CBC Literary Prizes

CBC Nonfiction Prize

The 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize closed for submissions on Feb. 28, 2021. The finalists will be announced in fall 2021.

The 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize closed for submissions on Feb. 28, 2021. The finalists will be announced in fall 2021.


WHAT: You can submit your original, unpublished works of nonfiction up to 2,000 words. There is no minimum.

WHEN: The competition is open for submissions from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2021.

WHO: All Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

HOW: 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.

WHAT YOU CAN WIN: The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books.

WHAT YOU CAN WRITE: You can submit memoir, biography, humour writing, essay (including personal essay), travel writing and feature articles.

WHO IS JUDGING: A team of readers from across Canada read the entries and determine the longlist. The shortlist and winner will be decided by a jury comprised of three prominent Canadian writers.

WHO WON LAST YEAR: Jonathan Poh of Burnaby, B.C., won the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize for his story Value Village.

WANT HELP: 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.

WANT SUPPORT: Join 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.

SUBMIT IN FRENCH: If you're looking to submit to the French nonfiction prize, you can enter here

OTHER PRIZES: The 2022 CBC Short Story Prize will open Sept. 1, 2021. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open on April 1, 2021. 

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