fiction.

Room Magazine contests

Entry period: Winter & Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International, female-identified writers
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $1,000

Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Canadian citizens or residents
Entry fee: $10
Prize: $10,000

Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $600
Notable winner: David Huebert

Talking Back Awards (Shameless)

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Female/trans-identified, ages 13-19
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $200

Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence

Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $1,000
Notable winner: Daniel Scott Tysdal

Thunderbird Stories Indigenous Writing Contest

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadians of Indigenous ancestry
Entry fee: None
Prize: $2,000

Toronto Star Short Story Contest

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Ontario residents
Entry fee: None
Prize: $5,000 and tuition at the Humber School for Writers
Notable winner: Brendan Bowles

Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500

Vallum Chapbook Award

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $125

Vancouver Writers Fest Short Story Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $300 and tuition at a UBC Creative Writing online course

Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents, unpublished or only one book published.
Entry fee: $29
Prize: $2,500
Notable winners: Amy StuartJill Sexsmith

The Word on the Street's Writing DiverCity Fiction Contest 

Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: Canadian writers under 35
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $1,500


nonfiction-banner-prizes.jpg

Canadian Notes & Queries CanLitCrit Essay Contest

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $1,000

CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $6,000

Cedric Literary Awards

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Residents of Western Canada (B.C., Alta., Sask., Yukon) aged 50+
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $3,000

Eden Mills Writers Festival Contests

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Residents of Canada
Entry fee: $0-$15
Prize: $50-$250

Geist writing contests

Entry period: Rotating
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $500

Half the World Global Literati Award

Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International (must have one or more well-rounded female protagonists)
Entry fee: $20 US
Prize: $50,000 US
*Note: This prize is based in the United States.

Malahat Constance Rooke Prize

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,000
Notable winners: Eve Joseph, Joel Yanofsky

Malahat Open Season Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500

PEN International New Voices Award

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Writers aged 18-29
Entry fee: None
Prize: $1,000 and entry to PEN International contest

Prairie Fire Creative Non-Fiction Contest

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $32
Prize: $1,250

Prism Creative Non-Fiction Prize

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500

Room Magazine contests

Entry period: Winter & Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International, female-identified writers
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $500

Talking Back Awards (Shameless)

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Female/trans-identified, ages 13-19
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $200

WIBA Manuscript Competition

Entry period:Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
Entry fee: $100
Prize: Complete editorial services including professional editing, cover design, interior design and layout, proofreading, Publishing support for the self-publication of the winning manuscript, 100 printed copies of the completed book, Book launch at the 2017 Whistler Writers Festival, Pre - and post-book launch marketing support , Reviews for promotional and marketing purposes from the judges, The opportunity to sell their book through Armchair Books in Whistler until January 15, 2018

Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents, unpublished or only one book published.
Entry fee: $29
Prize: $2,500
Notable winners: Amy StuartJill Sexsmith


POETRY-PRIZES-BANNER.jpg

ACWW Emerging Writing Award

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Pacific Rim Asian heritage
Entry fee: $25
Prize: Unspecified

Antigonish Review Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25 for Canadian entries
Prize: $600

ARC Poem of the Year

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $5,000
Notable winner: Jacob McArthur Mooney

Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec)
Entry fee: None
Prize: $1,000 worth of mentorship with contest judge

Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $32
Prize: $1,250
Notable winners: Owain Nicholson,Jennifer Still, Sue Goyette

CBC Poetry Prize

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $6,000
Notable winner: Mark Wagenaar

Cedric Literary Awards

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Residents of Western Canada (B.C., Alta., Sask., Yukon) aged 50+
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $3,000

The Compton Poetry Contest (Riddle Fence)

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25 for Canadian entries
Prize: $3,000, split between four winners

Diana Brebner Prize

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Residents of the National Capital Region
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500

Don't Talk to me About Love Contest

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $1,000

Eden Mills Writers Festival Contests

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Residents of Canada
Entry fee: $0-$15
Prize: $50-$250

The Fiddlehead Literary Competition

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $30 for Canadian entries
Prize: $2,000

FreeFall Annual Poetry Contest

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500

Geist writing contests

Entry period: Rotating
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $500

Glass Buffalo Prizes

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Residents of Canada
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $400

Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition (Exile)

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $1,500

Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residentsin grades 7-12
Entry fee: None
Prize: $400

Malahat Long Poem Prize

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,000

Malahat Open Season Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500

Matrix Lit POP Awards

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Citizens or residents of Canada and the United States (excluding HI/AK)
Entry fee: $25
Prize: Travel, accommodation, and entry to the POP Montreal festival
Notable winner: Michael Prior

Montreal International Poetry Prize

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20-$25
Prize: $20,000
Notable winner: Eva H.D.
*Note: This prize is awarded once every two years.

PEN International New Voices Award

Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Writers aged 18-29
Entry fee: None
Prize: $1,000 and entry to PEN International contest

Prism Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $1,500

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents under the age of 35
Entry fee: None
Prize: $5,000
*Note: This award alternates annually between poetry and short fiction.

Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry (Matrix)

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility:  North American emerging writers (two or fewer published books)
Entry fee: $25
Prize:  Trade paperback contract with Insomniac Press, with advance on royalties.

Robin Blaser Poetry Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries
Prize: $750

Room Magazine contests

Entry period: Winter & Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International, female-identified writers
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $1,000

Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: Canadian citizens or residents
Entry fee: $10
Prize: $10,000

Talking Back Awards (Shameless)

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Female/trans-identified, ages 13-19
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $200

Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence

Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $1,000
Notable winner: Laurie D. Graham

Vallum Award for Poetry

Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $750
Notable winner: Michael Prior

Vallum Chapbook Award

Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $125

Vancouver Writers' Fest Short Story Award

Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $300 and tuition at a UBC Creative Writing online course

The Walrus Poetry Prize

Entry period: Summer/Fall
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $4,000
Notable winner: Michael Prior


Thumbnail image for whitespace-620.jpg