Your Guide to Fall 2013 Magazine Writing Contests

Magazine contests present a great opportunity for up-and-coming writers to get their creative projects published and their talents recognized by the magazine industry. They also offer many of Canada’s best literary mags a chance to grow their readership (most contests offer a complimentary subscription with the entrance fee) and connect with potential new writers. It’s about the most perfect win-win situation imaginable.

Plus, once in a while it leads all the way to a National Magazine Award.¬†Earlier this year, the winner of the annual National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer went to Sierra Skye Gemma, whose winning story, “The Wrong Way,” was a contest winner in The New Quarterly. A 2008 winner in Prairie Fire‘s creative non-fiction contest, “Prehistory” by Alex Leslie, won a Gold National Magazine Award in Personal Journalism. (Read our interview with Alex Leslie.) Many other magazine contest winners have been nominated for NMAs over the years. (Check out the NMA Archive.)

And whether it leads to a publication, an award (and prize money!) or just the next chapter of your life as a writer, the magazine contest is best appreciated for moving that story or poem you’ve been working on into production; for getting it finished and putting it out into the world.

Here are some contests coming up this season, offered by a host of great Canadian magazines…

Geist: Erasure Poetry Contest
Sections: Poetry
Deadline: September 30, 2013
Prize: $600 (first); $250 (second); $150 (third); publication in Geist; prize packs for HM
Entry Fee: $20 (includes subscription)

CBC Canada Writes Short Story Contest
Section: Fiction
Deadline: November 1, 2013
Prize: $6000 + Banff Centre Residency (1st) + Publication in enRoute (1st prize); $1000 for each of 4 runners up
Entry Fee: $25

The Malahat Review Open Season Awards
Sections: Fiction; Poetry; Creative non-fiction
Deadline: November 1, 2013
Prize: $1000 to the winner in each section + publication
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription)

PRISM International Literary Non-fiction Contests
: Literary non-fiction
Deadline: November 28, 2013 December 5, 2013 [Updated]
Prize: $1500 (1st); $300 (2nd); $200 (3rd); publication in magazine
Entry Fee: $35 (includes subscription)
Details: [Note: Prism will host its annual Fiction and Poetry contests in January, 2014.]

Prairie Fire Creative Writing Contests
Sections: Creative non-fiction; Short fiction; Poetry
Deadline: November 30, 2013
Prize: $1250 (1st); $500 (2nd); $250 (3rd); publication in magazine
Entry Fee: $32 (includes subscription)

Briarpatch Creative Writing Contest
Sections: Creative non-fiction; Fiction
Deadline: December 1, 2013
Prize: $300 + print publication (1st); $75 + online publication (honourable mention)
Entry Fee: $25 (includes subscription)

The Fiddlehead 23rd annual Literary Contest
Sections: Poetry; Fiction
Deadline: December 1, 2013
Prize: $2000 (winner); $250 each for 2 runners-up; publication in magazine
Entry Fee: $30 (includes subscription)

Freefall 13th & 13th Flash Fiction Contest
Section: Short Fiction
Deadline: December 13, 2013
Prize: $130
Entry Fee: $13
Details: Entrants submit a short fiction story (500 words) around the general guideline of “What happened on Friday, September 13, 2013, at the corner of 13th Street and 13th Avenue.” More info:¬†

Freefall 2013 Prose & Poetry Contests
Section: Fiction; Poetry
Deadline: December 31, 2013
Prize: $600 (1st); $150 (2nd); $75 (3rd); $25 (HM); publication in magazine
Entry Fee: $21 (includes subscription); additional entries $5 each

Other contests on the horizon for 2014:
The New Quarterly literary contests
CBC Canada Writes non-fiction & poetry contests
Prism International fiction & poetry contests
Grain magazine Short Grain writing contests
Event magazine creative non-fiction context
Writers Union of Canada various contests
Geist magazine various contests
Arc Poetry Magazine various contests
Up Here magazine various contests
Quebec Writing Competition
Room magazine short story contest

Did we miss something? Email staff[at]magazine-awards[dot]com or hail us on Twitter @MagAwards.

Check out the Contests section of this blog for frequent updates on similar opportunities from Canadian magazines.

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