Literary Prizes

2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize is now closed

You could win $6,000, a writing residency and have your work published on CBC Books. The deadline to submit is Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The CBC Nonfiction Prize is open between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28

An open book and a megaphone with the words CBC Nonfiction Prize in between
The CBC Nonfiction Prize is open from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

The 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize is now closed. Results will be announced in the fall.

Keep reading to learn about the prize, what you can submit and what you can win! 

Who can enter?

The prize is open to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

There is no age requirement, but if you are a minor, there is a box to check on the entry form. You will need a parent or guardian's signed authorization only if your entry makes the longlist.

What can you submit?

You can submit memoir, biography, humour writing, essay, personal essay travel writing and feature articles up to 2,000 words, as long as it has not been previously published. There is no minimum word requirement.

Work that has been published online or in print or recorded for broadcast is considered "previously published" and is not eligible. 

While the competition is active, submit online by creating an account through Submittable. A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry.

You may submit as many times as you like; each entry will require the $25 submission fee.

What can you win?

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, a cultural hub on Toronto Island, and have their work published on CBC Books.

"Being able to go off and do a 'writerly thing,' where you're in the company of other writers, is supportive and empowering. It's a way of acknowledging the work that we're all trying to do wherever we are in in that and however we define ourselves," 2016 CBC Nonfiction Prize winner Leslie A. Davidson told CBC Books after completing her residency.

"My visit let me recommit to trying to carve out pieces of time in my life for writing. I came home thinking, 'How do I do that at home?' It's so easy for the writing time to slip away. But I came home with a project that I now think is possible. That was the big deal."

A bungalow type building surrounded by greenery and some picnic tables.
The 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize winner will receive writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point, a cultural hub on Toronto Island. (Artscape Toronto)

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books. And all the longlisted writers will be featured on CBC Books.

Who is judging the prize?

A team of readers from across Canada will read the entries and determine the longlist.

The shortlist and winner will be decided by a jury comprised of three prominent Canadian writers. This year's jury is comprised of Eternity Martis, David A. Robertson and Merilyn Simonds.

The judging process is blind, so your name will not be known by the readers or jurors until the final decisions have been made.

We have different readers and jurors every year. The jurors will be announced in early 2023. The readers will be revealed along with the longlist in fall 2023.

"When you enter this contest, someone somewhere will be thoroughly engaged in reading your piece — not your friend or family member who is obligated to enjoy your writing, but a professional writer or editor who will read every line you wrote, humming and nodding and sipping their tea," 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize winner Susan Cormier told CBC Books after her win.

    Recent past CBC Nonfiction Prize jurors include Marcello Di Cintio, Sharon Butala and Jenna ButlerM.G. Vassanji, Jenny Heijun Wills and Tim Cook; and Yasuko Thanh, Bill Gaston and Robyn Doolittle

    LISTEN | Merilyn Simonds has advice for those submitting:

    The author of Woman, Watching and one of the jurors for the 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize spoke to Dave White on Airplay about what she's looking for in this year's submissions!

    Who has won before?

    The winner of the 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize will join some esteemed company!

    Last year's winner was Métis writer from B.C. Susan Cormier for her essay Advice to a New Beekeeper. Cormier's winning essay was selected from over 1,700 entries.

    "The CBC Nonfiction Prize is one of the most prestigious awards for short-form writing in the country; I am thrilled to have been selected," Cormier told CBC Books

    The CBC Literary Prizes have been recognizing Canadian writers since 1979.

    Other past CBC Literary Prize winners include David BergenMichael OndaatjeCarol Shields and Michael Winter.

    LISTEN | Susan Cormier reacts to winning the CBC Nonfiction Prize:

    What if I need help?

    "Having a clear goal will help you become a better writer. Working under constraints like deadlines and word limits can often jump start your motivation to write and stir up creative energy," 2021 winner Corina Chong told CBC Books.

    Make sure to subscribe to the CBC Nonfiction Prize newsletter for writing tips and support along the way. We will send you writing tips, tricks and prompts every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday while the CBC Nonfiction Prize is open.

    You should also consider joining our Canada Writes Facebook group! It's a place where writers across Canada can connect with each other, support each other and even offer each other feedback.

    Anything else I need to know?

    The 2023 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April and the CBC Short Story Prize will open in September.

    If you're looking to submit to the French nonfiction prize, you can enter here

    You can see the complete rules and regulations here.

    Have questions? Check out our frequently asked questions or email us at

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