Canada Writes

A guide to writing prizes for Canadians

Writing prizes and awards for unpublished fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

CBC Books has rounded up a list of literary prizes Canadians are eligible to enter.

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.

If you have a prize you'd like added to this list, email us at canadawrites@cbc.ca.

Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry

Fiction

Alberta Views Short Story Contest
Entry period: Spring/Summer
Eligibility: Current or former (long-term) residents of Alberta
Entry fee: $40
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

Amazon Youth Short Story Competition
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian youth authors between the ages of 13 and 17
Entry fee: None
Prize: $5,000 and a mentorship lunch with editors of The Walrus.

Brenda Strathern Writing Prize
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Residents of Calgary and area, unpublished, age 40+
Entry fee: None
Prize: $5,000

The Bridge Prize National Short Story Award
Entry period: Winter, alternating years
Eligibility: Any student registered in a Canadian post-secondary institution as of the entry deadline
Entry fee: None
Prize: $7,500. Three additional finalists will each receive $1,000. Each winning author will also receive a $200 gift card courtesy of Munro's Books.

Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Competition
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $30
Prize: $10,000 for best story by an emerging writer; $5,000 for best short story by a writer at any point in their career

CBC Short Story Prize
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and publication on the CBC Books website.

City of Regina Writing Award
Entry period: Fall/Winter
Eligibility: Residents of the city of Regina, age 19+ 
Entry fee: None
Prize: $4,500

The Fiddlehead Literary Competition
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for first entry, $10 for each subsequent entry. Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to the magazine.
Prize: $2,000

FreeFall Annual Prose Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25 for first entry; $5 for each subsequent entry. Entry fee includes a one-year magazine subscription.
Prize: $500 first prize; $250 second prize; $75 third prize; $25 honourable mention

Geist writing contests
Entry period: Rotating
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20 for first entry; $5 for each subsequent entry. Entry fee includes a one-year magazine subscription.
Prize: $500 first prize; $250 second prize; $150 third prize

gritLIT Short Story Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Residents of Canada and/or Canadian citizens living abroad
Entry fee: $25 per submission
Prize: $500 and publication in the gritLIT print program. Two finalists will each receive $100.

Jacob Zilber Prize for Short Fiction
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries; free for low-income and Black and Indigenous writers.
Prize: $1,500 first prize; $600 second prize; $400 third prize

The John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards
Entry period: Winter/Spring
Eligibility: Saskatchewan residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $650 second prize; $350 third prize

Literary Taxidermy Short Story Competition
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $10 US
Prize: $500 US and publication in The Anthology of Literary Taxidermy

Malahat Open Season Short Fiction Award
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $2,000

Malahat Novella Prize
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $1,750

RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Writers aged 18-29
Entry fee: None
Prize: $3,000 and mentorship by a Canadian author

​The Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizen or resident
Entry fee: $40, includes one-year subscription to The New Quarterly
Prize: $1,000

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: $10,000 first prize; $2,500 for two finalists

Room Magazine Short Forms contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $45, includes one-year subscription
Prize: $500 first prize; $500 second prize; $50 honourable mention

Room Magazine fiction contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $45, includes one-year subscription
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $250 second prize; $50 honourable mention

Rotary Club of Stratford Short Story Contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: None
Prize: $500 first prize; $250 second prize; $100 third prize

Short Grain Contest
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $40
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $750 second prize; $500 third prize

Surrey International Writers' Conference writing contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $15
Prize: $1,000

Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $200 runner-up

Toronto Star Short Story Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Ontario residents aged 16 and up
Entry fee: None
Prize: $5,000 and tuition at the Humber School for Writers first prize; $2,000 second prize; $1,000 third prize

Vancouver Writers Fest youth writing contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: B.C. students in Grades 8-12
Entry fee: None

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

Nonfiction

CBC Nonfiction Prize
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and publication on the CBC Books website.

City of Regina Writing Award
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Residents of the city of Regina, age 19+ 
Entry fee: None
Prize: $4,500

The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizen or resident
Entry fee: $40, includes one-year subscription to The New Quarterly
Prize: $1,000

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms youth essay contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Canadian youth ages 15-24
Entry fee: Free
Prizes: $2,000 first prize; $1,000 second prize; $500 third prize

Malahat Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35, $15 for subsequent entries
Prize: $1,000

Malahat Open Season Creative Nonfiction Award
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $2,000

RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Writers aged 18-29
Entry fee: None
Prize: $3,000 and mentorship by a Canadian author

Prairie Fire Creative Non-Fiction Contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $32
Prize: $1,250 first prize; $500 second prize; $250 third prize

Prism Creative Non-Fiction Prize
Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35; free for low-income and Black and Indigenous writers
Prize: $1,500 first prize; $600 second prize; $400 third prize

Room Magazine creative nonfiction contest
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $45, includes one-year subscription
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $250 second prize; $50 honourable mention

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

Poetry

Antigonish Review writer of the year contest
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $30, includes a one-year subscription

Arc Poem of the Year
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35, includes a one-year subscription
Prize: $5,000 first prize; $500 honourable mention

Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $32
Prize: $1,250 first prize; $500 second prize; $250 third prize

The Banister Poetry Contest
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Residents of Ontario
Entry fee: $15 for up to 3 poems, $4 for each additional poem
Prize: $300 first prize; $200 second prize; $100 third prize

CBC Poetry Prize
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $6000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and publication on the CBC Books website.

Diana Brebner Prize
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: Residents of the National Capital Region
Entry fee: $25, includes a one-year subscription to Arc
Prize: $500

Ralph Gustafson Poetry Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35; $10 for subsequent entries, includes one-year subscription to Fiddlehead
Prize: $2,000

FreeFall Annual Poetry Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $500 first prize; $250 second prize; $75 third prize

Geist writing contests
Entry period: Rotating
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20 for first entry; $5 for each subsequent entry. Entry fee includes a one-year magazine subscription.
Prize: $500 first prize; $250 second prize; $150 third prize

Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Competition
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $1,500 for best poetry by an emerging writer; $1,500 for best poetry by writer at any stage in their career

Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for Canadian Youth
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Grades 7-12
Entry fee: None
Prize: $400 first place; $350 second place; $300 third place

Malahat Long Poem Prize
Entry period: Winter, biennial. Next competition will be in 2023.
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35, includes one-year subscription
Prize: $2,500

Malahat Open Season Poetry Award
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $35
Prize: $2,000

Malahat Far Horizons Prize
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $1,000

Montreal International Poetry Prize
Entry period: Winter, every other year. Next competition is in 2022.
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20-$25
Prize: $20,000

The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest
Entry period: Winter
Eligibility: Canadian citizen or resident
Entry fee: $40, includes one-year subscription to The New Quarterly
Prize: $1,000

RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Writers aged 18-29
Entry fee: None
Prize: $3,000 and mentorship by a Canadian author

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: $10,000 first prize; $2,500 for two finalists

Room Magazine poetry contest
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $45, includes one-year subscription
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $250 second prize; $50 honourable mention

Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: Canadian citizens or residents
Entry fee: $25-$30
Prize: $10,000

Short Grain Contest
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $40
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $750 second prize; $500 third prize

Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence
Entry period: Fall
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $20
Prize: $1,000 first prize; $200 runner-up

Vallum Chapbook Award
Entry period: Spring
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $300

Vallum Award for poetry
Entry period: Summer
Eligibility: International
Entry fee: $25
Prize: $750 first prize; $250 second prize

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