CBC Literary Prizes

7 ways winning a CBC Literary Prize will change your life

Do you dream of making it big as a writer? Here's seven ways winning a CBC Literary Prize will help you do just that.

Do you dream of making it big as a writer? If so, you should take the plunge and enter the CBC Literary Prizes

1. You get front page exposure

Imagine waking up one morning to see your mug on the front page of the Arts section of your city's daily newspaper. You'll become a star overnight. Some of our former laureates had never been interviewed before winning, and then suddenly they have a publicist booking them back-to-back interviews. You'll want to run out and get as many copies as you can.

2. You hear yourself on CBC Radio

Past winners have been featured on CBC Radio shows like As It Happens. Maybe you'll be interviewed between literary heavyweights like George Elliott Clarke and Margaret Atwood. Or maybe you'll even get to read your story on air for a national audience.

3. Many (many) people will read your work

CBC Books publishes the five shortlisted entries right here for everyone to read, along with a profile of all the longlisted writers. Get ready for online attention!

4. The publishing industry comes knocking

Publishers and agents are always looking to discover the next big thing, and they make sure to check out our winners every year. Kim Echlin turned her winning story from 2005 into the novel The Disappeared, which was nominated for the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Other recent CBC Literary Prize winners who have published books include Sadiqa de Meijer, Claire Battershill and Sarah de Leeuw.

5. You get asked out a lot more

After winning, our former winners report receiving requests to attend festivals, read at public events and sit on competition juries. Some have also been approached to include their work in anthologies. Your day planner will be full.

6. You're finally able to finish that project

One of the great things about winning $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts is the freedom it gives you to work on the projects you feel you should be working on. And with the writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, you will have even more creative time at your disposal. Our 2012 winner, Daniel Karasik, reported that during his residency he was able to make the final edits to his debut poetry collection and he completed a new draft of a play.

7. You'll call yourself a "writer"

One of the things we heard most when asking our former winners what winning did for their writing careers was that they finally felt comfortable calling themselves writers. "The most exciting part was the internal shift," wrote Alison Pick, who won the CBC Poetry Prize in 2005, "the permission to actually call myself a writer, and to devote myself to it completely. I never looked back."

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